COP 13 to the UNCCD opens
Author: isi网站管理员-刘成Source: Updated: 2017-09-08

With a theme of "Combating Desertification for Human Well-being", the 13th Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP13) to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) was inaugurated in Ordos, Inner Mongolia autonomous region on Sept 6. 

More than 2,000 representatives of 196 parties and over 20 international organizations will attend the two-week event, which intends to implement a sustainable development agenda, develop a new strategic framework for the Convention, achieve Land Degradation Neutrality and seek for financial support. 

Zhang Jianlong, director of the State Forestry Administration of China and chairman of the conference, Monique Barbut, executive secretary of the Secretariat of the UNCCD, and Bu Xiaolin, chairwoman of the Inner Mongolia autonomous region, attended and addressed the opening ceremony. 


Zhang Jianlong, chairman of the COP 13, addresses the opening ceremony.

Zhang pointed out that China has one of the largest desertification areas in the world and that its population is the most affected. Accordingly, it has adopted a series of policies and measures since the founding of the People's Republic of China, which have proved effective. 

After more than half a century of continuous exploration and unremitting struggle, China has found a way to balance economic development and ecology. Since 2004, its desertification land areas have been reduced over three consecutive monitoring periods. In 2012, the Chinese government put the construction of ecological civilization into the overall layout of Socialism with Chinese characteristics, and set the target of achieving 50 percent governance of desertified land by 2020. 

During the conference, a report will be released to promote Land Degradation Neutrality. It will support implementation of relevant desertification control plans in the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and the Paris Agreement, as well as global sustainable land management.


Monique Barbut, executive secretary of the Secretariat of UNCCD, delivers a speech.

Barbut said that in the past few years the UNCCD has earnestly sought change and achieved great success. To further that success, the parties will now explore a new 2018-2030 strategic framework for finding and honoring agreement in the future.


Bu Xiaolin, chairwoman of the Inner Mongolia autonomous region, delivers a speech.

Bu pointed out that Inner Mongolia is praised for its bright scenery along the border of Northern China, and has the largest area of grassland and forests in China. The region currently has 182 natural reserves, three Global Geoparks, and 100 national-level forest parks, wetland parks and geoparks.

However, Inner Mongolia is covered by large sand fields accounting for 23 percent of China's land facing desertification. Nevertheless, with all efforts over the past decades, the desertification areas of Inner Mongolia have been reduced year by year. Since 2000, desert areas have shrunk by over 2.9 million hectares. Desertification control in the Kubiqi Desert won the UN Environment Award. 

Bu said the convening of the COP 13 provides a great opportunity for Inner Mongolian people to learn from the experience of desertification prevention and control in other countries. Inner Mongolia will strengthen cooperation with other countries, promoting better development of desertification prevention and control.

Also on Sept 6 an exhibition on "Building the Ecological Green Great Wall-- China's Achievements in Combating Desertification" opened with Chinese officials from the State Forestry Administration, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Inner Mongolia autonomous region and the Secretariat of the UNCCD in attendance. 

The exhibition showcases the arduous history and stunning achievements of China's desertification prevention program. China's effective practices and successful experience in combating desertification are on display, illustrating the extraordinary skills of Chinese scientific and technological personnel and the spiritual power of the Chinese people. 


Conference site

The first week of the conference has a technical focus and includes the meetings of the Committee on Science and Technology and the Committee for the Review of the Implementation of the Convention; major events in the second week include high-level meetings.

Other activities are also scheduled for the conference. For example, there will be an on-site inspection of desertification prevention methods, a tree planting activity, and a youth forum.

The UNCCD Secretariat attaches great importance to the COP 13 and has worked closely with China to ensure smooth and complete preparation. The members of the Organizing Committee of the conference have also worked together to guarantee the conference's success. Ordos, as the host city, has for its part contributed its diverse strengths in supporting the event, as has the government of the Inner Mongolia autonomous region.


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