Update on the SPI work

10.09.2018

 

Prepared by Marioldy Sanchez – CSO observer to the SPI

30 July 2018

About the SPI

The UNCCD Science-Policy Interface (SPI) was established in 2013 (at COP 11) and has had its mandate renewed and refined in subsequent meetings of the UNCCD Conference of Parties (COP). In 2017 (at COP 13), the SPI was renewed and will be reviewed again in 2023 (COP 16).

The mandate of the SPI is to provide the Committee on Science and Technology (CST) thematic guidance on knowledge requirements for implementing the UNCCD. SPI information is available on this link: https://knowledge.unccd.int/science-policy-interface

The composition of the SPI is designed to provide independent scientific perspective from the full range of relevant disciplines to the UNCCD, taking into account regional and global issues and policy considerations. The SPI therefore includes:

  • 10 globally selected independent scientists
  • 5 regionally nominated independent scientists
  • 5 elected CST Bureau members (science-focused policy makers)
  • 5 observer organization representatives: IUCN, UN Environment, FAO, WMO and CSOs representative

The list of members and observers is available in this link:

https://knowledge.unccd.int/science-policy-interface/members-and-observers-science-policy-interface

 Work plan 2018-2019

The SPI will now work with the scientific community to help countries plan for and implement Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) interventions. Its Work Plan for 2018-2019 was approved by COP and have two objectives and six coordination activities:

Objectives:

  1. Provide refined guidance for implementation of land degradation neutrality (LDN). Two specific objectives:
  • Provide advice on the design and implementation of LDN-related policies and initiatives that bring about multiple environmental and development benefits and synergies with other Rio conventions, in particular for climate change adaptation and mitigation actions. Deliverables: (i) Guidelines on how to identify and design scientifically sound and practical LDN-related policies and initiatives. (ii) Scientific assistance to the Global Mechanism in supporting LDN-related policies and initiatives.
  • Provide science-based evidence on the potential contribution of LDN to enhancing the well-being and livelihoods as well as the environmental conditions of people affected by desertification/land degradation and drought. Deliverables: (i) Report providing science-based evidence of how land-based interventions can improve the well-being and livelihoods of people while simultaneously enhancing the state of the environment. (ii) Scientific assistance to the Global Mechanism in supporting LDN-related policies and initiatives.
  1. Based on a review of existing synthesis reports and, if necessary, referring to primary literature, provide guidance to support the adoption and implementation of land-based interventions for drought management and mitigation. Deliverable: (i) Science-policy brief and, if necessary, a report highlighting the potential of appropriate land-based interventions to mitigate the effects of drought by increasing the resilience of ecosystems and the socio-economic well-being of populations.

Coordination activities with IPBES, IPCC, ITPS, International Resources Panel of the United Nations Environment Programme, GLO and Global Land Indicators Initiative (GLII).

Current work of the SPI

The first meeting of the renewed SPI took place in Bonn, Germany, on 15-16 February 2018. During the meeting, the SPI allocate responsibilities and tasks among the three overarching SPI work programme objectives (1.1, 1.2 and 2).

The SPI has organized itself into working groups per objective and coordination activity of its work plan for the biennium 2018–2019. The CSO observer to the SPI was invited to join the working group for objective 1.2. and be advisor of the coordination activity related to the Global Land Indicators Initiative (GLII). The respective co-leaders are currently working on the methodological aspects of the respective reports.

In parallel, during this year the SPI members have been invited to collaborate or engage in the following actions:

  • Review of the First Order Draft of the IPCC Special Report on Climate Change and Land.
  • Contribution to the online consultation on the zero-draft International Code of Conduct for the Use and Management of Fertilizers prepared by FAO/ITPS.
  • Collaboration with the Global Mechanism regarding transformative projects.
  • Participation in international events for sharing the work of the SPI: Global LDN Forum in Korea (4 – 5 July 2018), sixth session of IPBES in Colombia (March 2018).

The next physical meeting of the SPI will be in Bonn from October 10 to 12.

A briefing on the progress of each deliverable is in the following table:

 

Objective Deliverable Progress
1. Provide refined guidance for implementation of land degradation neutrality (LDN).
1.1 Provide advice on the design and implementation of LDN-related policies and initiatives that bring about multiple environmental and development benefits and synergies with other Rio Conventions, in particular for climate change adaptation and mitigation actions. Guidelines on how to identify and design scientifically sound and practical LDN-related policies and initiatives.

Provision of scientific assistance to the Global Mechanism in supporting LDN-related policies and initiatives.

Creation of a working group. Co-leaders:

Ermias Betemariam and Jean-Luc Chotte.

 

Elaboration of a draft Concept Note identifying the problem, objectives of the report, specific deliverables and modalities of work.

1.2 Provide science-based evidence on the potential contribution of LDN to enhancing the well-being and livelihoods as well as the environmental conditions of people affected by desertification/land degradation and drought. Report providing science-based evidence of how land-based interventions can improve the well-being and livelihoods of people while simultaneously enhancing the state of the environment. Creation of a working group. Co-leaders:

Graciela Metternicht and Peter Verburg

 

Definition of the focus of the report on two relevant topics: enabling policy environment for LDN and ensuring LDN interventions will be transformative.

 

Physical workshop in Korea for discussing the foundation for the two key topics of the report and define a proposal on structure and format for the report.

 

Elaboration of a draft Concept Note identifying the problem, objectives of the report, specific deliverables and modalities of work.

 

2. Based on a review of existing synthesis reports and, if necessary, referring to primary literature, provide guidance to support the adoption and implementation of land-based interventions for drought management and mitigation. Science-policy brief and, if necessary, a report highlighting the potential of appropriate land-based interventions to mitigate the effects of drought by increasing the resilience of ecosystems and the socio-economic well-being of populations. Creation of a working group. Co-leaders:

Armando López Santos and Mark Svoboda

 

Elaboration of a draft Concept Note identifying the problem, objectives of the report, specific deliverables and modalities of work.

 

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