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The Conference of the Parties of the United Nation Convetion to Combat Desertification appointed in 2001 a Group of 25 Experts to improve the functioning of its Committee on Science and Technology.
The Work Programme of the Group of Experts(GoE), issued on 29 April 2002, has been established on the basis of the submissions of the parties and of relevant organizations. The terms of reference for the activity of the GoE include among other issues the development of a mechanism, such as a thematic data net, which would facilitate coordination activities and exchange of data, experience and results, to ensure sufficient information flow between National Coordinating Bodies (NCBs) in the period between Conference of Parties.

According to these terms of reference, the GoE prepared a proposal to develop a mechanism for an interactive and thematic data/metadata network (THEMANET) and reported its results to COP6 as contained in document ICCD/COP(6)/CST3.

After the presentations and the debate made during the CST at COP6, the COP by decision 15/COP.6 on "Improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the Committee on Science and Technology" requested the Group of Experts to prioritise the work plan as contained in the annexed framework, in the light of the comments, observations and recommendations made by the CST at its sixth session, and in particular on the basis of feasibility and relevance to implementation of the Convention and to carry out the priority work plan for the next two years based on sound financial planning.

The proposed strategy takes into account the comments and recommendations made by the CST, and sets the milestones and the objectives towards the implementation of the network.

The main objectives of THEMANET are to:
  1. implement the Information and Communication mechanism;
  2. improve NCBs information and communication activities at national and international level;
  3. facilitate exchange data, experiences and results among NCBs;
  4. facilitate efficient information flow among NCBs and the Roster of Independent Experts.
The preparation of the THEMANET has been developed in the following phases:
  1. development of a proposal by the GoE;
  2. development of the web site prototype;
  3. presentation of the THEMANET proposal to CST;
The main milestones of THEMANET are:
  1. Awareness raising and information dissemination;
  2. Development and testing of THEMANET web site;
  3. Direct input from the experts of the Roster and national focal points and TPNs and other relevant entities;
  4. Development of indicators of performance of THEMANET (number of hits, uploaded and downloaded documents, etc..);
  5. Evaluation of the performance of THEMANET;
  6. Transfer to the secretariat for full implementation
The flow chart shows the main elements of the communication strategy.
Flow Chart
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