Summary of the UNCCD COP 10  


Name of Conference

  • (Korean) 유엔사막화방지협약 제10차 당사자총회
  • (English) The 10th Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification

Date: October 10, 2011 (Mon) ~ October 21 (Fri)

Venue: Changwon Exhibition Convention Center (CECO) in Changwon-City, Gyeongnam Province, Republic of Korea

Hosts: Korea Forest Service, Gyeongnam Province, UNCCD Secretariat

  • Related government sponsors: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs.

Participants (Expected) Around 3,000 participants

  • Government Representatives (194 member Parties) : Around 1,000 representatives
  • Persons from Related International Organizations and Inter-government Organizations : Around 1,000 participants
  • NGOs and Observer Member Parties : Around 1,000 participants


Convention Background

  • Damage from devastation and desertification of forest lands and the drought has surfaced as an international issue related to climate change that needs to be solved.
    • 6 million ha of forest land, which is the same as the surface area of forests in the Republic of Korea, is being destroyed in the world each year.
    • In the past 40 years, 24 million people have left their homeland due to desertification and one third of grain plantations have been denuded.
      Desertification refers to devastation of land due to climate changes and human activities in dry, semi-dry and sub humid areas.
  • The "Agenda 21" was selected at the Rio summit in 1992, where a decision was made to provide a frame for regional and international cooperation to prevent desertification and ease damage from the drought, and the UNCCD was established afterwards in 1994.
  • Yellow dust, desertification and devastation of forest land in Asia have received little attention in comparison to the gravity of the situation, and the UNCCD has not been held before.
    • The desertification rate in Asia is 37%, which is higher than in Africa (32%).
    • There is a need to stimulate interests and support of international organizations and other member Parties related to common issues in the Asian region such as yellow dust, desertification and devastation of forest lands.
  • Not only the financial damage suffered by Koreans, but also the physical and mental damage are of a serious matter due to yellow dust from desert areas in China and Mongolia. ※ Yellow dust related damage: 3.8 trillion won to 7.3 trillion won per year (Korea Environment Institute, 2002)
  • Reforestation technology and Korean know-how are recognized by the world for successfully restoring devastated forest land in the shortest period of time for a developing country.
    • International organizations such as the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) have highly evaluated the reforestation cases from the Republic of Korea and are expecting the Republic of Korea to contribute to the world as a model country.
      ※ Lester Brown introduced the Republic of Korea as a successful model for international reforestation and Executive Director of UNEP Achim Steiner mentioned restoration of forests by the Republic of Korea was something the world should be proud of at the Ramsar Convention in December, 2008, in Changwon-City.
  • The Republic of Korea has played a leading role to prevent desertification in East Asia based on her experience in reforestation and technology over the years.

[Status of the Republic of Korea's Support for East Asian Desertification Prevention]

AreaType of SupportPeriodSurface Area
ChinaAfforestation Project to Prevent Desertification in Western Area2001∼20058,040 ha
ChinaAfforestation Project in Biyannur, inner Mongolia2008∼20101,000 ha
ChinaKubuqi Desert Forest Lands Ecology Restoration Project2006∼20101,400 ha
MongoliaGreen Belt Afforestation Project to Prevent Desertification2007∼20163,000 ha
MyanmarForest Lands Greenification Project in Dry Central Area2008∼2010 150 ha

  • The Republic of Korea has led the pursuit of inter-cooperation projects between multiple countries such as joint researches and training in order to prevent desertification and reduce damage from the drought.
    • The Republic of Korea has signed an MOU on forest lands with countries suffering from desertification in East Asia such as China, Mongolia and Myanmar, and pursued joint projects.
    • NEAFN (North East Asia Forest Network) in which China, Mongolia and the UNCCD (Asia Regional Unit Coordination of UNCCD) are participants that were established and operated for the joint cooperation on Northeast Asian desertification prevention.


Major Details of Meetings and Ceremonies

  • Official Ceremony → Reception, Opening Ceremony, Closing Ceremony
  • Meetings → Regular Session, CST Meeting, CRIC Meeting, The Subsidiary Local Meetings for Implementation of the Agreement in 5 Regions

  • Exhibition → COP Exhibition Hall, Photo Exhibition, Restoration Technology Fair

  • Side Events → Site Visit, Cultural Ceremony, Forest Fair


※ You can find more information about UNCCD COP10