The objective of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is to combat desertification and land degradation, and to mitigate the effects of drought (DLDD) in affected countries around the world, particularly in Africa, through effective action at all levels. Established in 1994, the UNCCD is the sole legally binding international agreement linking environment and development to sustainable land management.
The Global Mechanism (GM) is an institution of the UNCCD, mandated to assist countries in the mobilization of financial resources from the public and private sector for activities that prevent, control or reverse desertification, land degradation and drought. As the operational arm of the convention, the Global Mechanism supports countries to translate the Convention into action. With the view to increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of existing financial mechanisms, the GM is requested to promote “actions leading to the mobilization and channeling of substantial financial resources, including for the transfer of technology, on a grant, and/or on concessional or other terms, to affected developing country Parties” (Article 21, para. 4, UNCCD). Such actions include a broad range of country-level strategic planning and implementation efforts.
In September 2015, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Sustainable Development Goals, including goal 15, which aims to “protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems,
sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss”. The main expected result is defined under target 15.3 to “combat desertification, restore degraded land and soil, including land affected by desertification, drought and floods, and strive to achieve a land degradation-neutral world” by 2030. The 12th Session of the Conference of Parties (COP) of the UNCCD endorsed the concept of Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) as a guiding principle for the implementation of the Convention and requested the Global Mechanism to assist countries in establishing targets to achieve SDG target 15.3 through an “LDN target setting Support Programme”. As its 13th session the COP requested the GM to support countries in mobilizing resources to carry-out investments to meet their voluntary LDN targets and other activities to meet the SDG target 15.3 This was reaffirmed at the 14th session of the COP in New Delhi in September 2019.
The Global Mechanism is therefore currently spearheading several initiatives to implement its resource mobilization mandate and respond to Parties’ need for innovative approaches to attain the Convention’s aims, including: (i) Supporting countries in the development of land-based transformative projects and programmes (TPP) through the provision of technical support in the preparation of proposals jointly with financial and technical partners to deliver their voluntary land degradation neutrality (LDN) targets;
(ii) Development of innovative financial initiatives aiming at channeling resources from new public and private funding sources, including through blended finance;
(iii) Development of new integrated approaches to facilitate the financing and implementation of projects contributing to achieve synergies across the objectives of the three Rio Conventions;
(iv) Strengthening and developing partnerships with a view to facilitate country-level implementation of the Convention.
The Associate Programme Officer will support the implementation of the LDN Target Setting Programme, development of Transformative Projects and Programmes and implementation of the Drought Initiative. The position is based in the Global Mechanism in UNCCD Office, Bonn, Germany.