Media Advisory: Upcoming global conference to discuss desertification, land degradation and drought

The media is invited to participate in the UNCCD Conference and Committee meetings to be held in Bonn, Germany, 9-19 April 2013

Scientists, governments and civil society organizations will converge at the World Conference Center in Bonn, Germany, from 9-19 April to carry out the first ever comprehensive cost-benefit analysis of desertification, land degradation and drought. Also, for the very first time, governments will provide concrete data on the status of poverty and of land cover in the areas affected by desertification in their countries.

The advance reports put the costs of land degradation at about 3-5 percent of the global agricultural Gross Domestic Production. The cost of siltation of water reservoirs is estimated at USD18.5 billion per year, and salinity in global agriculture at about USD12 billion per year. And according to the most recent national reports, desertification affects 168 countries today.  

These are some of the findings that will be considered by three meetings to be convened under the aegis of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) - the third Special Session of the Committee on Science and Technology (CST S-3) and its 2nd Scientific Conference that will take place from 9-12 April 2013, and at the eleventh session of the Committee for the Review of the Implementation of the Convention (CRIC 11) that will follow on 15-19 April 2013.  

Concern has been growing about the cost of failing to address desertification and land degradation now, particularly in light of the projected global population trends and challenges that are intensifying competition over the land resource.   The meetings are open to journalists accredited to attend. The requirements for accreditation are specified in the document titled Information for the Media, which together with the accompanying Application Form can be downloaded from this page. A document containing Frequently Asked Questions is also provided.  

While this information is provided in the English, French and Spanish languages only, the Conference and meetings will be conducted in the six UN languages mainly.   Accredited journalists needing visas to travel to Germany can, upon request, be issued with a letter by the UNCCD secretariat to facilitate this process.

Inquires about accreditation should be sent to: wmwangi@unccd.int . Submissions for accreditation should be sent to: press@unccd.int , with reference/subject line reading: Accreditation to CST S-3/CRIC 11.

About the UNCCD
Developed as a result of the Rio Summit in 1992, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is a unique instrument that has brought attention to land degradation and drought in one of the most vulnerable ecosystems and people in the world. Fifteen years after coming into force, the UNCCD is increasingly recognized as an instrument that is making an important contribution to the achievement of sustainable development, food security and poverty reduction.

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