Synergies among the Sister Conventions

UNCCD, CBD and UNFCCC Joint Liaison Group

Climate change, biological diversity, desertification, land degradation and drought are intricately related on the social, economic and environmental fronts.

Because these issues are closely linked, the secretariats of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) are engaged in collaborative actions to solve these challenges at all levels.

Synergies are found when addressing problems caused by climate change, biodiversity conservation, desertification, land degradation and drought (DLDD), such as:

  1. Forestry, sustainable land management (SLM), rural development, other land use sectors and agricultural production; reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+);
  2. Mitigation action under the Kyoto Protocol. This includes community non-forest fuel-related / energy efficiency, and bio-fuels;
  3. Adaptation through ecosystem approach, resilience capacities; and
  4. Training and education, awareness raising, information and science.

The national action programmes (NAPs), national biodiversity strategies and action plans (NBSAPs) and national adaptation programmes of action (NAPAs) are the implementation tools. Action at the national level represents an important opportunity to establish synergy, coherent policy instruments and cost-effective ways for implementation.

Joint Liaison Group (JLG)

The secretariats of the UNFCCC, the CBD and the UNCCD established a Joint Liaison Group (JLG) in August 2001 in order to enhance coordination among the three conventions. The JLG aims to collect and share information on the work programmes and operations of each convention. The responsibility for organizing and chairing meetings rotates among the secretariats.

DLDD and the Rio Convention’s long term objectives

​DLDD affected and prone areas are expected to increase in the future, causing severe impacts on their economies, especially in the Least Developed Countries, Small Islands Developing States and other developing countries. These impacts will also affect developed countries. Lower yields of crops or damage to crops, water stress, food insecurity, malnutrition, poor health and increased risk of population migration are forecast to become more common globally.

Rio+20 Outcome Yields New Milestone for Global Land Stewardship

The Rio+20 outcome on desertification, land degradation and drought is considered one of the successes of the Conference. Contained in paragraphs 205-209 of the Outcome Document, the world governments underline the economic and social significance of good land management.

In the outcome document, world leaders agree:

  • to strive for a land-degradation neutral world;
  • to reaffirm their resolve under the UNCCD to take coordinated action nationally, regionally and internationally;
  • to monitor land degradation globally and restore degraded lands in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas.

Terms of Reference and Modus Operandi

The Terms of Reference and Modus Operandi were initially discussed by the Executive Secretaries of the three Rio Conventions at the 11th meeting of the JLG. The Terms of Reference and Modus Operandi were formally approved at the 12th meeting of the JLG.