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‘A Day With the CBM’ and the students of Bonn International School

Bonn, Germany – On the 1st November, the Capacity Building Marketplace (CBM) of the Secretariat of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) hosted three very special guests from Bonn International School: Auriane, Alice and Benedicte came to spend a day with the CBM Team at the UNCCD headquarters.

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When the CBM Team visited Bonn International School in June as part of the CBM 2019 outreach programme, it ran an interactive quiz with questions related to the presentations given. The group with the highest score was awarded a visit to Bonn UN Campus, the UNCCD and other agencies’ headquarters.

The visitors interacted with various United Nations (UN) staff members sharing their views on land degradation and other global environmental issues.

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The day started with the multicultural CBM Team, composed by Jorge Sanz Fernandez (Spain, UNCCD-CBM Consultant), Lilia Maximova (Russia, UNCCD-CBM Intern), Raissa Tadia (Cameroon, Former UNCCD-CBM Intern) and Loretta Adowaa Asare (Ghana, Former UNCCD-CBM Intern), welcoming the visitors at the entrance of the Bonn UN Campus and guiding them to the UNCCD-CBM office, where Jorge Sanz briefly introduced the visitors to the Campus, the role of the UNCCD, and more specifically the UNCCD-CBM.

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Then, the CBM Team shown the visitors its daily activities, such as the research and publication of opportunities related to Sustainable Land Management (SLM) on our website, our participation in events organised by our team and in collaboration with other UN agencies, our Social Media (SM) activities, and a brief introduction on how to use the UNCCD Online Library Catalogue and the Knowledge Hub (UNCCD-KH).

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To have a complete introduction to the UNCCD work, the students visited the Global Mechanism (UNCCD-GM). UNCCD-GM is the operational arm of the Convention which assists countries in the mobilization of financial resources to implement the Convention and address desertification, land degradation and drought. Mr. Hansol Park (Republic of Korea, Associate Programme Officer) elaborated on the projects that have been implemented to mobilize financial resources so far.

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Additionally, the CBM guests visited the Chief of the Science, Technology and Implementation Unit (STI) of the UNCCD Secretariat, Mr. Johns Muleso Kharika (Malawi), who warmly welcomed them and shown his interest and involvement with the young students.

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After a small lunch break, the visitors were honourably welcomed by Dr. Pradeep Monga (India, UNCCD Deputy Executive Secretary), who was genuinely interested in knowing the background and future ambitions of the students, while giving them useful insights on how to approach their first professional steps, especially within the UN System.

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Thus, Dr. Monga concluded the introduction to the mandate and the role of the UNCCD in achieving land degradation neutrality, which indicated the second part of the event - interaction with other UN organisations.

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The first external organisation to be visited was the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation – International Centre for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (UNESCO-UNEVOC), where Mr. Wouter De Regt (The Netherlands, Associate Publications Officer) gave a great presentation on UNESCO-UNEVOC in general and their TVET Programme in particular.

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The second UN agency visited was another Rio Convention located in Bonn, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). There, Ms. Carrie Assheuer (Canada, Public Information and Media Assistant) welcomed the students and gave them a tour through their headquarters and their exhibition room. In that respect, the visitors could learn about the negotiation processes that have guided climate action and the work of the UNFCCC as well as get introduced to the climate change mitigation and the relation with the other two Rio Conventions (UNCCD and CBD).

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In the end of the tour of some of the UN agencies based in Bonn, our young guests were welcomed by Xavier Longan (Spain, Programme Specialist & Europe Focal Point) from UN SDG Action Campaign. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are the shared platform for peace and prosperity for people, and the SDG Action Campaign aims at reaching the largest amount of population in order to raise awareness in the general public and mobilise people to help achieve the SDGs. As a surprise for the visitors, they had the pleasure to meet the Global Director, Marina Ponti (Italy) and a big part of the Team.

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Lastly, the visitors and the CBM Team went back to the CBM Office, where they were able to discuss the day and give feedback in order to keep improving these experiences and events in the future. Since “Work in Progress” is an essential component of the CBM Team philosophy, it always aims at constantly improving its activities. To add a final touch, the students were invited to play the Land + Soil Game, where they were supposed to guess the true cost and impact of production of beef, pork, chicken, eggs and potatoes. And finally, according to the CBM tradition, the visitors were given a UNCCD gift package to remind them of this day.

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The UNCCD-CBM Team believes that this sort of events and visits are key to raise awareness, engage the youth in supporting the UNCCD and address the global environmental challenges we are currently facing. The UNCCD-CBM Team is led by the UNCCD Innovation, Action Programme Alignment and Capacity Building Officer, Dr. Richard A. Byron-Cox (St. Vincent and the Grenadines), who could not be present due to duties overseas, but sent his warm regards to the visitors.

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The full UNCCD-CBM Team wants to express its deep gratitude to all the collaborators that made this visit a full success.

For those that are interested in the full coverage of the event in Bonn International School, you can see the videos of the presentations, pictures, and interviews HERE.

For those interested in seeing the full picture gallery of this visit, please use this link:

All pictures of ‘A Day With the CBM’ and the students of Bonn International School!

If you wish for your institution to be part of this exciting exercise, please contact us via one of the following channels:

E-mail address: cbm [at] unccd.int, or rbyroncox [at] unccd.int

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