South Africa to participate in Sept. UN conference on desertification

Source: Xinhua| 2017-09-04 23:42:55|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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CAPE TOWN, Sept. 4 (Xinhua) -- South Africa will participate in the forthcoming 13th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 13) to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) in September, the government announced on Monday.

This convention, scheduled for Sept. 6-16 in Ordos, China, presents an opportunity to create synergies and leverage on ongoing activities in the areas of biodiversity and climate change, said Albi Modise, spokesperson of the Department of Environmental Affairs.

South Africa will work collectively with all countries in the African region in advancing South Africa's positions and that of the region, Modise said.

The high level segment of this conference will consider and provide political guidance on challenges to emerging issues in desertification, land degradation and drought, according to Modise.

South Africa is a signatory to the UNCCD, which is one of the three Rio Conventions that include the Convention on Biological Diversity and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

The UNCCD was established in 1994 as the sole legally binding international agreement linking environment and development to sustainable land management. Its objective is to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought in countries experiencing serious drought and/or desertification, particularly in Africa, through effective actions.

The COP 13 will bring together the 195 parties to the UNCCD to collaborate in the development and implementation of strategies or frameworks aimed at improving the living conditions of people while maintaining and restoring the productivity of land and soil.

It is envisaged that the conference will finalize and adopt a new strategic framework for 2018-2030, organised under the theme "Towards a Healthy Land for Present and Future Generations."

South Africa will advocate for an orientation that facilitates the translation of policy into action through transformative initiatives, Modise said.