September 16, 2013 to September 27, 2013

Namibia will host the 11th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD COP11) from the 16-27th September 2013 at the Windhoek Country Club and Resort in the capital.

Approximately 2000-3000 delegates from 195 country parties to the UNCCD, UN organizations, intergovernmental and civil society organizations will come together at COP11 to debate and arrive at solutions towards improving the living conditions of people in drylands; maintaining and restoring land and soil productivity; and mitigating the effects of drought. 

UNCCD COP11 will build upon the results of the second UNCCD scientific conference and review the progress after the completion of the first half of the 10-Year Strategy of the UNCCD (2008-2018). COP11 sessions will focus on financing, knowledge brokering and the Rio+20 outcome on land degradation, desertification and drought. Against this backdrop, UNCCD COP11 will be convened under the theme “A stronger UNCCD  for a Land-Degradation Neutral World.” The theme marks the progress the Parties to the Convention made under the 10-Year Strategy and encourages further action for its successful implementation during the latter half of the Strategy period.
It also reflects the UNCCD vision of a way forward after the Rio+20 outcome on land degradation, desertification and drought. 

Serving as financial mechanism for the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), the Global Environment Facility (GEF) will actively participate in the 11th Conference of Parties to the UNCCD.



>> Read the GEF's Reports to the UNCCD COP 11: English | French | Spanish


GEF Events 

1. High Level Segment, 23-24 September 

GEF CEO Naoko Ishii will participate in the Ministerial segment, serving as Keynote speaker in Round Table discussion on the “Economics of desertification/land degradation and restoration: considering cost-benefit analyses for scaling up investments in avoiding land degradation and restoring/regenerating degraded land.” Other planned activities for the CEO include meetings with GEF donor countries and recipient Countries. 

2. Meeting of the Committee for Science and Technology (CST), 16-20 September 
GEF will follow deliberations on performance and impact indicators for monitoring implementation of the UNCCD and its 10-Year Strategy. This has direct links to the Land Degradation Focal Area which serves as the primary GEF window for the UNCCD, and takes into account STAP support through the CST Scientific Conferences. 

3. Committee for the Review of the Implementation of the Convention (CRIC), 16-20 September 
GEF will participate in the 12th Session of CRIC, which will among other things focus on assessment of implementation the 10-Year UNCCD strategy based on the new PRAIS system for reporting. The objective of GEF participation is to present report of activities on Sustainable Land Management in the GEF Land Degradation Focal Area as a means to support implementation of the UNCCD. This is in accordance with a GEF-UNCCD Memorandum of Understanding signed at COP 7 (decision 6/COP.7). 

4. Rio Conventions Pavilion, 16-27 September 
The following are GEF related sessions that will be organized under the Pavilion and on the margins of COP-11 meetings: 

  • “GEF Day” in the Rio Conventions Pavilion - Overview of GEF-6 Replenishment; GEF-6 Strategies: Land Degradation focal area and incentive mechanism on SFM/REDD+; and GEF-6 Signature Programs; Organizer: GEF 
  • Carbon Benefits – New tools to measure carbon & the GEF’s experience applying the tools; Organizers: STAP (Lead), UNEP, GEF 
  • Carbon Sequestration – A valuable global benefit of sustainable land management; Organizers: STAP (Lead), UNEP, GEF 
  • GEF Country Pilot Partnerships (CPPs) for sustainable land management: vehicles for transformational change to arrest land degradation and promote sustainable development; Organizers: UNDP (Lead), Governments of Namibia, Cuba and Burkina Faso, GEF 
  • Celebrating two decades of GEF in Africa; Organizer: GEF 
  • Launch of the GEF Publication “Two Decades of Investing in Ecosystem Services for Food Security”; Organizer: GEF 
  • Landscape approach to enhance resilience in sub-Saharan African drylands; Organizers: World Bank, World Resource Institute 
  • GEF experiences investing in ecosystem restoration through SLM and SFM/REDD+; Organizers: GEF 
  • The Great Green Wall for the Sahara and the Sahel Initiative, an African Alliance contributing to a land-degradation neutral world; Organizers: The African Union Commission, CILSS, IUCN, OSS, FAO, European Commission, World Bank, UNCCD GM, GEF 
  • Landscapes for people, food and nature initiative; Organizers: EcoAgriculture Partners (Lead), UNEP, GEF, ICRAF, NEPAD and Conservation International 
  • SIP/TerrAfrica Results; Organizers: NEPAD, World Bank, UNEP, UNDP, FAO  

5. Participation in Meetings, Consultations, and Other Events 
The GEF will also participate in several meetings and consultations scheduled on margins of the COP, including the following: 

  • Government of Namibia High Level Event on the GEF Country Pilot Partnership on Sustainable Land Management
  • Meetings of UNCCD regional Annexes
  • The SIP/TerrAfrica Steering Committee Meeting
  • Gender and Drylands
  • UNCCD COP11 Media Workshop
  • “Land for Life Award Ceremony and launch of the Land For Life Magazine
  • Exhibition and the Award ceremony of the Third UNCCD Photo Contest
  • Film festival on Desertification, Drought and Land Degradation

6. GEF Exhibit 
Theme of the GEF Exhibit is “GEF and Africa – Partnering for Sustainable and Resilient Growth.” The exhibit will be shared with GEF partner agencies and will display the main publications of the GEF focusing on Land Degradation, on Food Security and Corporate Brochures. Africa specific pull up screens and the new GEF in Africa map will be displayed and distributed as hard copies. 


GEF Delegates at the UNCCD COP 11

  • Naoko Ishii, CEO & Chairperson (Sept 23-24)
  • Gustavo Fonseca, Team Leader, Natural Resources (Sept 24-28)
  • Mohamed Bakarr, Senior Environmental Specialist, Regional Coordinator for Land Degradation (Sept 16-27)
  • Ulrich Apel, Senior Environmental Specialist, Land Degradation/SFM/REDD+ (Sept 16-27)
  • Jean-Marc Sinnassamy, Senior Environmental Specialist, Land Degradation/SFM (Sept 16-27)
  • Christian Hofer, Senior Communication Officer, External Affairs (Sept 16-27)
  • Andrew Chilombo, Junior Professional Associate, Natural Resources (Sept 16-27)