The UNCCD SPI First Science Day held on 5th September 2019 at COP.14

For the first time at a COP, the Science-Policy Interface of the UNCCD (UNCCD-SPI) organized a Science Day at the Rio Pavilions. The full-day meeting was opened by the SPI co-chair, Dr. Mariam Akhtar-Schuster, followed by a welcome address from the Deputy Executive Secretary of the UNCCD, Pradeep Monga, and in the afternoon by the UNCCD Executive Secretary, Ibrahim Thiaw.

The world’s leading scientists and experts held full open day consultations on issues related to the following aspects:

  • The Enabling Environment for Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN)
  • Tools and practices to achieve multiple benefits through LDN
  • Scientific Assessment to inform Policy
  • Regenerating a liveable planet

Representatives of the Intergovernmental Platform on Climate Change (IPCC) presented their recently approved Special Report on Climate Change, desertification, land degradation, sustainable land management, food security, and greenhouse gas fluxes which can be downloaded here: Representatives of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) presented their Global Assessment of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, which was approved at the seventh IPBES Plenary in May 2019. Advance unedited versions of the summary for policymakers and of the chapters are available here:

Furthermore, a representative of the European Union Joint Research Center introduced the World Atlas on Desertification which was published in 2018, and is available here: Representatives of the Global Resources Outlook by the Intergovernmental Resource Panel (IRP) and the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) introduced their work and ongoing LDN-related initiatives.

The SPI compiled the following key message emerging from the Science Day and forwarded these to the UNCCD Secretariat to inform the high-level segment of the COP: 

A full report of the meeting is currently being prepared by the members of the SPI and will be released by the end of this year. Information on this report will be published in the next issue of DNI’s newsletter.

Members of DNI contributed substantially to the first UNCCD-SPI Science Day in panels, group discussions, as session facilitators, and as speakers (see photo gallery below). The present chair of DNI, Youssef Brahimi, the present co-chair of DNI, Michael Cherlet, and two former DNI chairs, Ms Wafa Essahli, and Dr. Mariam Akhtar-Schuster, as well as current members of the DNI Bureau and advisory committee, Prof. Pier Paolo Roggero, Prof. Lindsay Stringer were present throughout the day.

Mariam Akhtar-Schuster, DNI Advisory Board

Photo Gallery: First UNCCD SPI Science Day held on 5th September in New Delhi: 
(Photo courtesy: Mariam Akhtar-Schuster)