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What is the Purpose of the Extended Conference?
The scope of the Task Managers' (TM) report on Land, Agriculture and Desertification is very wide and allows little in-depth coverage of specific issues. In particular, it may not adequately address Land issues relative to their importance and coverage that was reflected during the CSD-8 process. Moreover, after analysing the recent dialogue we feel that some important points were made that we would like to follow up on.
We are therefore extending the dialogue that was initiated through the March E-Conference and subsequent SARD Forum, with the aim of soliciting more specific contributions from multiple perspectives on Land, taking into account the wide planning and management issues addressed under chapter 10, and with particular attention to environmental and desertification aspects and sustainable agriculture and rural development (SARD).
Even though the time is short for this event, it will allow the results to, in the immediate, better influence the TM report and, in the longer term, it will feed into a continuing dialogue and consensus building and priority setting process towards Rio+10 and beyond, drawing on the regional and international preparations for CSD-10 and the Johannesburg Summit.
More specifically, the extended E Conference will provide inputs on land related issues towards the following objectives:
(a) assessment of progress on land related issues and identification of priority areas for further action as contributions to the integrated Task Manager's report (Part II) for CSD-10; and
(b) identification of priorities and nexts steps in terms of policies and actions, for: (i) mitigating land degradation and rehabilitating degraded lands (including desertification and impacts of drought); (ii) achieving sustainable land resources management; and (iii) promoting integrated approaches to land resources planning and management.
(c) feed into the consultation process during preparatory meetings for Rio+10, through a summary report of the results of the E-Conference that will be widely available for all concerned parties/stakeholder groups. In particular the report will be made available for use by participants of the informal panel event to be held on the Sustainable use of land and water during the FAO Committee on World Food Security (May-June 2001). The outcome of these discussions will contribute to the preparation process for the World Food Summit-five years later (November, 2001) which includes a side line event on the theme Investing in Land and Water.
Additionally, as part of the longer term process, it is expected to help:
(d) mobilise contributions towards a global compilation and analysis of case studies and lessons learnt by different stakeholder groups at local, national and international levels; and
(e) stimulate cooperation and action towards the future achievement of the goals of Chapters 10, 12 and 14 and of the wider Agenda 21 land cluster (ref. chapters 11, 13 and 15).
What are the Expected Outputs?
In the immediate:
- Adequate consideration of land related issues in the Final Task Managers' Report on Land, Agriculture and Desertification (chapters 10, 12, and 14) to be submitted to CSD-10 (early June 2001); and
- A summary report of discussions on land to be made widely available (June 2001) to stimulate further dialogue and cooperation, not only among scientists and institutions but among all concerned stakeholder groups.
In the longer term preparations towards the Johannesburg Summit:
- Contribution to the compilation of case studies on Agriculture and Land for analysis and use by stakeholders and as key background documentation to inform the World Food Summit-five year later (November 2001) and World Summit on Sustainable Development (Johannesburg, 2002); and
- Identification of the Next Steps for Land-related issues beyond Rio+10 (including priority actions and ways and means to make further progress).