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UNCCD and UNDP Strengthen Strategic Collaboration to Change Life of Drylands Populations

28/03/2012, New York – Today, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) signed a Programme of Cooperation that formalizes a long-standing strategic partnership to address poverty among the poorest populations on Earth.

Motivated by the findings of a joint study they conducted two years ago on the scope of poverty in areas affected by desertification and/or land degradation, and in view of the current scenarios of climate change, the partnership identifies three priority areas of action.
 
The organizations will collaborate in supporting affected countries to align their National Action Programmes (NAPs) with the 10-year Strategy of the UNCCD and in mainstreaming the Programmes in national and sectoral development planning.
 
There will be joint efforts in undertaking knowledge sharing, learning and improving the knowledge on the drylands, as well as in conducting policy analyses and advocacy, giving particular attention to the linkage between sustainable land management, climate change and biodiversity.
Globally, over 1.5 billion people live off degraded land, with 75% of these ranked among the poor. This is also the fate of a majority of the 2 billion people who live in the world’s drylands, where land is even more vulnerable to degradation.
 
“This collaboration enhances our outreach to the populations and countries affected by land degradation. It also strengthens our efforts to reverse desertification and land degradation, while reducing poverty, which will improve our ability to achieve the four strategic goals for 2008-2018,” said Mr. Luc Gnacadja, UN Assistant Secretary General and Executive Secretary of the UNCCD, during the signing ceremony held at the UN headquarters in New York.
 
Mr. Olav Kjorven, Assistant Secretary General and Director of UNDP's Bureau for Development Policy, emphasized UNDP's commitment to promote international cooperation to reverse trends of land degradation and desertification as highlighted in its Strategic Plan: "Addressing desertification, land degradation and drought is essential for attaining sustainable development. It will be impossible to meet the MDG goals of halving poverty and hunger if life does not improve for the poor people of the drylands.”
 
The study that UNDP and UNCCD carried out just over a year ago, The Forgotten Billion, showed that poverty eradication is lagging the most among a majority of the over 2 billion people who live in the drylands. When drought, which is becoming a persistent global challenge in the drylands, couples with poverty, the poorest drylands populations like those in the Sahel and the Horn of Africa who bear the greatest cost.
 
The UNCCD-UNDP Programme of Cooperation (2012-2014) can be found here. More information about the cooperation between UNCCD and UNDP can be found here.
 
For more information, please contact
Ms Wagaki Mwangi
Public Information and Media Officer
UNCCD Secretariat
Hermann-Ehlers Str.10
53113 Bonn, Germany
Email:  wmwangi@unccd.int
Tel: +49 173 268 7593
 
About UNCCD
Developed as a result of the Rio Summit, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is a unique instrument that has brought attention to land degradation to some of the most vulnerable ecosystems and people in the world. Fifteen years after coming into force, the UNCCD benefits from the largest membership of the three Rio Conventions and is increasingly recognized as an instrument which can make an important contribution to the achievement of sustainable development and poverty reduction.
 
About UNDP
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, we offer 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; marking markets work for the poor; decentralized governance of natural resources; and drought risk management.​

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