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Desertification: The Battle is On

Your action against desertification

 This page reports on events and activities from around the world that promote action against desertification, land degradation and mitigation of drought. Your report is welcome (see contribution guidelines on the right).

Earth Day action in China

23/04/2015 - Earth Day is celebrated every year on 22 April to honour the Earth. On the day, millions of people worldwide demonstrate the importance of environmental protection.This year on Earth Day, Elion Resources Group of China mobilized 10,000 company employees, farmers and environmentalists to plant 200,000 trees in Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang, Hebei and Ningxia. Populus euphratica, liquorice, salix mongolica, sacsaoul and pinus sylvestris are among the 200,000 trees planted. The tree planting kicked-off of the 2015 Elion Green and Ecological Recovery Initiative which aims at restoring 100,000 ha of degraded land. Elion Resources Group established Greening Silk Road Fund earlier this year with its business partners in China, aiming to plant 1.3 billion trees in the ecologically vulnerable regions along the Silk Road over the next 10 years.

Rare plant conservation in Azerbaijan: monitoring threats and education of local community

02/01/2014 - ​At the foot of the Caucasus Mountains, 60 km from the capital Baku, the Gobustan State National Park is a nationally important desert/semi-desert located west and south-west of Baku. The desert and semi-desert plant communities in the Gobustan area represent the most ecologically important habitats but climate change increasingly affecting this local vegetation. With funding from 2-nd Rufford Small Grant For Nature Conservation (2013) and Planet Action initiative (2013) Azerbaijani scientists continue a project on spatial monitoring of rare vegetation distribution and monitoring of threats to rare plant in Gobustan National Park, Azerbaijan. The Project that runs from 2013-2014 includes monitoring of existing threats to rare vegetation (Climate Change, oil and gas exploration, etc.) as well the processing of remote sensing data to produce “measured” vegetation indicators.

Food for thought: Land degradation and climate change: a sin of omission?

04/12/2013 - ​Climate change and land degradation reduce the provisioning of ecosystem services but require different solutions. Although the environmental and social impacts of climate change may exceed those of land degradation at some point in the future, the effects of land degradation are occurring now. more

 Training Video on Secrets of Compost by British NGO GardenAfrica​

22/07/2013 – The Living Classroom film series is the result of GardenAfrica’s training programmes that have been successfully developed and implemented over the past ten years with sustainable agriculture &  
permaculture specialists. Using the storytelling tradition, ‘Black Gold: The Secrets of Compost’ was filmed on location in Swaziland, and is the first in the Living Classroom series of 11 topics designed to inform, excite and inspire changing practices. Each film will focus on a series of interconnected issues: from resource use & planning; soil & fertility management; and water conservation - to value addition, and growing plant-based income. The  films will be supported by facilitation notes for Southern NGOs to aid participation & discussion, and a photostory for participants to take home.  All films will initially be dubbed in to five languages to be shown alongside training in Southern & East Africa to aid cognition and retention of important information for building resilience. The video “Black Gold: the Secrets of Compost” can be viewed here. More information on Living Classroom Film Series can be accessed here​.​  


Combating desertification in the State of Pa​lestine

​25/06/2013 - The Palestinian National Authority through its Environment Quality Authority has formulated a national strategy to implement the UNCCD. The overall objective of this strategy is to prevent, halt, and, where possible, reverse the effects and impacts of desertification, land degradation and drought, in order to contribute to poverty alleviation, improve the livelihoods of people, and achieve sustainable development. It focuses, inter alia, on upgrading the institutional, legal and human capacities and frameworks, and to create an enabling policy environment to ensure efficacious implementation of the Convention. 


In powerful TED Talk, Allan Savory explains how to regreen the degraded grasslands


​18/03/2013 - Allan Savory has devoted his life to teaching people how to stop desertification in the world’s grasslands.  After speaking at a TED conference in late February, he has gained a powerful new platform for spreading the important yet overlooked message of the threats caused by desertification and climate change.


 "Water for Life’ UN-Water Best Practices Award 

22/08/12 - On the occasion of the Thematic Session on Water Cooperation at the Rio+20 Summit in Brazil the 3rd edition of the “Water for Life” UN-Water Best Practices Award has officially been launched on 21 June 2012. The prize is awarded yearly in two categories, one in best water management practices and another one  in best participatory, communication, awareness-raising  and education practices. The application period is open from 30 June to 15 September 2012.  The prize will be awarded at a special ceremony on World Water Day, 22 March 2013.The UNCCD is one of the 30 UN organizations which is a member to the UN Water."

A new section with information on the theme ‘Water Cooperation’ is available here

More information on the award  is available here 


Imperial College London Students Engineer Bacteria To Protect Land From Soil Erosion

16/02/12 - A team of nine undergraduate students from Imperial College London has genetically engineered bacteria to help plants survive soil erosion and protect land from desertification. more...

Webinar on Desertification and Citizens Action

14/02/2012 - UNCCD secretariat with EarthAction and The Global Citizens Initiative (TGCI) will organize a Virtual World Community Forum on Desertification and Citizen Action—Saving the Life-Giving Soils of the World that will take place Tuesday, February 28 through Tuesday, March 6, 2012. This online forum is being made available at no cost to participants. more...

Desertification Is In Top 20 Terms Used In the Rio Plus 20 Zero Draft Preparation

3/02/12 - “Desertification” is the 20th most used term in the preparation to the Rio+20 Zero Draft according to the analysis conducted by the Stakeholder Forum. more...

DesertNet International 2011 Report highlights the need for Intergovernmental Land and Soil Panel

20/01/12 - Scientific Network “DesertNet International” in its 2011 report discusses the need for the Intergovernmental Land and Soil Panel. The report highlights science and policy related developments at the UNCCD COP10 in Changwon, Republic of Korea in October 2011 and the results of the network’s work in 2011. more...

DESIRE contributes to Land Day 5 theme

15/12/11 - The DESIRE Project draws the attention to the leaflet "The idea of Sustainable Development, and what it means for achieving zero net-growth in degradation", as a contribution to the theme of the UNCCD's Land Day 5. more.../p>

Protecting soils for our Common Future: A call for action in Berlin

12/10/11 - "Protecting soils for our Common Future: A call for action" is now available, which is the outcome of the meeting organized by the German Federal Environment Agency in Berlin in September 2011. more...

Preparation of the next World Water Forum - Collection of solution

22/09/2011- In the framework of the preparation of the next World Water Forum, which will be held in Marseille in March 2012, EMWIS has been appointed as Coordinator for the Target 7, of the theme Contribute to Cooperation and Peace. Our objective is to present during the Forum the existing or innovative solutions, and to get if possible commitments on their achievement. more...

Korean Business Community pledge to support the fight against desertification in their letter to the UN Secretary-General

05/08/2011- Over 80 Business Chief Executive Officers (CEO) in the Republic of Korea expressed their commitments in support of the fight against desertification and land degradation and the mitigation of drought. more...

It is your world - now fix it

09/09/2011- During the 64th UN DPI/NGO Conference which took place last week, "Sustainable Societies, Responsive Citizens", over 1,500 people from 70 countries shared unique perspectives on the links between sustainability and volunteerism. One such was a presentation of a board game "Cooling down!" in which players take the roles of world regions to collectively build sustainable future. more...

Save the Earth Cartoon Exhibition at the IAAF World Championship in Daegu

08/09/2011 – International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championship game ended last week where 1849 athletes competed for their excellence. During the Championship, a cartoon exhibition was held in cooperation with the UNCCD and Future Forest near the main stadium. more...

Fading borders: Growing Reforestation

25/08/11 - The Quisqeya Verde Program run by the Dominican Government aims to plant 30 million trees in the next four years also involves the government of Haiti. more...

UN-Water invites you to nominate your best practice for the 2nd edition of the ‘Water for Life’ UN-Water Best Practices Award

23/08/2011 - The United Nations Office to Support the International Decade for Action “Water for Life” 2005-2015, which implements the UN-Water Decade Programme on Advocacy and Communication (UNW-DPAC), and the UN World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP) are pleased to invite you to nominate your best practice for the 2nd edition of the “Water for Life” UN-Water Best Practices Award. The application period is open from 30 June to 30 September 2011. more..

It’s real: Experiencing the consequences of desertification through TV

10/08/2011 - Fight against desert encroachment (FADE) of Nigeria initiates the TV Reality Show to raise awareness among public on the threat of desertification. more..

Restoring the Earth’s degraded land

18 July 2011 – The 4th Caux Forum for Human Security organized a one-day special event on 15 July under the theme, “Restoring the Earth’s degraded land”, in which, experts and practitioners warned vulnerability of people and ecosystems in the drylands. more..

New Directorate General to Combat Desertification and Erosion in Turkey

08/07/11 - The newly formed cabinet in Turkey has decided to give special importance to the topic to land degradation, desertification and droughts. It has formed a Directorate General to look into the preparation and implementation of combating of land degradation and rehabilitation projects across the country. more..

Hostility of desert encroachments

21/04/11 - Desert encroachment is one of the causes of desertification, and partly stems from human activities and partly from climatic variations. Dr. Newton Jibunoh, founder of the non-governmental organization, Fight Against Desert Encroachment (FADE) in Nigeria, paid a visit to Mr. Luc Gnacadja, UNCCD Executive Secretary, to share his experience among communities threatened by desert encroachment. more..

Changwon National University, Republic of Korea, organised a Model UNCCD Conference

21/03/11 - Gyeongnam Province and the Korea Forest Service organized the Model UNCCD conference. Some 150 students from all over Korea gathered to participate in the model UNCCD COP 10, which aimed at raising awareness of the effects of serious drought and desertification and promoting the role of the UNCCD, especially among younger people. more..

Argentina to launch its National Observatory on Desertification

21/03/11 - Argentina will take another step in the fight against desertification by launching its first National Observatory on Desertification, Land Degradation and Conservation. more..

UNCCD ES welcomes Algeria commitment in the fight against desertification

Luc Gnacadja went in Algeria for a 3-days working visit, last October. more..

Statement on the Synergistic Implementation of the Rio Conventions in the Drylands

13/12/2010 - From 8-11 November 2010 the third bi-annual conference on Drylands, Deserts and Desertification was held at the Sede Boqer’s Blaustein Institute for Desert Research at Ben Gurion University in Israel. more..

From the Gobi Desert, top-decision makers in Mongolia speaks up against desertification

28/09/2010 - Mongolia’s Prime Minister Batbold Sukhbaatar and his cabinet members held their cabinet meeting in the Gobi Desert, drawing the world’s attention to the problem of desertification, land degradation and drought. more..



The Holistic Management approach : when grazing is no longer a problem, but a tool to fight against desertification


17/08/10 The Holistic Management approach : when grazing is no longer a problem, but a tool to fight against desertification.Discover the "Holistic Management" approach and its successes to reverse desertification. Found and promoted by Allan Savory over the last 50 years, it has been able to turn back desertified areas into productive and biodiverse land using livestock and well-managed grazing as a tool... a counter-intuitive approach! more..





Grow Biointensive System, a tool to fight against desertification


30/07/10 The Grow Biointensive method meets traditional knowledge inspired by Sustainable Land Management. more..



Promising results of the Ecofarm/plant establishment action research in Mali


02/07/10 - The purpose of the Ecofarm project was to create an integrated farm system in order to improve the food security of farmers in the drylands. The Plant Establishment project has contributed to this by testing techniques that are of particular relevance for boosting crop production. The two projects are highly interlinked and both are carried out through testing and refining a series of low-cost technologies in order to increase the total production on the farm. The testing is done by the farmers themselves, on their own lands. more..





SLM success story in the Ceará State - Northeast Brazil

28/06/10 - In Ceará State, Northeast Brazil, a participative project on SLM has been developed over the last five years with impressive results : the Hydro-Environmental Programme (PRODHAM). more..





Rare vegetation of the Gobustan State National Park in Azerbaijan under close attention.

21/06/2010 - The Planet Action Program is a project developing in the Republic of Azerbaijan. It aims to identify and describe the extent of rare vegetation communities found within the Gobustan State National Park using GeoInformation Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing (RS) more..





You can make the difference

23/03/2010 - At the Forum Klima und Nachhaltigkeit in Illingen, Germany, Students of the Illtal-High School are honoured for their commitment to sustainable development more..





An Environmental Vision of El Chaco from the Visual Arts


Twenty-five paintings hang on the walls of the headquarters of the Secretariat of the UNCCD, in Bonn. The paintings are as unique as the painters and their project, and are testimony to the dedication more..






Boca Juniors joins the UNCCD to combat desertification


19/03/2010 - Atlético Boca Juniors Club from Buenos Aires and Fundacion Agreste signed an Agreement for Joint Cooperation in the framework of the program “Match against desertification” in the context on the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). more…





Bonn Symposium 2009: Sustainable Development in Times of Crises Opposition or Opportunity?


Current global crises require short-term responses in order to avert immediate threats posed to human security. more…





Training of journalists on desertification and biodiversity: Lomé, Togo


The non-governmental organization Jeunes Volontaires pour l'Environnement (JVE) in partnership with the Ministry of Environment and the Enviromental Journalist Network, organized a workshop for environmental journalists on 7 August 2009, in Lomé, Togo. more…





Photo exhibition: Milan, Italy


Oikos Institute has organized an exhibition, "Maasai losing land" in Milan, Italy, from 15 September to 18 October 2009. more…




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