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UN Convention to Combat Desertification (CCD)

Convention to Combat Desertification and Mitigate the Effects of Droughts in Countries Experiencing Serious Conditions, particularly in Africa

Download the Convention TXT file (137 KB)

Convention Document


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 1996. The principles of Agenda 21 underline the framework of action to provide an integrated approach to these goals. Action is aimed at all levels, supported by international co-operation and partnerships designed to contribute to the existing achievements of sustainable development. In March 1998, 121 states were parties to the Convention with 12, including the European Commission, yet to ratify.

The Convention is divided into four regional implementation annexes. These are Africa, Asia, Latin America & the Caribbean and the Northern Mediterranean. This provides flexibility within the Convention where each annex focuses on those specific issues most relevant 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 Conference of the parties (COP) at its ordinary sessions about the 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 future information on the Convention visit
For information on the status and ratification of the Convention visit



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