DNI Steering Committee member Prof. Quirico Migheli participated as the DNI representative in the plenary meeting of the French Scientific Committee on Desertification (CSFD). The meeting took place on 5-6 July 2023 in Montpellier (France), hosted by Agropolis International. The agenda included several initiatives launched by CSFD, such as the active participation in the Great Green Wall Initiative, the preparation of a Web documentary and a collective book on desertification, and the joint organisation of the next UNCCD Science Policy Interface, that will take place in Montpellier on 11-15 September, 2023. The last endeavour will be particularly challenging, as for the first time the UNCCD SPI will be organised outside Bonn.
On behalf of DNI, Quirico Migheli has formally offered to collaborate in the achievement of all the most relevant initiatives, including the GGWI, the next UNCCD SPI and a contribution to specific chapters of the book on desertification. Moreover, interactions between DNI and CSFD shall include recently launched capacity building activities such as the international PhD programme on Land degradation and desertification and the DNI Academy.
The CSFD has been created in 1997 by the French ministerial departments in charge of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Ecology and Sustainable Development, Ministry for Higher Education and Ministry of Research), as an independent multidisciplinary committee that provides expert advice. It is currently headed by president Jean Luc Chotte and includes around 20 members from the main French scientific research institutions, appointed for a 3-year term by the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research. In addition to its scientific members, the Committee hosts representatives of the partner civil society organisations, including DNI, the Foundation pour la Recherche sur la Biodiversité (FRB), the Observatoire du Sahara e du Sahel (OSS), and the Centre d’Action et de Réalisations Internationales (CARI). CSFD is funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Ecology and Sustainable Development and the French Development Agency. CSFD produces, disseminates and makes effective use of scientific knowledge for the benefit of different communities, while guiding and advising policymakers and civil society stakeholders in France and affected countries. In addition, it bolsters the position of the French scientific community globally and participates in French delegations involved in events pertaining to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification. CSFD is actively involved in European and global networks and is a founding member of DesertNet International.