UNCCD

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Name United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification
Logo Image:Unccd.jpg
Geographic Scope Global
Subject Focus Expertise Desertification, land degradation and drought.
Contact E-mail: secretariat@unccd.int
URL http://www.unccd.int/main.php
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Contents

Mission/Mandate

Desertification has long been recognised as a major economic, social and environmental problem of concern to many countries worldwide by the international community. In 1977, the United Nations Conference on Desertification (UNCOD) adopted a Plan of Action to Combat Desertification (PACD). However, despite this and other efforts, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) concluded in 1991 that the problem of land degradation in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas had intensified, although there were "local examples of success".

Consequently, how to tackle desertification was still a major concern for the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. The Conference supported a new, integrated approach to the problem, emphasizing action to promote sustainable development at the community level. It also called on the United Nations General Assembly to establish an Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INCD) to prepare, by June 1994, a Convention to Combat Desertification, particularly in Africa. In December 1992, the General Assembly agreed and adopted resolution 47/188. Working to a tight schedule, the Committee completed its negotiations in five sessions. The Convention was adopted in Paris on 17 June 1994 and opened for signature there on 14-15 October 1994. It is a unique instrument which provides a universal legislative reference framework for desertification/land degradation and drought (DLDD), particularly in the drylands where some of the most vulnerable ecosystems and lower income groups in the world exist.

The UNCCD recognises the critical role of water resources management in the battle against desertification and the exacerbated impacts of drought. The importance of the sustainable use of water resources is also underlined in the Articles 3, 4, 17 of the Convention.

UNCCD's mission is “to provide a global framework to support the development and implementation of national and regional policies, programmes and measures to prevent, control and reverse desertification/land degradation and mitigate the effects of drought through scientific and technological excellence, raising public awareness, standard setting, advocacy and resource mobilization, thereby contributing to poverty reduction”.

Key Resources

Databases

Regional Profiles and Country Information Database provides information for each region and desrtification-affected country of the world. The database provides an overview of actions to combat desertification in the regions, and details regarding meetings and focal/contact points in each individual country. All national publications are also given.


Publications

Desertification - Coping with Today's Global Challenges (2008)

Click here to view ALL publications.

No results

Glossary

Glossary of Frequiently Used terms

Work on the Ground

National Action Programmes

The UNCCD is being implemented through Nation Action Programmes (NAPs). As at March 2008, 102 National Action Programmes (NAPs) had been prepared and adopted. National Action Programmes are developed in the framework of a participative approach involving the local communities and they spell out the practical steps and measures to be taken to combat desertification in specific ecosystems. These instruments are considered to be core references for an ongoing process of planning for poverty reduction and the sustainable development of drylands. NAPs are based on:

  • Participation of all groups, including the most vulnerable: youth, women;
  • Civil society involvement for sustainability;
  • National consultations;
  • Good governance, including natural resources management; and
  • Local area participatory, cross sectoral and integrated programmes responsive to concrete demands

They are developed around:

  • Partnership agreements (developed–developing countries, affected–non-affected countries);
  • Technology transfer (taking due account of traditional knowledge);
  • Capacity-building;
  • Integration of NAPs into overall development strategies;and
  • Implementation at global, national and local levels.

NAPS are harmonised and strengthened using subregional and regional action programmes (SRAPs and RAPs).


No results

Selected National Action Programmes (NAPs)

Armenia National Action Programme to combat Desertification (2002)
National Action Programme to combat Desrtifciation in Georgia (2003)
Botswana National Action Programme to combat Desertifciation (2006)
Egyptian National Action Programme to combat Desertification (June 2005)
National Action Programme to combat Desertification in Uzbekistan

All National, Regional and Sub-regional Action Programmes

Click here for all NAPs/RAPs and SRAPs in Africa
Click here for all NAPs/RAPs and SRAPs in Asia & Pacific
Click here for all NAPs/RAPs and SRAPs in Latin America and Caribbean
Click here for all NAPs/RAPs and SRAPs in the Northern Mediterranean
Click here for all NAPs/RAPs and SRAPs in Europe and CIS


Regional Networks

At the regional level, important work has also been carried out within the framework of the Thematic Programme Network 4 (TPN-4) in Asia (Water Resources Management for Agriculture in Arid, Semi-arid And Subhumid Areas); the TPN-1 in Africa (Integrated management of international river, lake and hydro-geological basins) and TPN-3 in Latin America and the Caribbean (Integrated water management).

References

See also

External Resources

Attachments

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