The Changwon Initiative

Changwon

Background

Established in 1994, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification – UNCCD – is the sole legally binding international agreement linking environment and development to sustainable land management. Its 10-year Strategy states as the vision “to forge a global partnership to reverse and prevent desertification/land degradation and to mitigate the
effects of drought in affected areas in order to support poverty reduction and environmental
sustainability”.

The Convention’s 195 Parties work together to improve the living conditions for people in areas affected by land degradation, to maintain and restore land and soil productivity, and to mitigate the effects of drought. The UNCCD is particularly committed to
a bottom-up approach, encouraging the participation of local people in combating desertification and land degradation.

COP 10 , Changwon

Implementation of the UNCCD 10-year Strategy (The Strategy) was one of the main topics at the 10th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP), held in October 2011 in Changwon, the Republic of Korea.

The Government of the Republic of Korea, as the host of COP 10, launched the “Changwon initiative” to complement The Strategy through target-setting and the consolidation of effective partnerships, in order to enhance the implementation of the Convention. As a cross-cutting theme, the Initiative promoted “zero net land degradation” as a global target,or commitment, to build a land degradation neutral world.

Main components of the Changwon Initiative

The Changwon initiative was formulated to support three main components:

1. Enhancing the scientific process of the UNCCD, including the consideration of target setting ; definition of impact indicators for monitoring and assessing desertification/land degradation and drought (DLDD) processes, and the provision of scientific advice focusing on DLDD.

2. Mobilizing additional resources and facilitating partnership arrangements, which would involve activities ranging from supporting national action programmes and synergies to the engagement of private sector.

3. Supporting a global framework for the promotion of best practices, notably the Land for Life Award.