Civil society organizations

The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) secretariat uses a bottom-up approach to support and emphasize the importance of full participation in its processes by:

  • women
  • civil society
  • the private sector

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.

Margaret Mead, Anthropologist and Ethnologist

More and more international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and civil society organizations (CSOs) are participating in the United Nations system. These CSOs are engaging and partnering with United Nation’s conventions, programmes and agencies to create valuable links between the larger United Nations system and stakeholders around the world.

CSOs are the voice of grass roots realities. Because the UNCCD secretariat aims to directly improve the livelihoods of marginalized populations, particularly those threatened by drought and desertification, it supports CSOs playing a significant role at the UNCCD Conference of the Parties (COP) as well as other processes.

Currently more than 600 CSOs are accredited with observer status to the UNCCD COP. The participation of these groups in the Convention’s implementation and their contribution to the various meetings is a necessary component of the successful implementation of the Convention.

The UNCCD secretariat encourages the active involvement of CSOs in the implementation of the Convention at all levels. Representatives from CSOs that are accredited to the COP may directly participate in the UNCCD secretariat’s sessions. At these sessions CSOs are consulted on United Nation’s policy and programme matters. They also play key roles at major United Nations conferences as indispensable partners for efforts at the country level.

The CSOs are organized around the UNCCD CSO panel constituted by the Conference of the Parties to facilitate the coordination, communication and collaboration among the accredited CSOs. The panel members share information to their own constituencies using this website.

The secretariat maintains a database of accredited CSOs which you can view here


NGO and Civil Society Liaison Officer

Marcos Montoiro

T +49-228 / 815-2806
F +49-228 / 815-2898/99

P.O. Box 260129
D-53153 Bonn, Germany

Office location

UN Campus
Platz der Vereinten Nationen 1 53113
Bonn, Germany


Do you have a story you would like to share? Share it with the UNCCD secretariat here.