Kenya’s Dr. , Ondimu from the MENR, flanked by Mr. Dan Kithinji from the Ministry, making a statement on behalf of the African region group in Ordos, China
Kenya was among the 196 countries that attended the thirteenth Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD COP 13) that opened in Ordos, Inner Mongolia, China.
The conference also attended by 20 international organizations, witnessed the handing over the COP presidency to Mr. Zhang Jianlong, Minister of State Forestry Administration, China, as the 13th President.
The COP presidency was handed over from Turkey who held the 12th conference presidency. During the handing over, the country was represented by Hon. Cemal Noğay, Deputy Undersecretary, Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs, Turkey, on behalf of Hon. Veysel Eroğlu, Minister of Forestry and Water Affairs.
Mr. Zhang Jianlong urged the conference parties to urgently consider integrating the Sustainable Development Goal on Desertification in their development plans in order to achieve a Land Degradation-neutral world by 2030.
Equally, he called on the parties to consider the future strategic Framework of the Convention, Implementation of the comprehensive communication strategy, and the United Nations Decade for Deserts and the fight against Desertification.
He noted that COP 13 was a gathering of great minds to discuss ways to combat desertification and share experiences of controlling the spread of deserts in the world.
The President also called on the delegates to ensure that, starting from Ordos, and in the course of combating desertification, they embark on a fight side by side and engage in a common Endeavour to pursue green development.
Addressing the same gathering, the Executive Secretary of the UNCCD, Monique Barbut observed that, substantial achievements have resulted from efforts made over the past years. She added that more was expected with the strategic framework to be formed at from Ordos’s conference.
The executive Secretary further expressed fears that, the window of opportunity created from aligning the Convention with the 2030 Agenda was limited against high expectations. This therefore required more effort at COP 13 and thereafter to enable refocus implementation and translating the Land Degradation Neutrality targets into action.
Baurbut further noted that, COP 13 needed to take decisions on issues that had not been dealt with, including drought and sand storms, gender, land tenure security, and acceleration of knowledge and strategic communication.
Kenya on behalf of the African region and in its capacity as chair of the African group of negotiators, in a statement read by Dr. Kennedy Ondimu, of the State Department of Environment, said the country was looking forward to the adoption of the future strategic framework, which will be a landmark of the conference.
This will enhance UNCCD’s role in contributing to the implementation of sustainable development goals and the Rio convention, in a synergetic and integrated manner Dr. Ondimu added.