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UNCCD Organizes Workshop on Impact Indicators for Pilot Countries

13 July 2011: The Secretariat of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) launched a pilot exercise on tracking impact indicators at the national level. The "inception workshop" for the exercise concluded with an action plan for pilot countries to apply impact indicators on Desertification, Land Degradation and Drought (DLDD), at the national level.

The pilot exercise was launched at the Multi-National Inception Workshop, held from 11-13 July 2011, in Mexico City, Mexico. Participants included representatives of: Armenia, China, Colombia, Mexico, Senegal, South Africa, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel of the Global Environment Facility (GEF-STAP), the Global Mechanism (GM), the Land Degradation Assessment in Drylands project (LADA), and ECLAC-Chile.

The pilot exercise aims to: inform the refinement of the UNCCD's impact indicators; allow Parties, the Secretariat, and the Committee on Science and Technology (CST) to gain experience with indicators in preparation for the second leg of the fourth reporting and review process in 2012; and produce evidence, examples and recommendations on national production and reporting of the impact indicators. The exercise is organized with technical support from the UN Environment Programme–World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) and financial support from the Government of Spain and EC.

The three-day workshop began with a forum that indicated the first steps of a community of practice for the implementation of impact indicators. Pilot countries shared their national experience with impact indicators relevant to DLDD, with the status of the National Action Programmes (NAP) alignment process, and with the identification of area affected by DLDD. The second day focused on challenges and opportunities of harmonization, leading eventually to standardization among countries, and on familiarization with the UNCCD impact indicators and associated metrics. The final day was devoted to designing the national exercise, and concluded with an action plan to support participants in applying impact indicators at the national level. The Pilot countries intend to share their experiences with other Parties at the 10th Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 10) to the UNCCD, in October 2011. [UNCCD News]