CSO Network Activities

The Inaugural Meeting, April 14th

The inaugural meeting of CSO Network for Combating Desertification, was held in Changwon, on April 14th. At the inaugural meeting, with more than 60 representatives from 57 member organizations – mainly from Gyeongnam Province and Seoul - attended, the participants all agreed that active participation of civil society is a key to the success of COP10. They reviewed the proposed organizational structure, bylaws and work plan of the Network and made minor changes in the bylaws.

The Launching Ceremony of CSO Network for Combating Desertification, April 15th          

On April 15, the launching ceremony was held at Changwon Convention Center with some side events. With over 300 participants from various civil society organizations and related agencies including the Governor of Gyeongnam Province and the Deputy Minister of Korea Forest Service, the ceremony was commenced with an opening performance by an artist. The artist drew a beautiful Earth with a COP10 logo with a big brush and ink on a large canvas on the stage.

In his welcoming remarks, the Governor of Gyeongnam Province stressed the importance of the role of civil society in combating desertification and mentioned his recent visit to Inner Mongolia to sign an agreement between Gyeongnam Province and Inner Mongolia for joint effort to combat desertification. The Minister of Korea Forest Service also delivered his congratulatory message through the Deputy Minister.

The position paper of Korean civil society on COP10 which was adopted by the inaugural meeting was read by two representatives from the volunteer group for COP10. In the position paper, CSO network hoped that the desertification issue would be a norm and frame to link various civil societies of environment, local and global development, human rights, gender, agriculture and food security.  Also, CSO network urged that “the Korean government should develop and lead the East Asia Regional Action Plan to Combat Desertification through establishing (tentatively named) ‘East Asian Partnership to Combat Desertification’”, and expressed a desire that “COP10 to be held in Korea, a divided country, should become an opportunity to draw attention from citizens and the international community to deforestation in North Korea which has been repeatedly suffering food and fuel shortage, flood and landslide due to deforestation and lead practical aid projects”.

After Executive Secretary Luc Gnacadja’s video message was played, the participants watched a documentary film on desertification and met its producer. and then listened to a special lecture on combating desertification which was delivered by Mr. Lee, Tae-il, secretary general of Eco-peace Asia. After the event, Potted trees as a memento were distributed to the participants.

You can find the news about the establishment of CSO Network on UNCCD homepage as well. http://www.unccd.int/cso/menu.php?newch=cso

1st Workshop, May 17th-18th

CSO network held an internal workshop for the member organizations to keep abreast of the progress made, and discuss the future plan of the network, with an attendance of 50 people. Mr. Lee Jung-min, the secretary general, and Mr. Oh Ki-chul, the co-chair of the steering committee of the network made a keynote speech regarding the progress and the scheduled plan of the network(Mr.Lee), and the UNCCD and the history of international development cooperation(Mr.Oh). After the presentation of each sub-committee, at the whole discussion which finalized the workshop, the agreements on the following were made ;
 1. Make the efforts to draw international attention to deforestation of North Korea,
2. Seek the way of sustaining the CSO network after COP10,
3. Make an emphasis on Asian dust, as an Asian desertification issue in COP10.            

Campaign on Combating Desertification,
 June 17th

The campaign for drawing the nations’ attention to desertification was co-held by Korean Forest Service and Gyeongnam province government, which was conducted by CSO network, with an attendance of about 500 people. The picture exhibition and the games regarding desertification proceeded. Also there was a series of concerts and performances - eco concert, and the performance, of combating desertification. Ms. Park, Hye-gyeong of a Korean singer and Miss. Bae,  Dal-lae of a body painting artist were appointed as the honorary ambassador of CSO network on this spot.

The International Symposium on Combating
 Desertification, June 23th

On June 23th, CSO network participated in the International Symposium on Combating Desertification which was held by Korea Forest Service, Gyeongsnam Province government and UNCCD. The network organized one session regarding ‘The Role of CSO for improving implementation of UNCCD’. During the session, Mr. Paek, Chan-Hong, co-chair of the steering committee, presented ‘The role of CSO for a new DLDD/SLM agenda and cooperative development system at Korean and Asian level’, and two special speakers – Mrs. Khadija Razavi from CENESTA(Iranian NGO), and Marcos Montorio, NGO and civil society liaison officer – also made the presentations on ‘Civil Society Experiences in Previous COPs’, and ‘Addressing the UNCCD agenda related to CSO’, respectively.     

2nd Workshop, June 25th

On June 25th, CSO network held its workshop in Changwon with an attendance of two visiting speakers, and the officers from the network, Gyeongnam Province government, and Korean Forest Service. During the workshop, the presentation and discussions on the role of CSOs in preparation of COP10 and UNCCD process for combating desertification proceeded. Participants’ level of agreement, by discussion, was developed on several issues including making efforts to invite North Korea to COP10.