September 21, 2009 to October 2, 2009

The ninth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP9) to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification began Monday, 21 September (read welcome letter from Executive Secretary Luc Gnacadja).

>COP 9 provides ministers and parliamentarians opportunities to consider in depth urgent issues on the agenda of the United Nations that are relevant to the Convention. Chief among these are the reciprocal relationship between Climate Change and desertification, land degradation and drought (DLDD), the global trends of DLDD, and the links between DLDD and migration, food security and poverty. The July Summit of the Group of Eight (G8) industrialized countries held in L’Aquila, Italy, underlined the importance of sustainable land management in addressing DLDD and in reducing and mitigating the effects of climate change. The G8 made a commitment to support the approach to address the double-edged problem.

>COP 9 also reflects on the proposals to be submitted by an independent body of the world’s top scientists concerning measures to monitor and assess changes in desertification, land degradation and drought. Lastly, COP 9 completes the discussion about the indicators to be used to assess the impact of the Convention on the ground, paving the way for the pursuit of a more focused COP agenda that was adopted during their last Conference in September 2007 in Madrid, Spain.

>Another issue of interest is the resources to be allocated for the next two years to assure the attainment of goals of the 10-year Strategy and plan for the implementation of the Convention (2008-2018) agreed at their last Conference. The Parties also consider the report of the Joint Inspection Unit of the United Nations concerning the Global Mechanism, an entity established by the Convention to facilitate the mobilization of resources for the Convention.