UNCCD’s Science-Policy Interface Opens Call for Expert, Observer Applications
Photo by IISD | Lynn Wagner
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The Science-Policy Interface (SPI) of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) issued a call for independent scientists and observers to contribute to combating desertification, land degradation and drought (DLDD).

The UNCCD also invited expressions of interest from UN and other international organizations qualified in matters relevant to the UNCCD and wishing to become observer to the SPI.

7 November 2017: The Science-Policy Interface (SPI) of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) issued a call for independent scientists and observers to contribute to combating desertification, land degradation and drought (DLDD). The SPI was established by the 11th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 11) to the UNCCD in 2013, and received a renewed mandate at COP 13, held in September 2017 in Ordos, China.

The SPI call is open to scientists and organizations from all regions, as well as all relevant disciplines and thematic areas. Concurrent to the call for experts, the UNCCD also invited expressions of interest from UN and other international organizations qualified in matters relevant to the UNCCD and wishing to become observer to the SPI. The deadline for submissions is 4 December 2017. The selection process will be conducted by the Bureau of the UNCCD Committee on Science and Technology.

During its COP 13 deliberations, the UNCCD’s Committee on Science and Technology (CST) endorsed the scientific conceptual framework for Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN), which is one of the main outputs of the SPI. The conceptual framework aims to provide a scientifically-sound basis for understanding LDN, as one of the targets under the Sustainable Development Goal on life on land (SDG 15). The framework will also contribute to the development of practical guidance for implementing and monitoring programmes to achieve the LDN target, using the three UNCCD land-based global indicators of land cover, land productivity and carbon stocks.

Since its inception, the SPI has produced a series of policy briefs and technical reports to enhance dialogue on core DLDD themes, as well as enhance synergies with the UNCCD “sister” Rio Conventions focusing on biodiversity protection (CBD) and climate change (UNFCCC). The latest SPI policy brief, published in September 2017, addresses the theme of ‘Sustainable Land Management for Climate and People,’ and aims to provide guidance for decision makers on how to develop strategies and related policies that promote synergies and address trade-offs between multiple objectives related to DLDD, climate change mitigation and adaptation. [UNCCD Announcement] [Call for Independent Experts] [Call for Observers to the SPI] [SPI Terms of Reference] [SPI Policy Brief: Sustainable Land Management for Climate and People] [SPI Publication: Land in balance: The scientific conceptual framework for Land Degradation Neutrality]


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