Thanks to the FAO Investment Centre Division and the Global Mechanism (GM), the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), a major strategic framework for the promotion of sustainable land management, was a main agenda topic at the XV Meeting of the Focal Points for Cooperation of the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries (CPLP), held by the CPLP Executive Secretariat in Lisbon, Portugal from 24 to 25 July 2007.
The UNCCD was discussed in reference to a request from the CPLP countries for technical cooperation support to strengthen national capacities to reverse land degradation processes and their consequences on poverty, food security, and rural development in general. In response, the Investment Centre, through its collaboration programme with the GM, has formulated a combined South-South/North-South Cooperation Framework which was presented by the Centre and GM representatives at the XV Meeting.
Such cooperation aims at creating the national enabling environments required for the implementation of the UNCCD in the current context of international assistance, where mainstreaming of policies, activities and synergies between UNCCD, other Rio Conventions and national rural development strategies and programmes, remain key elements of the cooperation strategy. Training on technical matters and development of policies and strategies, scientific information research, and Environmental Citizenship are core components of the cooperation.
In its South-South dimension, the cooperation will take advantage of Brazil’s capacities in combating desertification that are being enhanced through its UNCCD National Action Plan with the assistance of the Centre, the GM and GTZ, Germany’s Agency for Technical Cooperation. In its North-South dimension, it will benefit from the assistance of Portugal in connection with the European Space Agency and with ad hoc technical assistance from FAO and the GM. Initial estimates of costs to develop and implement this cooperation are around 15 million euro, which will be met by intended contributions from the Brazilian Government, the European Union, Portugal and the CPLP Special Fund.
This proposal will be presented to the Conference of Parties of the UNCCD which will be held in Madrid in September 2007.