Germany and Namibia unified on outcomes of COP 11: Huckmann

28 Sep 2013 11:10
WINDHOEK, 28 SEP (NAMPA) - Germany and Namibia were unified in the endeavour to integrate the outcomes of Rio+20 into the 11th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP11) to the UNCCD results.
Speaking at a media conference on the outcome of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) here on Friday, German Ambassador to Namibia Onno Huckmann said an international expert working group will support this process in order for it to include land degradation issues, especially in the development of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, also known as Rio+20, was hosted in Brazil last year. It was the third international conference on sustainable development aimed at reconciling the economic and environmental goals of the global community.
The main results of the conference was the non-binding document ‘The Future We Want’, in which heads of state of the 192 governments in attendance renewed their political commitment to sustainable development.
One of the outcomes is the development of SDGs, a set of measurable targets aimed at promoting sustainable development globally. The SDGs will pick up where the Millennium Development Goals leave off and address criticism that the original goals fail to address the role of the environment in development.
The document also calls the need to return ocean stocks to sustainable levels ‘urgent’, while all nations further reaffirmed commitments to phase out fossil fuel subsidies, amongst other things.
Huckmann said a “great step forward” was taken during COP 11 to enable the UNCCD to become a global authority on scientific and technical knowledge on desertification and land degradation and mitigation the effects of drought.
“The decision was taken to establish a Science-Policy Interface to facilitate a two-way science-policy dialogue. The institution will be added to the existing Committee for Science and Technology. This group will deliver policy-relevant information, knowledge and advice on desertification and land degradation and drought,” he noted.
According to Huckmann, the main sources for translating relevant scientific findings and recommendations will be provided by existing scientific networks, stakeholders and upcoming UNCCD scientific conferences. He said this will help a lot to push the issue of Desertification, Land degradation and Drought (DLDD) forward on national and international level.
The results from the mid-term evaluation will help to improve the impact of UNCCD. These recommendations have been included in a number of decisions and will provide good guidance for the performance and processes under the UNCCD, according to Huckmann.
Germany supported Namibia in hosting COP 11 and contributed about N.dollars 4 million towards the hosting of the event.
Huckmann said Germany will continue to support Namibia in the follow-up process. Namibia is serving as president of the UNCCD until UNCCD COP 12, which is scheduled to take place in Turkey in 2015.
This two-year term as president offers Namibia the unique opportunity to drive the global agenda on issues of desertification, land degradation and drought.
“We are currently discussing which kind of support would be most helpful in facilitating the inclusion of the results of these two weeks of intensive discussion in national and international policy process,” he added.
The UNCCD headquarters are located in Bonn, Germany.