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13th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD COP 13)

6-16 September 2017 | Ordos, China

Highlights for Wednesday, 6 September 2017

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L-R: Zhang Jianlong, Minister, State Forestry Administration, China accepting the COP13 Presidency
from Cemal Noğay, on behalf of COP 12 President

The thirteenth session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD COP 13) opened in Ordos, Inner Mongolia, China, on Wednesday morning, 6 September. Cemal Noğay, on behalf of COP 12 President Veysel Eroğlu, Minister of Forestry and Water Affairs, Turkey, opened COP 13 and highlighted the food security, biodiversity and climate change co-benefits of combating land degradation especially for the rural poor. Delegates then elected Zhang Jianlong, Minister of State Forestry Administration, China, as COP 13 President. Bu Xiaolin, Chair, Inner Mongolia People’s Government, highlighted the achievements of Inner Mongolia in combating desertification in recent years. Monique Barbut, UNCCD Executive Secretary, expressed fears that the window of opportunity created from aligning the Convention with the 2030 Agenda is limited and that expectations are “huge,” therefore efforts at this COP and thereafter need to focus on implementation, and translating the LDN targets into action. She outlined COP 13 needs to take decisions on issues that have not been dealt with, including on drought and sand storms, gender, land tenure security, and acceleration of knowledge and strategic communication.

The China Exhibition on Desertification was opened after the morning plenary. In the afternoon, delegates established a Committee of the Whole and considered organizational matters and the programme and budget, among others, while the Committee on Science and Technology (CST), after an opening plenary, considered the scientific conceptual framework for land degradation neutrality, among others.

In the evening, delegates attended a reception by the host country, and a contact group met on matters related to the CST.

IISD Reporting Services, through its Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) Meeting Coverage, has provided daily web coverage, daily reports, and a summary and analysis report from the UNCCD COP 13. The summary and analysis report is now available in HTML and PDF.

Photos by IISD/ENB | Francis Dejon
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Colorful topiary greeted COP 13 participants as they walk through the entrance of the Ordos International Convention and Exhibition Center


Cemal Noğay, Deputy Undersecretary, Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs, Turkey, on behalf of the President of COP 12

Zhang Jianlong, President of COP13


Monique Barbut, UNCCD Executive Secretary

Bu Xiaolin, Governor, Inner Mongolia, China


View of the plenary with Monique Barbut, UNCCD Executive Secretary, making her opening address


María Florencia Grimalt, Argentina


Taimar Ala, EU

Karma Dema Dorji, Bhutan

Andrés David Córdova, Ecuador


Jiajia Luo, China Green Foundation

Kennedy Ondimu, Kenya

Anna Luise, Italy



Committee of the Whole (COW)

L-R: Pradeep Monga, UNCCD Deputy Executive Secretary; Interim Chair Skumsa Mancotywa, South Africa, standing in for COW Chair Nosipho Ngcaba, South Africa; and June Budhooram, Secretary of the COW


Interim Chair Skumsa Mancotywa, South Africa, standing in for COW Chair Nosipho Ngcaba, South Africa


Lyndle Lindow, UNCCD Secretariat

Pradeep Monga, UNCCD Deputy Executive Secretary


Melchiade Bukuru , UNCCD Secretariat

Jones Muleso Kharika, UNCCD Secretariat


Markus Repnik, Managing Director, GM


L-R: Ahmet Şenyaz, Turkey and Stephen Muwaya, Uganda, IWG Co-Chairs



Atsushi Iwasaki, Japan

Cindy Ehmes, Micronesia

Trevor Thompson, Grenada


Alfredo Blum, Uruguay

Angel Enriquez, the Philippines

Alfred Prospere, Saint Lucia


Barbara De Rosa-Joynt, US

Jozef Buys, EU

Nahid Naghizade, the Centre for Sustainable Development and Environment (CENESTA)


L-R: Martin Kebs and Christina Blank, Switzerland


Committee on Science and Technology (CST)

Hamid Čustović, Bosnia and Herzegovina, CST Chair


Barron Orr, SPI

Annette Cowie, SPI


Plenary view of the SPI presentation


Pedro Lara, GM

Victor Castillo, UNCCD Secretariat


Anne Larigauderie, IPBES Executive Secretary


Fortunée Worou, Benin

Maria Angelica Fernandez, Colombia


Mustafa Abdullah Yurtoglu, Turkey


Ahmed Abdel-Ati Ahmed, Egypt

Flavia Witkowski Frangetto, Brazil

Pablo Viegas Aurelio, Argentina


Jorge Ernesto Quezada Díaz, El Salvador

Akiko Nakano, Japan

Pedro Berliner, Israel


Raed Bani Hani, Jordan


Photos from the Opening of the Combating Desertification in China Exhibition




VIPs at the opening of the exhibition


VIPs pressing a virtual button to officially open the exhibition


Delegates from Argentina and Uruguay

Fredua Agyeman, Ghana, with local staff in traditional costumes





Web CoverageAbout | 6 Sep | 7 Sep | 8 Sep | 9 Sep | 11 Sep | 12 Sep | 13 Sep | 14 Sep | 15 Sep | Summary
Specific funding for coverage of UNCCD COP 13 has been provided by the People’s Republic of China
People’s Republic of China

IISD Reporting Services is grateful to the many donors of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) and recognizes the following as core contributors to the ENB: the European Union and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. General Support for the Bulletin during 2017 is provided by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea, Japanese Ministry of Environment (through the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies - IGES), New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Switzerland (Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN)), and SWAN International. Specific funding for coverage of this meeting has been provided by the People’s Republic of China. Funding for translation of the Bulletin into French has been provided by the Government of France, Québec, and the International Organization of La Francophonie/Institute for Sustainable Development of La Francophonie (IOF/IFDD).

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