Tuesday, September 04, 2007
I attended the opening session of the 8th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) yesterday in Madrid.
Twenty four hours after the opening session, the official website of the convention hasn't yet been updated. The Spanish Environment Ministry which is hosting the meeting hasn't put it up on their portal either, curiously (the meeting was opened by the Crown Prince and the Spanish Environment Minister is chairing the conference, though). But thank God (or thank Kimo, rather), people can get updates through the Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB).
The UNCCD has always been the ugly little duck of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit outcome. If you compare the dynamic tension and political momentum that takes place when the governing bodies of the other two other Rio conventions (the CBD and the UNFCCC) hold their meetings, you get a real preaching in a desert feel with the UNCCD.
This week and next, ten years after the convention's entry into force, the Parties are discussing the adoption of a strategic plan to fight desertification. Until now, industrialised countries have been reluctant to put money into the Desertification Convention, for a variety of reasons. But now that the progress and impacts of desertification beyond Africa are increasingly obvious, perhaps they'll wake up to it?