On 29 March 2020, the Global Dryland Ecosystem Programme (Global-DEP) launched its scientific report (Chinese edition) successfully in Beijing. The United Nations Environment Programme - International Ecosystem Management Partnership (UNEP-IEMP) co-sponsored the event with the Synthesis Research Center of Chinese Ecosystem Research Network (CERN), and the Department of External Cooperation of the Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research of Chinese Academy of Sciences (IGSNRR, CAS). Distinguished scholars from the field of ecology and environment, officials of international organizations, representatives of universities and scientific research institutions, and other special guests attended the event. Ms. Linxiu Zhang, Director of UNEP-IEMP, attended the launch ceremony and participated in the panel discussion.
The Launch Ceremony of the Global-DEP Scientific Report
The launch ceremony was facilitated by Mr. Zhenyu Wang, Deputy Director of the Bureau of International Cooperation of CAS, and Ms. Wang Yanfen, Executive Vice President of the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences. At the beginning of the ceremony, Prof. Bojie Fu, Co-chair of Global-DEP Scientific Committee, introduced the objectives, conceptual framework, research tasks, and organizational structure Global-DEP as defined in the report . Dr. Jian Liu, Director of UNEP’s Science Division, Prof. Fahu Chen, Director of the Geographical Society of China (GSC) and Director of the Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research of CAS, Mr. Jinghua Cao, Executive Director of the Secretariat of the Alliance of International Science Organizations (ANSO), Yuanming Zhang, Director of the Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography (XIEG) of CAS, and Ms. Linxiu Zhang provided comprehensive comments on the report during the panel discussion.
During the discussion, Linxiu Zhang figured out that as an international collaborative centre jointly established by UNEP and CAS, UNEP-IEMP has been committed to promoting South-South cooperation and contributing to the realization of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the implementation of Paris Agreement in developing countries. She expressed that UNEP-IEMP has been active in providing support to the Secretariat of Global-DEP Scientific Committee and co-organizing this event.
Then Director Zhang shared three main points about the report as well as her expectations for further the cooperation between UENP-IEMP and Global-DEP. First, Director Zhang stressed that the core values of Global-DEP and UNEP-IEMP’s Flagship Programme on "Climate, Ecosystems and livelihoods" (CEL) are highly consistent, both providing support for the realization of SDGs in developing countries using inter-disciplinary and nexus approaches. Second, case studies are useful to demonstrate scientific evidence for planning. Over the years, UNEP-IEMP has accumulated rich experience and resources in case studies. Under the "From Seed to Table" initiative launched by UNEP-IEMP and its partners, the cases in Aohan village of Inner Mongolia and Wangjinzhuang of Hebei Province are highly related to dryland ecosystems and can be added to Global-DEP’s base of case studies in the future. Finally, in order to better promote and apply the concept, data and cases of Global-DEP, the role of capacity-building is also indispensable, in which more attention should be paid to community participation and women empowerment.
Ms. Zhang Linxiu, Director of UNEP-IEMP, making a speech in the panel discussion
Introduction of the Global-DEP
In order to meet the challenges faced by global dryland areas, the Global-DEP was formally approved by the CAS as a key international cooperation project, with an aim to provide a cooperation platform for the research on global drylands and promote the observation, research and management of dryland ecosystems. The Global-DEP Scientific Committee is co-chaired by Prof. Bojie Fu from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Dr. Mark Stafford Smith from Australia, with a Secretariat hosted by the CERN Synthesis Research Center and supported by UNEP-IEMP. Through three years of efforts in investigation and consultation, the Global-DEP working groups developed the scientific report and recently published a themed issue on “dryland social-ecological systems in changing environments” on the journal Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, which introduces the Global-DEP conceptual framework and research progress in relevant thematic fields systematically.
More details about Global-DEP is available here.
For more information, please contact Dr. Chao Fu.