Established in 1994, UNCCD is the sole legally-binding international agreement linking environment and development to sustainable land management. The Convention addresses specifically the arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas, known as the drylands, where some of the most vulnerable ecosystems and peoples can be found. In line with Article 23 of the UNCCD, the key function of the secretariat is to service the sessions of the COP and its subsidiary bodies. The 10-Year Strategy of the UNCCD (2008-2018) states that ” Successful implementation of this strategic plan requires a strengthening of the core servicing, advocacy and agenda-setting and representation functions of the UNCCD secretariat – with commensurate capacity and resources – in order to support Parties, the COP and the subsidiary bodies of the Convention in fulfilling their respective roles. In tandem, Parties to the Convention further specified their goals: “to forge a global partnership to reverse and prevent desertification/land degradation and to mitigate the effects of drought in affected areas in order to support poverty reduction and environmental sustainability”. The Convention’s 195 parties work together to improve the living conditions of people in drylands, to maintain and restore land and soil productivity, and to mitigate the effects of drought. The UNCCD is particularly committed to a bottom-up approach, encouraging the participation of local people in combating desertification and land degradation. The UNCCD secretariat facilitates cooperation between developed and developing countries, particularly around knowledge and technology transfer for sustainable land management.
Disaster Reduction Goal
As the dynamics of land, climate and biodiversity are intimately connected, the UNCCD collaborates closely with the other two Rio Conventions: the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Collectively, these Conventions are better placed to meet these complex challenges with an integrated approach and the best possible use of natural resources.
Policies and Programmes in DRR
Implementation of the UNCCD and its ten-year Strategy is a demanding task that requires a broad range of actions and knowledge. Furthermore, desertification/land degradation and drought are inherently linked with numerous other issues and related approaches. Recognising these inter-linkages tends to generate significant benefits, from local to global level. Among the key topics in effective fostering the implementation of the UNCCD and its ten-year Strategy are the following: Science Scientific collaboration around agreed themes and support to impact monitoring. Reporting review and assessment Reporting under the UNCCD, including the performance review and assessment of implementation system (PRAIS) as well as best practices. Awareness Raising Active influencing of relevant international, national and local processes and actors to address desertification/land degradation and drought. Thematic priorities Identifying and taking action on inter-linkages between desertification, land degradation and drought and selected key themes: biodiversity, climate change, food security, forests, gender and water. Synergies among the Rio Conventions Joint activities by the secretariats of the three “sister Conventions” on biodiversity, climate change and desertification, land degradation and drought. Capacity building Online tools and information on capacity building.
The Hyogo Office focuses on key elements of self-help, cooperation, and education through activities such as:
• Research projects;
• Training and capacity-building;
• A series of international workshops;
• Advisory services;
• Research projects with specific focus on implementation and field experiences;
• Dissemination of best practices through workshops, publications, reports and internet homepage;
• Training and capacity-building in different communities;
• Advisory services to the vulnerable communities before and after the disasters, and networking of communities.
Disaster Risk Reduction Focal Point(s)
Mr. Sergio A. Zelaya-Bonilla, Special Adviser to the Executive Secretary, UNCCD Secretariat, Phone: +49-228 815-2825, Fax: +49-228 815-2898/99
Ms. Annette Victoria Gütgemann, External Relations, Policy and Advocacy Unit, UNCCD Secretariat, E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org, Phone: +49-228 815 2809, Fax: +49-228 815 2898/99