UNDP Support to United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification

The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) has been signed and ratified by most developed and developing countries. The Convention draws global attention to the world-wide seriousness of desertification, land degradation and drought and the development needs of countries with extensive drylands.

UNDP participated in a supporting role in the negotiation of the Convention. With the coming into force of the Convention in 1996, UNDP assisted over 70 countries to prepare and implement their National Action Programmes to combat desertification (NAPs). The UNDP's Integrated Drylands Development Programme also facilitated the translation of priorities identified in the NAPs and other national planning/development frameworks into concrete programmes on the ground. More >

UNDP-UNCCD Programme of Cooperation

In 2009, UNDP and the UNCCD Secretariat established a strategic partnership building on their complementarities and respective comparative advantages. This partnership is motivated by the urgent need to draw attention to and catalyze international cooperation to address the needs of the over two billion of the world's poorest people living in the drylands, in particular under the current scenarios of climate change. It is based on the mandate of the UNCCD to forge a global partnership to address desertification, land degradation and drought in the context of the Ten-Year Strategy of the UNCCD; and on the commitment of UNDP highlighted in its Strategic Plan 2008-2013 to promote international cooperation to reverse trends of land degradation and desertification.

Following a comprehensive consultative process, UNCCD and UNDP-DDC jointly identified priority areas for their cooperation at the tenth UNCCD Conference of the Parties (COP) held in October 2011 in Changwon, South Korea. On 28 March 2012, the UNCCD-UNDP Programme of Cooperation for 2012-2014 was signed in New York focusing on:

  • Supporting countries affected by desertification and drought in aligning their NAPs with the UNCCD ten-year Strategy and mainstreaming them into national development frameworks;
  • Undertaking joint effrots in knowledge sharing, learning and actions for improving the profile of drylands development issues;
  • Carrying out joint policy analysis and advocacy with particular attention to the linkage between suatinable land mangement, climate change and biodiversity conservation.

The Programme of Cooperation is expected to help mobilize the attention and action needed from the international community to face the serious threat of land degradation. More>

UNDP implements various initiatives in support of the implementation of the UNCCD at country level - click here for the latest information.


United Nations Decade for Deserts and the Fight Against Desertification (2010-2020)

United Nations Decade for Deserts and the Fight Against Desertification (2010-2020)

DDC represents UNDP in the Inter Agency Task Force of the UN Decade for Deserts and the Fight against Desertification, 2010 - 2020, or UNDDD. UNDDD was declared by the UN General Assembly in support of necessary action to secure the long-term ability of drylands to provide value to humanity’s well- being. More >

World Day to Combat Desertification

The World Day to Combat Desertification (WDCD) is observed every year on 17 June to remind the global community that desertification can be effectively tackled, that solutions are possible, and that key tools to this aim lay in strengthened community participation and cooperation at all levels. Since 1995, Parties to the Convention, the United Nations organizations, international and non-governmental organizations have celebrated 17 June with a series of outreach activities worldwide.

In 2013, the Day's slogan is "Don't let our future dry up". Freshwater is valuable. Of all the water on Earth, only 2.5 per cent is freshwater. And of all this freshwater, the total usable supply for ecosystems and humans is less than 1 per cent. When demand for water exceeds available supply, it results in water scarcity. The projected intensification of freshwater scarcity will cause greater stresses in drylands. While each person needs at least 2,000 cubic meters of water for human well-being and sustainable development every year, on average, people in the drylands have access to only 1,300 cubic meters.

The goal of the 2013 WDCD is to create awareness about the risks of drought and water scarcity in the drylands and beyond, calling attention to the importance of sustaining healthy soils as part of post Rio+20 agenda, as well as the post-2015 sustainable development agenda. 

For more details click here.