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
View of the plenary with Monique Barbut, UNCCD Executive Secretary, making her opening address
Committee of the Whole
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
Markus Repnik, Managing Director, GM
L-R: Ahmet Şenyaz, Turkey and Stephen Muwaya, Uganda, IWG Co-Chairs
Barbara De Rosa-Joynt, US
Jozef Buys, EU
Committee on Science and Technology (CST)
Hamid Čustović, Bosnia and Herzegovina, CST Chair
Plenary view of the SPI presentation
Anne Larigauderie, IPBES Executive Secretary
Mustafa Abdullah Yurtoglu, Turkey
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