Agropolis International is leading the STK4SD consortium for the organization of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) 3rd Scientific Conference (CNULCD) in March 2015 in Cancun (Mexico)


© Govindasamy Agoramoorthy, Shutterstock

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Agropolis International and CSFD co-organizers of the 3rd UNCCD scientific conference

The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) 3rd international scientific conference on “combating desertification, land degradation and drought for poverty reduction and sustainable development – the contribution of science, technology, traditional knowledge and practices” will be held from 9 to 12 March 2015 in Cancun (Mexico).

The conference aims to attract the widest possible range of scientific, local and traditional knowledge that can be harnessed to achieve poverty reduction and sustainable development in areas susceptible to desertification, land degradation and drought.

One of the major challenges facing delegates to the conference is the development of new scientific insights and recommendations to policy makers with regards to the assessment of vulnerability of socio-ecosystems to climate change and current and future capacities to adapt.

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Together with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Convention on Biological Diversity, the UNCCD is one of the three conventions set up after the 1992 Rio Earth Summit. Like the other two Rio conventions, the UNCCD has a subsidiary body for science and technology (the Committee on Science and Technology - CST). In 2008 the Conference of Parties decided to include a Scientific Conference on topical themes as one of the special sessions of the CST, in order to produce assessments and scientific summaries to form the basis for its political negotiations. So far, two Scientific Conferences have been organized (in 2009 in Buenos Aires and in 2013 in Bonn).

Sahara © Boris Stroujko, Shutterstock


The UNCCD CST Bureau has entrusted the STK4SD Consortium (see below), led by Agropolis International, to organize the 3rd Scientific Conference, scheduled for the beginning of 2015. A Memorandum of Understanding between Agropolis International on behalf of the STK4SD consortium and the UNCCD Secretariat has been signed last September in Windhoek (Namibia), on the occasion of the 11th Conference of parties (COP11).


By bringing together scientists, policy-makers and civil society stakeholders from all parts of the globe, the third UNCCD Scientific Conference aims:

  • To draw up a report on the current state of knowledge showing how this can be used to combat desertification and encourage sustainable management in arid regions
  • To draw the attention of scientists towards a more global and forward thinking community-based approach for the future to encourage innovative scientific questioning
  • To encourage interactions between regional, interregional and international research programs by setting up networks to exchange findings, creating a ground for implementing joint programs on a large scale
  • To study how changes in communities and the acquisition of new scientific knowledge can drive change and development of traditional knowledge
  • To provide the UNCCD Conference of Parties with the scientific basis required for defining its agenda and its recommendations for implementing action programmes by member countries




Sahel © Scott S. Brown, Shutterstock


An international scientific consortium for organizing the conference (STK4SD)

The “Scientific and Traditional Knowledge for Sustainable Development” (STK4SD) consortium was appointed by the CST Bureau to organize the 3rd Scientific Conference of the UNCCD. It is composed of five major organizations, bringing together a high level of scientific expertise and practical skills in the organization of international conferences with a long established commitment to the operations of the UNCCD. Its members are actively involved in all the regions concerned by the UNCCD, proof of its capacity to mobilize resources, organizations and stakeholders at all levels:

    Agropolis International is an association based in Montpellier supported by central and local government. Its members include nearly 30 research centers and higher education establishments in the Languedoc-Roussillon region, with 2,300 scientists, working in the fields of agriculture, food, biodiversity and the environment, much of their work focusing on the Mediterranean and tropical regions. As the leader of the consortium, Agropolis International benefits from the collective expertise of the French Scientific Committee on Desertification and hosts the Committee on its premises. The French Scientific Committee on Desertification (CSFD) includes 20 members from French universities and scientific institutions appointed by the Ministry for Higher Education and Research, and chosen to represent a wide range of expertise on desertification. The CSFD is the Vice-President of the Consortium, in particular at the UNCCD meetings.

    DesertNet International is an international scientific network for research into desertification that brings together nearly 300 experts from 47 countries and provides a platform for international science policy discussion.

    The CGIAR Consortium is a global research partnership for a food secure future. The CGIAR aims to reduce rural poverty, improve food security, human health and nutrition and encourage more sustainable management of natural resources. The research is carried out by the 15 centers that are members of the CGIAR Consortium, including the ICARDA and the ICRISAT, and which work closely together with hundreds of partner organizations.

    The Sahara and Sahel Observatory (OSS), an intergovernmental African organization based in Tunisia, focusing on concerted, sustainable management of natural resources in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas in Sahel - Sub Saharan Africa. The OSS members include 22 African countries, 5 non-African countries and 10 international, sub-regional and non-government organizations.

    The Argentine Institute for Arid Zone Research (IADIZA), an institute of the Argentine National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET), whose aim is to improve understanding of the structure and functioning of arid zones and the transfer of technology and know-how through education/ training and capacity-building.


Past events



Next meeting of the Scientific Committee, Agropolis International, Montpellier




Update on 3/13/15

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