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United Nations Development Programme


United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) partners with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crisis, and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of life for everyone. On the ground in 177 countries and territories, UNDP offers global perspective and local insight to help empower lives and build resilient nations.

The UNDP Drylands Development Centre is a unique global thematic centre that provides technical expertise, practical policy advice and programme support for poverty reduction and development in the drylands of the world. The Centre’s work bridges between global policy issues and on-the-ground activities, and helps governments to establish and institutionalize the link between grassroots development activities and pro-poor policy reform. The main areas of focus are mainstreaming of drylands issues into national development frameworks; land governance; making markets work for the poor; decentralized governance of natural resources; and drought risk management.

 UNDP support to the UNCCD has a long history: UNDP participated in a supporting role in the negotiation of the Convention. With the coming into force of the Convention in 1996, UNDP expanded the mandate and the role of its Drylands Development Centre (DDC, formally known as the Office to Combat Desertification and Drought), to include support to all countries world-wide affected by desertification and drought. On behalf of UNDP, DDC has provided conceptual, technical and financial support to more than 60 countries for the preparation of their National Action Programmes (NAPs).
UNDP's Integrated Drylands Development Programme, which is managed by DDC, is assisting countries in translating their NAPs into action and ensuring that the development of drylands becomes a central development issue in each country where the programme is being implemented. DDC has also helped countries and subregional organizations to prepare Subregional Action Programmes (SRAPs).

Cooperation with the UNCCD secretariat 

In 2009, UNDP and the UNCCD secretariat established a strategic partnership building on their complementarities and respective comparative advantages. This partnership is motivated by the urgent need to draw attention to and catalyze international cooperation to address the needs of the over 2 billion of the planet's poorest people living in the drylands, in particular under the current scenarios of climate change. It is based on the mandate of the UNCCD to forge a global partnership to address desertification, land degradation and drought in the context of the ten-year Strategy of the UNCCD; and on the commitment of UNDP highlighted in its Strategic Plan 2008-2013 to promote international cooperation to reverse trends of land degradation and desertification.

Under the partnership framework, UNDP and the UNCCD secretariat have identified a range of programmatic actions for collaboration, with the overall aim of reducing poverty by enhancing ecosystem functions and services in the drylands. Since the beginning of the strategic partnership, various collaborative activities have been successfully undertaken, including joint publications and advocacy events highlighting particular drylands development issues.

In the UNDP – secretariat cooperation programme for 2011-2014, the priority areas are identified as follows: 
 1) Supporting  affected countries in aligning NAPs to the Strategy and mainstreaming them into national and sectoral development planning;
2) Joint efforts in knowledge sharing, learning and actions for improving the profile of drylands issues; and
3) Joint policy analysis and advocacy with particular attention to the linkage between sustainable land management, climate change and biodiversity.  

This page is maintained in collaboration between the UNCCD secretariat and UNDP.  


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