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2010-2020 UN decade for deserts and desertification

The Recent 24th. Session of UNEP Governing Coucil held at Nairobi on 5-9 February 2007 adopted the following decision on 2010-2020 as Decade on Desertification


This draft decision (UNEP/GC/24/L.2) was introduced in the COW on Monday by Algeria. The US, the EU and Australia initially opposed the draft, questioning the added value of such a Decade after the 2006 UN Year of Deserts and Desertification, while pledging their support to ongoing activities under the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). The G-77/China and the Russian Federation supported the draft decision, arguing that a UN Decade would increase international attention. The matter was referred to a contact group, where opposition to the decision was withdrawn and the decision was later adopted.

Final Decision: In the decision (UNEP/GC/24/CW/L.3/Add.1), the GC/GMEF recalls UN General Assembly resolution 58/211 declaring 2006 as the International Year of Deserts and Desertification, takes into account the programmatic and financial commitment of the GEF to desertification control, and recommends to the UN General Assembly that it declare, during its 62nd session, the decade 2010-2020 as the UN Decade for Deserts and the Fight Against Desertification.

In 2006,  the International Year of Deserts and Desertification, UNICEF ALGERIA started a magnificent project of family gardens in the refugee camps near Tindouf.  This project aims at constructing a small vegetable garden for every family in the camps, located in the Sahara desert.  It will be one of the efficient initiatives to alleviate hunger, deficiencies in vitamins and mineral elements, and poverty.

En 2006, l’Année Internationale des Déserts et de la Désertification, UNICEF ALGERIE a lancé un projet magnifique de jardins familiaux dans les camps des réfugiés près de Tindouf.  Ce projet vise la construction d’un petit jardin potager pour chaque famille des camps, situés dans le Sahara.  Il deviendra une des initiatives pour attenuer la faim, les déficiences en vitamines et éléments minéraux, et la pauvreté.


Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

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