Wednesday, 18 June 2014

First step to reporting on UNCCD completed

By Linda Straker

BOTH Government and non-governmental environmental stakeholders last week Thursday concluded the first step of preparing Grenada’s fifth National Report as required by the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and the island’s alignment to the global strategy to implement the articles of that convention, which were a direct recommendation of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit.

The aim of the Convention is to mitigate the effects of drought through National Action Programmes that incorporate long-term strategies supported by international co-operation and partnership arrangement. It is the sole legally-binding international agreement linking environment and development to sustainable land management.

One of the participants making a
contribution at the UNCCD workshop.
It’s against this background that Grenada was able to secure funding for the 2009 to 2012 Sustainable Land Management project and in 2012, implement a Land Degradation Assessment project to determine the extent, severity and impact of land degradation.

Merina Jessamy, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, explained that although Grenada ratified the convention in 1997 and established a national co-ordinating body, it was not until 2005 that a National Action Plan (NAP) was developed to guide the implementation of the convention. Since then, Grenada has completed its national reports on the convention.

“You might note that the implementation is challenged by some lapses and we will try to be more consistent, although the factors causing the lapses are not always in our control,” said Jessamy, who explained that the Convention remains important to Grenada.

A few of the participants at the workshop.
“As a Ministry, we cannot close our eyes for the challenge of land degradation because it threatens food security, livelihoods and biodiversity,” she said, while delivering the feature address at the opening ceremony of a three-day workshop.

In 2007, ten years after the convention was ratified and two years after Grenada created its own NAP, the UNCCD developed a ten-point strategy as a guide for implementing the convention. The three-day workshop at the National Stadium was not only aimed at reviewing the fifth national draft report, but also to develop the structure and content of the National Communications Strategy on the NAP, review the UNCCD National Action Plan and undertake a NAP Alignment exercise. The exercise was funded by the Global Environmental Facility.

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