October 10, 2011 to October 21, 2011


Welcome message of the UNCCD Executive Secretary Luc Gnacadja

Today, three billion people are in poverty, one third of whom live in the drylands. While they deserve increased attention in the development of adaptation and resilience strategies, we must also be aware that desertification is not only their problem. It has far-reaching consequences at the global scale, but if properly managed, soils in the drylands can yield considerable and multiple benefits in addressing major global challenges.

In this regard, holding the COP10 in Changwon, Gyeongnam Province of the Republic of Korea, signifies the importance of the international cooperation on the dryland matters beyond ecological zones. The Republic of Korea has been a strong partner in combating desertification, land degradation and the mitigation of the effects of drought over many years, recognizing that environmental impacts have a transboundary dimension. Its initiative and support to the regional cooperation for sustainable effort to combat large-scale dust and sandstorms is one good example. I have no doubt the leadership of Republic of Korea in chairing the COP10 process will build a platform to draw increased international attention that would drive viable actions to combat desertification.

Indeed, the Convention is coming to a juncture that requires a solid platform for international cooperation. Adopted at COP8 in Madrid in 2007, the 10-year strategic plan and framework to enhance the implementation of the Convention (2008-2018) provided the building blocks for an effective implementation. The adoption at COP9 in Buenos Aires in 2009 of a minimum set of indicators to assess and monitor desertification, land degradation and drought, as well as a new system for assessing the performance of the Convention’s institutions and bodies in the implementation of The Strategy further empowered the UNCCD process with technically reliable and scientifically-sound tools.

Based on these achievements, it is expected that COP10 in Changwon will engage in the long awaited process of target setting, for the implementation of the Convention. It will embrace a number of critical agenda throughout the session, from linking the scientific knowledge with policy to revisiting the commitments made by Parties on forging a global partnership for the implementation of The Strategy. The Changwon COP will conclude a first comprehensive review of progress made so far in implementing The Strategy, bringing together the actions taken by affected countries and their partners, intergovernmental organizations and agencies, as well as Convention institutions and bodies.

The active participation of all stakeholders – the Parties, parliamentarians, civil society organizations and private sector – will contribute making this very first COP in Asia a success. I believe COP10 will offer to all an excellent context for concerted efforts and agreement on decisive steps that will shed a new light on the effective implementation of the Convention for years to come.

OFFICIAL WEBSITE: http://english.unccdcop10.go.kr/main/