Desertification
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Convention to Combat Desertification

Structure and Agreements

Established to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought in countries experiencing serious conditions, particularly Africa, the Convention entered into force in December 96. The principles of Agenda 21 underline the framework of action to provide an integrated approach to the provisions of the Convention. Action is aimed at all levels supported by international co-operation and partnerships designed to contribute to the existing achievements of sustainable development. As of March 98 121 states were party to the Convention with 12, including the EC, yet to ratify.

The Convention is divided into four regional implementation annexes. These are Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean and the Northern Mediterranean. This provides flexibility within the Convention where each annex focuses on those specific issues most related to that region. This structure is also better able to reflect the political, financial, scientific and social agenda which exists within each region.

Obligations and follow up

The provisions under the Convention require affected (developing nation) parties to

prioritise action relating to desertification and drought
address the causes of desertification and establish strategies in line with the principles of Sustainable Development
facilitate awareness and participation of local populations
enhance legislation to provide an enabling environment.

Developed nation parties alternatively undertake to

support actively the efforts of the affected developing country parties
provide substantial (financial) resources to assist developing country parties introduce their own strategies to combat the effects of desertification and drought
promote the access of affected countries to technology resources.

Each party shall develop National Action Programmes which should 

include long term strategies to combat desertification and drought 
prescribe measures to prevent desertification and drought
enhance national climatological and hydrological capabilities 
promote policy and institutional framework 
encourage effective participation 
require regular review of implementation.

Review process

Parties must report to the COP at its ordinary sessions those measures which they have taken in line the provisions of the Convention. The COP is responsible for co-ordinating the review and implementation process including the institutional arrangements of the parties. Details of the reports submitted will be made public after review by the secretariat.

For further information on the Convention refer to:

http://www.unccd.ch

For information on the status and ratification of the Convention refer to:

http://www.unccd.ch/ratif/Ratif-eng.html

 

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