When and where is COP 15 taking place?
Pursuant to provisions contained in decision 33/COP.14 and subsequent consultations with the Government of Côte d’Ivoire, the fifteenth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 15) of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and the meetings of its subsidiary bodies will take place at the Sofitel Abidjan Hôtel Ivoire in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, from 9 to 20 May 2022. Originally due to take place at the end of 2021, the event was postponed due to COVID-19.
Regional consultations of affected country Parties of the Convention’s regional implementation annexes for Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, Northern Mediterranean and Central and Eastern European country Parties in preparation to COP15 will be convened prior to the session from 7 to 8 May 2022, at the same venue.
A high-level opening segment, including a Heads of States Summit, round tables and interactive dialogue sessions among ministes and other high-ranking officials will take place on 9 and 10 May 2022.
What is the COP15 theme?
COP15’s theme, Land. Life. Legacy: From scarcity to prosperity, is a call to action to ensure land, the lifeline on this planet, continues to benefit present and future generations.
Land refers to the vision of a land degradation-neutral world and the potential to restore one billion hectares of degraded land by 2030. Land is life, and COP15 will address the role of land in climate-proofing and drought-proofing our planet and sustaining thriving biodiversity. Finally, legacy echoes the host country's commitment to host a COP with tangible impact through the Abidjan Legacy programme, and the ambition of leading a land legacy for future generations.
Land is the bedrock of a healthy, productive society, and COP15 will explore links between land and other key sustainability issues—from climate change and biodiversity conservation to green jobs and gender equality. These issues will be discussed at a Heads of State Summit, roundtables and interactive dialogue sessions among ministers and other high-ranking officials.
Why is COP15 important?
COP 15 is a key moment in the the fight against desertification, land degradation and drought. Through its decisions adopted by UNCCD’s 197 Parties, COP15 is expected to galvanize sustainable solutions for land restoration and drought resilience, with a strong focus on future-proofing land use.
It will build on the findings of the second edition of the Global Land Outlook, which will be released at the end of March, and offer a concrete response to the interlinked challenges of land degradation, climate change and biodiversity loss. We are now in the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, and it is vital that we move from commitments to action. What is needed is concrete, on-the-ground progress that puts land degradation neutrality front and center. Equally important are the related enabling objectives of gender equality, fair and equitable land tenure, and youth empowerment. While huge challenges remain, large-scale land restoration presents an unmissable opportunity to build on the success of initiatives such as the Great Green Wall.
What will happen at COP15?
COP 15 will bring together government ministers and high-level officials who will adopt decisions that aim to drive progress in the future sustainable management of one of our most precious commodities: land.
Negotiations will focus on the work of the fifteenth session of the Committee on Science and Technology (CST15), the twentieth session of the Committee for the Review of the Implementation of the Convention (CRIC20), and to other major issues included in the programme of work of the COP.
Outside of the formal negotiations, COP15 will feature a Heads of State Summit, Business Forum, Women’s Caucus, Youth Forum, as well as interactive dialogues and high-level roundtables that will bring together stakeholders from public and private sectors, civil society and academia to find solutions to some of the most pressing environmental problems we face today. The Rio Conventions Pavilion will focus on addressing the interlinked challenges of land degradation, climate change and biodiversity loss.
Just some of the multiple events that will take place are listed below:
- Land reGeneration: The role of youth in shaping sustainable land agenda
- Future-proofing land use: Shifting patterns in production and consumption
- Rights, rewards and responsibilities: The future of land stewardship
- Land restoration: A path to sustainable post-pandemic recovery
- The Big Dry: From disaster to drought resilience
How can I participate?
Information for participants is available here. You can also follow COP15 sessions via a webcast or get involved on social media.
Where can I find more information?
You can get all the latest news and information about COP15 at the UNCCD website: https://www.unccd.int/cop15.
About the UNCCD
The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is the only legally binding international agreement on land issues. The Convention promotes good land stewardship. Its 197 Parties aim, through partnerships, to implement the Convention and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. The UNCCD is one of the three Rio Conventions – along with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) – that emerged from the 1992 Earth Summit.