Desertification, land degradation and drought (UNCCD)

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Addressing desertification, land degradation and drought in Africa

Two-thirds of the African continent is desert or drylands. This land is vital for agriculture and food production, however nearly three-fourths of it is estimated to be degraded to varying degrees.  The region is affected by frequent and severe droughts, which have been particularly severe in recent years in the Horn of Africa and the Sahel. Poverty and difficult socio-economic conditions are widespread, and as a result many people are dependent on natural resources for their livelihoods. For many African countries, fighting land degradation and desertification and mitigating the effects of drought are prerequisites for economic growth and social progress. Increasing sustainable land management and building resilience to drought in Africa can have profound positive impacts that reach from the local to the global level.

 The Regional Implementation Annex for Africa of the UNCCD outlines an approach for addressing desertification, land degradation and drought on the African continent.  This Annex is the most detailed and comprehensive of all the regional annexes to the Convention.

Africa: Regional cooperation

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As a result of decision 3/COP 9, the following has been achieved in Africa:
• a regional consultative committee has been established in November 2012 in Algiers to guide and support regional coordination.
• a regional work programme has been drafted as a practical framework for joint activities and coordination within the region.
• a regional coordination unit (RCU) for Africa, hosted by the African Development Bank in Tunis, has been strengthened.


Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.