The Committee on Science and Technology (CST)


In line with Article 24 of the UNCCD, the Committee on Science and Technology (CST) is established as a subsidiary body of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to provide it with information and advice on scientific and technological matters relating to combating desertification and mitigating the effects of drought. The CST meets in conjunction with the ordinary sessions of the COP. It is meant to be multidisciplinary, open to the participation of all Parties, and composed of government representatives competent in the relevant fields of expertise. 

Terms of Reference

The CST is assigned various advisory functions, data and information functions, research and review function, functions related to technology, and evaluation functions (15/COP.1). It makes recommendations to the COP on ways and means to facilitate and strengthen networking at the local, national and other levels, with a view to ensuring that the thematic needs set out in Articles 16 to 19 of the Convention are addressed. The role and responsibilities of the Committee are actively supported by the work of the CST Bureau.

Reshaping the CST

When adopting The Strategy (2008-2018) to enhance the implementation of the Convention, the COP decided to reshape the operation of the CST. The elements include, among others, the periodic organization of CST sessions in a predominantly scientific and technical conference-style format. Each session focuses on a defined priority theme. More information on past Scientific Conferences can be found under the following link: UNCCD Scientific Conferences.

At its eleventh session the COP decided to establish a Science-Policy Interface (SPI) with the goal to facilitate a two-way science-policy dialogue and ensure the delivery of policy-relevant information, knowledge and advice on desertification/land degradation and drought (DLDD) (decision 23/COP.11 and its corrigendum). The establishment of the SPI was decided as a means to strengthen the CST and to achieve operational objective 3 of The Strategy which is for the Convention “to become a global authority on scientific and technical knowledge pertaining to DLDD”. 


The thirteenth session of the Committee on Science and Technology (CST13) will be held in conjunction with the thirteenth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 13) in Ordos, Inner Mongolia, China