Sustainable Land Management

A dry river bed in Senegal

Over 40 percent of the world is drylands, where about 2.3 billon people live in nearly 100 countries. It accounts for up to 44% of all the world's cultivated systems. Many people living in drylands depend directly upon a highly variable natural resource base for their livelihoods, and about half of all dryland inhabitants - one billion people - are poor and marginalized. This accounts for close to half of the world's poor.

The Drylands Development Centre (DDC) is a Global Policy Centre responsible for supporting UNDP's efforts towards sustainable and inclusive development in the drylands. UNDP-DDC adopts the Integrated Drylands Development Programme (IDDP) to help meet challenges faced by dryland populations in a holistic and strategic manner. The IDDP addresses three interlinked issues of importance to poverty eradication in the drylands within one integrated programme:

-  Drylands issues, climate change adaptation and mitigation mainstreamed into national policies, planning and development frameworks and contributing to the effective implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD);

-  Vulnerability of drylands communities to environmental, economic and socio-cultural challenges (such as climate risks, drought, land degradation, poor markets, migration) reduced and adaptation/mitigation capacity built; and

-  Dryland communities benefit from improved management of dryland ecosystems and natural resources.

The IDDP is currently operational in 17 countries in sub-Saharan Africa and the Arab States as well as regional and international levels.

In Focus
17 June 2014: World Day to Combat Desertification (WDCD)

The theme of the 2014 WDCD is ecosystem-based adaptation. With the slogan "Land belongs to the future, let's climate proof it", the 2014 WDCD highlights the benefits of mainstreaming sustainable land management policies and practices into our collective response to climate change.

As a contribution to the WDCD and the work of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, the Equator Initiative/UNDP, OSISA and ENDA will host a high-level event on 17 June 2014 in Nairobi, Kenya, to recognize and celebrate local grassroots organizations that are improving the livelihoods of rural communities in dryland ecosystems in Sub-Saharan Africa, through sustainable land management (SLM). The event will have as its centerpiece the Equator Prize for SLM in Sub-Saharan Africa Award Ceremony, and will recognize 10 outstanding community efforts to reduce poverty through SLM in dryland ecosystems in Sub-Saharan Africa. The respective call for nominations is open until 22 March 2014. For more details on the nomination process, please see

For more details on the 2014 WDCD click here.