The seventh session of the Committee for the Review of the Implementation of the Convention (CRIC 7) took place at the same time as the First Special Session of the Committee on Science and Technology (CST), from November 3rd to 14th 2008 in Istanbul, Turkey.
The CST started by considering the draft two-year work program and the four-year work plan for the CST. The CST then considered ways to measure progress for strategic objectives 1, 2 and 3 of the new ten year strategic plan, as well as to present methodological suggestions on how to assess the overall implementation of the plan. The link with climate change and the work of the IPCC was often mentioned by parties during these discussions. As a result of these discussions, advice was given to CRIC on how to measure progress on strategic objectives 1, 2, and 3 of the ten year strategic plan. The CST also presented its work preparations towards CST 9 and the selection of Dryland Science for Development (DSD) consortium to assist in these preparations. Three working groups will be established with 30 experts each by January 2009. These groups will then invite for global participation and will work at developing input for the scientific conference at CST 9. It would be interesting to see how DCG could play a role in these groups and provide input for CST 9. Two reports were thus adopted by the CST and presented to the CRIC.
The CRIC started on Friday 7 November and focused on three methodological blocks: the multi-year programs of work prepared for the secretariat, the GM, Joint Work Program between both organizations, the CRIC and the CST; reporting issues in order to receive additional input for the ongoing work of the secretariat in drafting new guidelines; the future format of CRIC sessions to ensure coherence with reporting guidelines. A discussion concerning the role of science in the UNCCD saw the participants asking for a Stern type of study on the economics of desertification and highlighting the importance of studying carbon sequestration in the context of climate change. With regard to the format of CRIC sessions, parties highlighted the need for clear terms of reference for the involvement of CSOs. A final summary report including input made by the delegations was adopted at the end of the week.
Three interactive dialogue sessions were also held during this meeting and they focused on: UNCCD strategic orientations, the TOR and program of work of the JIU on the assessment of the GM, and the national reporting process.
This report provides a summary of the discussions as well as a brief analysis of the discussions. This information is very relevant with regard to what will be negotiated at COP9 at the end of next year.