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Chapters 10, 11, 12 and 13 of Agenda 21 address desertification

In 1992, the UN General Assembly, as requested by the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), adopted resolution 47/188 calling for the establishment of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee for the elaboration of an international convention to combat desertification in those countries experiencing serious drought and/or desertification, particularly in Africa (INCD). The INCD met five times between May 1993 and June 1994, during which delegates drafted the Convention and four regional Annexes for Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Northern Mediterranean

The Convention to Combat Desertification was adopted on 17 June 1994, along with resolutions recommending urgent action for Africa and interim arrangements for the period between adoption of the CCD and its entry into force.

1st Conference of the Parties (CoP)1997

Considering the scepticism expressed in Rio at the idea of a global desertification convention, the progress made thus far bodes well for the future. One hundred thirteen countries have ratified the Convention and more are expected. A large number of developing countries participated in the INCD process. New ground has been broken in NGO participation in intergovernmental negotiations.

All of these achievements demonstrate a political will that was lacking two decades ago following the adoption of the 1977 Plan of Action to Combat Desertification. The CCD is a major accomplishment for Africa and for the world, but the real success will be determined by whether it changes the lives of those living in the drylands.

Convention to Combat Desertification - text

  1. The objective of this Convention is to Combat Desertification and mitigate the effects of drought in countries experiencing serious drought and/or desertification, particularly in Africa, through effective action at all levels, supported by international cooperation and partnership arrangements, in the framework of an integrated approach which is consistent with Agenda 21, with a view to contributing to the achievement of sustainable development in affected areas.

  2. Achieving this objective will involve long-term integrated strategies that focus simultaneously, in affected areas, on improved productivity of land, and the rehabilitation, conservation and sustainable management of land and water resources, leading to improved living conditions, in particular at the community level.

Article 4 General obligations

  1. The Parties shall implement their obligations under this Convention, individually or jointly, either through existing or prospective bilateral and multilateral arrangements or a combination thereof, as appropriate, emphasizing the need to coordinate efforts and develop a coherent long-term strategy at all levels.

  2. In pursuing the objective of this Convention, the Parties shall:

    1. adopt an integrated approach addressing the physical, biological and socio- economic aspects of the processes of desertification and drought;

    2. give due attention, within the relevant international and regional bodies, to the situation of affected developing country Parties with regard to international trade, marketing arrangements and debt with a view to establishing an enabling international economic environment conducive to the promotion of sustainable development;

    3. integrate strategies for poverty eradication into efforts to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought;

    4. promote cooperation among affected country Parties in the fields of environmental protection and the conservation of land and water resources, as they relate to desertification and drought;

    5. strengthen subregional, regional and international cooperation;

    6. cooperate within relevant intergovernmental organizations;

    7. determine institutional mechanisms, if appropriate, keeping in mind the need to avoid duplication; and

    8. promote the use of existing bilateral and multilateral financial mechanisms and arrangements that mobilize and channel substantial financial resources to affected developing country Parties in combating desertification and mitigating the effects of drought.

  3. Affected developing country Parties are eligible for assistance in the implementation of the Convention.

Latest UN Update on CCD from IISD .

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