News / 29 July 2009

Results at the CSD in New York?

The 17th session of the Commission for Sustainable Development of the United Nations (UNCSD) took place in New York in May. This session, which commenced last year, was continued by Gerda Verburg, the Dutch Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality. The subjects on the agenda at this 17th session were Africa, Agriculture, Drought & Desertification, Rural Development and Land. Both ENDS was present in New York to follow the negotiations.


Drought, desertification and land degradation have been focal points of Both ENDS' work for years. In projects such as Drynet, Both ENDS supports local Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), like women, environmental or famers groups, to gain a bargaining position. The CSD meetings were the ideal place to bring Drynet to the attention of others. For this reason, Both ENDS, in collaboration with CARI from France and Drynet Coordination Group from Norway, organised a side event about the implementation of CSD agreements and the role of these civil society organisations.


CSOs are closest to local populations, they work in the local environment and therefore possess a lot of knowledge about the causes of and possible solutions for land degradation. To prevent land degradation, or to fight it and turn things around, CSOs have to win their place at national and international negotiations. The participants at the side event were in such agreements that CSOs could play a crucial role, that the discussion was primarily centred on 'how' they could do that.


Nathalie van Haren, Policy Officer at Both ENDS, wrote a blog about the progress of the negotiations. Together with partner organisations CARI and The Drylands Coordination Group, Nathalie wrote a critical article for Outreach magazine, which reported daily on the developments at the CSD. Afterwards they were asked to write another article on what the outcomes of the negotiations will mean for people living in drylands.


For further information about the CSD meetings, read the blog, the first and second article in Outreach, or contact Nathalie van Haren.


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