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UNCCD’s Working Group to Follow-up on Rio+20 Adopts Programme of Work

UNCCD logo11 February 2014: An Intergovermental Working Group (IWG) of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) charged with following up on the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20) convened for its first meeting to discuss the concept of land degradation neutrality.

The IWG met in Brussels, Belgium, from 10-11 February 2014. It was called for by the 11th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNCCD (COP 11), which met in September 2013. The Rio+20 outcome document called for striving to "achieve a land-degradation neutral world in the context of sustainable development."

The Group established two task forces to: address the definition of land degradation neutrality (LDN); and outline the options for achieving land degradation neutrality. The first task force will be coordinated by Russia, with representatives from Bosnia, Iran, Mexico, Lebanon and Swaziland. The second task force will be coordinated by China, with representatives from Colombia, Cuba, Georgia, Iceland, Italy and Samoa participating.

The IWG also adopted a revised Terms of Reference and Programme of Work, which identify its modalities of work, including the participation of observers. A second meeting is tentatively scheduled for July 2014. [UNCCD News Release] [Land Policy & Practice posts on land degradation neutrality]