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Third Conference of the Parties to the
Convention to Combat Desertification
Pernambuco Convention Center
Recife, Brazil; 15-26 November, 1999

Final Summary: Html PDF TXT

Closing Plenary ended at approximately 2:30 am on Saturday morning

Photos and RealAudio for Friday, 26 November

Delegates adopt Recife Initiative
After a brief morning Plenary, which considered composition of the ad hoc panels on traditional knowledge and early warning systems, delegates held informal consultations throughout the day to continue consideration of the budget, mechanisms to review implementation, and NGO activities in the official programme under the COP. Plenary was then suspended until 11:20 pm when delegates resumed their consideration of draft decisions on outstanding issues including the budget, procedures for the review of implementation, and arbitration and compliance. Plenary again adjourned await completion of informal consultation on the consideration of reports on CCD implementation and of additional procedures or institutional mechanisms to assist the COP in regular review of the Convention. Delegates reconvened and adopted remaining decisions. COP-3 Vice-President Victor Louro gaveled the meeting to a close at approximately 2:10am on Saturday, 27 November.
The COP adopted Recife initiative, which calls for formulating a declaration of commitments at COP-4 to focus on a number of specific thematic and sectoral areas over an agreed period of time. It also reiterates the need to adopt measures to eradicate poverty; reaffirms the need to mobilize financial resources and promote the transfer of technology and capacity building for combating desertification; stresses the need to integrate CCD implementation into mainstream national development strategies of affected countries; and emphasizes the importance of carrying out further work on benchmarks and indicators and providing expertise to support CCD implementation at national, subregional and regional levels.

Click here to listen to excerpts from a joint EU and G-77/ China press conference

Listen to closing remarks from CCD Executive Secretary Diallo who also read a message from COP-3 President José Sarney Filho

Closing Plenary
CCD Executive Secretary Hama Arba Diallo with COP-3 Vice-president Victor Louro
Diallo and Louro discuss final draft decisions with the Secretariat
Germany conveys a from the Mayor of Bonn, which welcomes delegates to Bonn for COP-4.

Mauritania, for G-77/China, inquired if, in the absence of an offer to host the COP, it would be held under the seat of the Secretariat in Bonn and noted the costs it will entail.

In her closing remarks, Guyana (left), on behalf of the G-77/China, reminded delegates that it is the plight and expectations of the billion people affected by drought and desertification that is at the center of the convention.

Finland, on behalf of the EU, noted that the EU member states are now more aware that the fight against desertification must be intensified, though it was not yet part of mainstream developments strategies as it should be. He welcomed the Recife Initiative.
Brazil thanks the COP for the expression of thanks as presented in a draft decision thanking the government of Brazil
Iran, on behalf of the Asian Group, called upon donors to support affected regions with technical, technological and financial resources, and brought to the attention of delegates that two letters have been presented to Secretariat by Asian members regarding the participation of Asian NGOs.
South Africa, on behalf of the Valdivia Group comprising Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, New Zealand, and South Africa and Uruguay,, noted that the group was established to learn about each other's experiences with combating desertification and mitigating drought. He also welcomed the Recife Initiative as an important contribution to implementing the CCD.
Peru, on behalf of the Latin American and Caribbean countries highlighted the need to make tangible commitments and to overcome single country or group decisions. He said his region looks forward to its sixth regional meeting, which will convene in El Salvador, and to the success of COP-4. s

Romania noted the Central and East European region's gratitude for the decision regarding the additional regional implementation annex.


Benin, on behalf of the African Group, reminded all that Africa was behind the initiative leading to the drafting, adoption and ratification of the Convention and continue to show their political commitment making this a priority. He said the Recife Initiative follows on the initiative of Rio, which has shown us the path to follow, and represents a milestone in the implementation of the Convention.

An NGO representative welcomed the two dialogues held with Parties stating that these reflected the goodwill of all Parties. He hoped this would be reflected in the qualitative and quantitative participation of NGOs at future meetings. He further welcomed the efforts of African countries to develop national action programmes and expressed the need that these efforts be supported by Parties in future

Executive Secretary Diallo congratulated the representatives of all Parties for the necessary compromises they had achieved. He pledged to make the most out of the options that the COP's decisions provide, said he will remain as long as all are satisfied that there is something to be gained, and promised to strive toward providing more efficient services to the Parties and not to slow down.
Message from COP-3 President José Sarney Filho Diallo delivered a message from COP-3 President Sarney Filho who expressed encouragement about the agreed on Recife Initiative, which he said: allows for the adoption at COP-4 a declaration to strengthen the implementation of the convention; highlights the need for indicators of the effectiveness of efforts to combat desertification; and helps raise the same interest to desertification as given to the other Rio conventions. Filho welcomed the African country reports, which he said will be very useful to countries submitting reports at the next COP. He also cited agreements on EWS and traditional knowledge, and the participation of NGOs as successful outcomes of COP-3.

Joint Press Conference with the EU and the G-77/China
The European Union and the G-77/China held a press conference to brief reporters on the status of negotiations on the budget and the Recife Initiative.
.David Johansson, EU, and Allison Drayton, G-77/China

When asked about the contents of the Recife Mandate,, Drayton said the core point of the initiative is to move forward to the next stage of implementation so that during COP-4 a declaration would be adopted which would cover an agreed period which would prioritize issues and the ways in which they will be dealt with.

Miscellaneous photos

An empty Plenary hall while informal consultation on the budget were held behind closed doors.

Delegates leaving the final meeting of the Africa group

Jill Hanna, European Commission, and Allison Drayton,Guyana and Chair of the G-77/China

NGOs wait for final decisions

Delegates from St. Lucia, Brazil and Jamaica before the Closing Plenary reconvenes

NGOs demand OECD countries to fund for NAPs

Brazilian police outside the Conference Center
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Linkages desertification page
UNCLAD Secretariat website (with official documents)
Introduction to the CCD
ENB coverage of the CCD COP-2
ENB Archives: volume 4 (desertification)
Desertification links




Final Summary
Monday, 29 November
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BNT (version française)

CCD COP-3 Archives
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