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GEO-LDN Principals´Meeting 2024: Celebrate the progress and co-create the way forward

On 11 and 12 March 2023, the principals of the GEO-LDN Flagship (representing the Leadership, Steering Committee, and Secretariat) met in Bonn to review the status as well as outline the next steps for the Flagship. The two-day workshop brought together principals from  different institutions across the globe, including  AfriGEO, Conservation International (C.I.), Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS), Centre de Suivi Écologique (CSE), Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), European Space Agency (ESA), Group on Earth Observations (GEO), Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC), the Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD), United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), University of Energy and Natural Resources in Sunyani, Ghana (UENR) and the World Overview of Conservation Approaches and Technologies (WOCAT).

The goal of the extensive workshop was to gather the principals to follow up on the pending issues since the previous meeting in 2022 and envision the key steps for the current year as well as the years to come. Together, the attending principals recollected the milestones accomplished in 2023 and previewed the operational plan for the exciting year of 2024, which foresees a major year-end event that is the UNCCD 16th Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 16) at Riyadh of Saudi Arabia. A considerable amount of time was spent on discussing the strategic outlook for strengthening the international and diverse network within the Flagship. 

Another big focus of the workshop was driving continuous country engagement and ensuring their strong presence as well as that of GEO-LDN at COP16. The principals gathered plenty of ideas on how to foster presence of and exchange between countries at the COP through pavilion design and event planning. There was a consensus on using COP as a key incentive to drive country engagement in progressing on their LDN targets; it may also serve as a site to facilitate peer-to-peer exchange and network building between countries with common LDN targets or experiences in working towards their use cases.

Many of our principals also contributed to the UNCCD workshop on revising the Good Practice Guidance for SDG target 15.3.1 monitoring and reporting, which took place in the immediate next days of the Principals Meeting.

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