Deputy Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries to address African Regional Meeting for United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Pretoria

The Deputy Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Ms Maggie Sotyu will officially open the Africa Regional Preparatory Meeting ahead of the fourteenth session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD COP14) in Pretoria tomorrow, Wednesday 7 August 2019.

The Regional meeting provides an opportunity for the affected countries of each region to exchange views and experiences on activities to combat desertification and to strengthen their cooperation on issues that are best dealt with at the regional level. The UNCCD COP14 will take place from 2 to 13 September 2019 at the India Expo Centre and Mart, in New Delhi, India.

South Africa ratified the UNCCD in 1997. The objective of the Convention is to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought in countries experiencing serious drought and/or desertification, particularly in Africa. This is done through effective action at all levels, supported by international cooperation and partnership arrangements, in the framework of an integrated approach which is consistent with the Sustainable Development Goals, with a view to contributing to the achievement of sustainable development in affected areas.

At least 150 representatives from African countries will attend the regional meeting, which plays a crucial role in assisting affected countries of each region to prepare for the sessions of the COP and its subsidiary bodies, by allowing them to discuss and coordinate their views on priority issues before the sessions.

The Conference of the Parties (COP) is the supreme body of the Convention. It makes, within its mandate, the decisions necessary to promote the effective implementation of the UNCCD programme. It holds its sessions on a biennial basis. The COP meets every two years to agree on a programme of work and budgetary arrangements for the next biennium and consider guidance on a range of on-going and emerging environmental issues. The UNCCD COP has met on thirteenth occasions to date.

Source: Department of Environmental Affairs