United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification

The objective of the UNCCD is to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought through National Action Programmes, which are long-term policy guidelines in this regard formulated by affected countries. It entered into force in 1996 and its guiding principles are participation, partnership and decentralization. The participatory, bottom-up approach has ensured enduring and effective changes on the ground. By combating desertification, the Convention also aims to tackle poverty in and prevent forced migration from dryland rural areas. Desertification is a global problem that threatens the livelihood of over 1.2 billion people and affects more than 110 countries worldwide.

The preservation of forests is a crucial component of the Convention, as they are critical in preserving soil from wind and water erosion - which are among the primary causes of desertification. Afforestation and reforestation as means to rehabilitate degraded lands are an integral part of the work of the UNCCD. The UNCCD has therefore strengthened collaboration and coordination with UNFF and other CPF members.

UNCCD serves as focal agency, along with FAO and ICRAF, for rehabilitation and restoration of degraded lands, and promotion of natural and planted forests.