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Expert Groups on Indicators, Scientific Advice Send Recommendations to UNCCD COP

UNCCD logo26 July 2013: The final recommendations from the Ad Hoc Advisory Group of Technical Experts (AGTE) and the Ad Hoc Working Group to further discuss the options for the provision of Scientific Advice (AGSA), both of which were created following decisions of the tenth session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), have been released.

The conclusions of the AGSA will be presented to the eleventh session of the Committee on Science and Technology (CST 11), which will convene from 17-20 September 2013, in Windhoek, Namibia. Among other suggestions, the AGSA identified eleven components of an integrated scenario, with three core modules: a “Science-Policy Interface” through which policy and scientific representatives would discuss, synthesize and communicate to the UNCCD scientific information and knowledge and policy-relevant advice on desertification/land degradation and drought (DLDD); an “Independent Non-Governmental Group of Scientists,” which would prepare peer-reviewed reports that would be presented to the Science-Policy Interface and then transmitted by the CST to the COP; and “Regional Science and Technology Hubs,” which would synthesize regional knowledge on desertification, land degradation and drought (DLDD).

The AGTE recommended, inter alia: using the term “progress indicator” rather than “impact indicator”; refining the set of impact indicators to the minimum set of global indicators, as identified by the AGTE; complement the global progress indicators with formal and narrative indicators at national/local scale; and link national/local indicator selection and reporting to national/local DLDD and sustainable land management monitoring and evaluation efforts, as well as to national action programme (NAP) alignment efforts.

In related news, the UNCCD Secretariat has invited nominations and information updates for the Roster of Experts, which it maintains and from which members of ad hoc panels can be selected. [AGSA webpage and link to AGSA recommendations][AGTE webpage and link to AGTE recommendations][Roster of Experts information]