Principals of COP 14 heading out to the flag-raising ceremony
The fourteenth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP14) to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) opened in New Delhi, India, on Monday afternoon. The opening plenary was preceded by a formal flag-raising ceremony that symbolized the handing over of the premises to the UN by the Government of India.
In his introductory remarks, COP President Prakash Javadekar, Minister of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, India, observed that just as human actions have created the problems of climate change, land degradation and biodiversity loss, further human action, intent, technology and intellect are needed to undo the damage and preserve the earth for future generations. UNCCD Executive Secretary Ibrahim Thiaw described COP 14, which also coincides with the 25th anniversary of the UNCCD, as the largest COP ever and expressed hope that the policy decisions taken at this session would mark “a major turning point for how we manage the scarce land and water resources we have left.”
In a briefing with media representatives earlier in the day, Thiaw identified the two priority issues for this COP as drought and land tenure, noting that they not only link the UNCCD to the other two Rio Conventions, but also touch on almost all the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
During opening statements, many representatives of regional groups and other stakeholders welcomed the focus on emerging Convention themes, such as drought and land tenure although there were indications that it may not be easy to reach agreement on the more political aspects of these issues.
Five side events also took place during the day, exploring, among other themes: how to apply the Research in Development approach to scale land restoration and achieve land degradation neutrality (LDN); how to translate soil and land rehabilitation into action for LDN and sustainable livelihoods; links between land desertification and health; and country experiences in restoring degraded landscapes.
IISD Reporting Services, through its ENB meeting coverage, is providing daily web coverage and daily reports from UNCCD COP 14. In addition, IISD Reporting Services will publish a summary and analyrs report from this session on Monday, 16 September 2019.
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Specific funding for IISD Reporting Services coverage of UNCCD COP 14 has been provided by the UNCCD Secretariat