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CST Conference on Bio-physical and Socio-economic Monitoring and Assessment

The 9th session of the CCD Committee on Science and Technology (CST) was held along with UNCCD COP9 from 21 to 25 September 2009 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

From 22 to 24 September the CST session for the first time was held in a scientific conference-style format, entitled

Bio-physical and Socio-economic Monitoring and Assessment of Desertification and Land Degradation to Support Decision Making in Land and Water Management.

This international scientific conference was prepared and organised by the Dryland Science for Development (DSD) consortium in collaboration with the Bureau of the CST. It brought together leading scientists from around the world to discuss the state-of-the art in monitoring and assessing land degradation and desertification, sustainable land management, and the management of related knowledge.

In order to maximize knowledge-sharing and the policy-relevant output, the conference topic was prepared through three Thematic Working Groups (WGs) on:

  • (1) Integrated Monitoring and Assessment
  • (2) Land Rehabilitation and Sustainable Land Management
  • (3) Economic and Social Drivers and Knowledge Managment


  • Each WG prepared a White Paper on its topic, including policy recommendations. These White Papers were subject to extensive reviews and to two global online consultations from 22/05 to 30/06/2009 (Version 1) and from 16/08 to 31/10/2009 (Version 2) and were presented and discussed at the Conference.

    Another opportunity for participation in the scientific discussions was through a competitive poster session, where some 50 posters where presented during the whole duration of COP9 (Poster Abstracts, 636 kB).

    Finally, a Synthesis Paper (288 kB), highlighting the most important scientific conclusions and formulating eleven policy recommendations, was submitted to the CST and COP.

    now on-line First UNCCD Scientific Conference Proceedings

    Download PDF DSD Cover Letter (84 kB)

    Download PDF Proceedings of the UNCCD First Scientific Conference (10.6 MB)


    Dissemination in 2011


    The main outcomes of the Scientific Conference, including the 11 Policy Recommendations, have been published as a Special Issue on Understanding Land Degradation Trends in the journal Land Degradation and Development. All articles of this issue are available for free download.

    In order to inform the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) of the findings of the UNCCD First Scientific Conference, DSD produced a summary brochure that was distributed during the preparatory meetings leading up to the UNFCCC's Conference of the Parties in Copenhagen in 2010. Entitled "Land Matters", the brochure highlights the connections between land degradation and climate change. The brochure was published as a UNCCD Science Brief (636 kB).

    DSD made further efforts to inform the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD), which at the time of the UNCCD First Scientific Conference was also focused on revising its post-2010 targets and indicators. Both Conventions realized that cross-learning could be helpful. As a consequence, the 2010 Biodiversity Indicators Partnership (2010-BIP) presented a concept for harmonizing the monitoring and assessment frameworks of the two Conventions (BIP Indicators News and Lessons Learnt, 1 MB).

    This framework was further advocated in a scientific publication by Cowie et al. in Land Degradation & Development.

    In addition, DSD participated in UNCBD's Sixth Trondheim Biodiversity Conference which was an input to UNCBD's deliberations on biodiversity (2.7 MB).

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    Last update: Thursday 06 October 2011 Page 150 created on: Thursday 31 July 2008