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Annex V: Central and Eastern Europe (CEE)

Soil degradation and desertification is severe in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). While the degree of land degradation in the CEE region varies from country to country, evidence shows that the problem is getting worse.

The CEE region experiences various forms of land degradation caused by:
  • Development of transitioning economies
  • Soil depletion caused by agricultural processes
  • Deforestation, due to pollution stress and frequent forest fires
  • Inappropriate irrigation and excessive exploitation of water resources, which contribute to:
    • Chemical pollution
    • Salinization
    • Exhaustion of aquifers
Central and Eastern Europe: Regional cooperation

The UNCCD’s regional Annex V entered into force in 2001 by the Decision of
Conference of the Parties (COP) 5, titled “The Regional implementation Annex of the Convention for the region of Eastern and Central Europe”.

Currently, 19 countries of the CEE are the Parties to the UNCCD. Fifteen of these Parties have declared their status of being affected country Parties.

At COP12 in 2015 the countries of CEE 12 endorsed the Regional Action Programme (RAP CEE) at its regional meeting. The RAP CEE identifies the following priority areas for regional cooperation:

Sub-regional activities aimed at managing drought in South Eastern Europe are underway. In 2006 the countries in this sub-region established a Drought Management Centre for South Eastern Europe (DMCSEE) to better forecast drought occurrences, frequency and impacts. The center is hosted by Slovenia and in cooperation with the UNCCD secretariat and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

With adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015 the region of Central and Eastern Europe is set to translate the Goals into the national targets. Most of the countries of the region have prioritized the SDG 15.3. “By 2030, combat desertification, restore degraded land and soil, including land affected by desertification, drought and floods, and strive to achieve a land degradation-neutral world”.

The countries will build national capacity to set up the LDN target and monitor its achievement.

Contact Regional Liaison Office for Europe (Annex V)

(located in UNCCD Headquarters in Bonn)

Ms. Nadezda Dementieva

Related news
CRIC21: Steering the course to global land restoration 

As the UNCCD high-level meeting in Central Asia draws near, we welcome you to this discussion on why global and regional gatherings are an essential part of the UNCCD process. The twenty-first session of the Committee for the Review of the Implementation of the Convention (CRIC 21) in Samarkand is set to serve as a vital marker in the Convention’s ongoing efforts to accelerate progress on land restoration and drought resilience.   By bringing together experts, leaders and delegates from 196 nations and the European Union, the meeting sets a major arena for the exchange of cutting-edge insights. This pooling of global expertise not only fosters productive solutions but also facilitates joint decision-making, ensuring a coordinated approach to pressing environmental challenges.   CRIC21 will focus on strategic objectives ranging from sustainable land management and drought resilience to  secure and equal land rights for women. The event will also provide a platform to discuss emergent crises exacerbated by climate change, such as sand and dust storms and wildfires.   Taking place at the halfway point between the biannual Confrences of the Parties (COP) to UNCCD, the insights coming out of CRIC21 will aid in defining the next steps for all stakeholders, providing a clear and focused roadmap to UNCCD COP16, scheduled to take place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in 2024. 

CRIC21: Steering the course to global land restoration 
Healthy land the size of Central Asia lost since 2015

UN conference to tackle rapid land degradation and worsening droughts to take place in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, from 13-17 November 2023 Bonn/Samarkand, 13 September 2023 – For the first time since its inception, the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) will convene one of its official meetings in Central Asia. The twenty-first session of the Committee for the Review of the Implementation of the Convention (CRIC 21) will reveal the latest global trends in land degradation and drought, and review how countries are progressing with land restoration. It comes at a vital moment, when the world is witnessing an uptick in extreme weather events, with historic heatwaves and wildfires across Europe and North America, several failed rainy seasons in the Horn of Africa, and devastating floods, monsoons and cyclones in Asia. Land degradation contributes to these climatic changes and events and is simultaneously made worse by them. Ibrahim Thiaw, UNCCD Executive Secretary, said: “We are at a crucial juncture in our efforts to sustain life on land. Droughts, wildfires and heatwaves we have witnessed around the world are the symptoms of the deepening and interlinked climate and nature crises, with land at the heart of both. Since 2015, some 4 million square kilometres of healthy and productive lands have been lost—an area roughly the size of Central Asia. We must urgently stop further land degradation and restore at least 1 billion hectares to meet global land targets by 2030.” The meeting will be held at the Silk Road Samarkand Congress Centre in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, from 13 to 17 November 2023. On 15 November, there will be a high-level event on sand and dust storms, many of which have occurred in Uzbekistan and surrounding countries and regions with increasing frequency and severity in recent years. In addition, the UNCCD Gender Caucus on 14 November will convene international experts to discuss women’s land rights as a prerequisite to the success of global land restoration and drought resilience efforts. According to the latest UN data, between 2015 and 2019, at least 100 million hectares of healthy and productive land were degraded every year, affecting food and water security globally and directly impacting the lives of 1.3 billion people. This adds up to 420 million hectares, or 4.2 million square kilometres, slightly over the combined area of five Central Asian nations: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. If current trends continue, restoring 1.5 billion hectares of land by 2030 will be necessary to achieve a land-degradation-neutral world. Alternatively, halting any new land degradation and accelerating existing commitments to restore 1 billion hectares can surpass the neutrality target. CRIC21 will review progress in implementing the Convention’s strategic objectives on promoting sustainable land management, building drought resilience, supporting women's leadership in sustainable agriculture, and addressing forced migration due to land degradation and climate change. It will bring together representatives from 196 countries and the European Union which are signatories to the UNCCD, as well as civil society, academia and international organizations. Notes to editors  Accredited media representatives are invited to attend and report on CRIC21 and associated events. Field visits where journalists can see land restoration and drought resilience projects will take place immediately prior to CRIC21. Online registration for media representatives is available at the following link: www.unccd.int/cric-21-online-registration. To register, please provide the following documents: One recent passport-sized photograph A valid press card A copy (picture and signature pages) of your passport (for foreign journalists) or national identity card (for local applicants) A letter of introduction from the bureau chief or company sponsoring your travel to the session. For freelance journalists, a letter is required from the media organization assigning you to cover the conference A duly completed accreditation form Journalists who register online will be able to collect their accreditation at the Silk Road Samarkand Congress Center on presentation of a valid press card and an identity document. For more information on the regulations governing visa applications and the introduction of reporting material into Uzbekistan, please consult the following link: https://e-visa.gov.uz/main_ For inquiries about media accreditation or coverage of the event, please contact: press@unccd.int A dedicated press and media working space will be available at the conference venue.  Additional information and media updates on the Convention and CRIC 21 will be available on the host country CRIC 21 website and the UNCCD website. About UNCCD The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is the global vision and voice for land. We unite governments, scientists, policymakers, private sector and communities around a shared vision and global action to restore and manage the world’s land for the sustainability of humanity and the planet. Much more than an international treaty signed by 197 Parties, UNCCD is a multilateral commitment to mitigating today’s impacts of land degradation and advancing tomorrow’s land stewardship in order to provide food, water, shelter and economic opportunity to all people in an equitable and inclusive manner. Image: (c) Asia Development Bank

Healthy land the size of Central Asia lost since 2015
Конкурс на участие в работе русскоязычной пресс-службы первой конференции КБО ООН в Центральной Азии

В ноябре 2023 года встреча Комитета по рассмотрению осуществления Конвенции ООН по борьбе с опустыниванием и засухой (КРОК КБО ООН) впервые пройдет в одной из стран Центральной Азии. Мы приглашаем русскоязычных журналистов, в особенности из стран подверженных негативном последствиям засухи, опустынивания, пыльных и песчаных бурь, принять участие в освещении работы 21-ой сессии КРОК. Центрально-азиатская встреча станет ключевым моментом для обзора прогресса, достигнутого в регионе по предотвращению и обращению вспять потери продуктивных земель в результате опустынивания, деградации земель и засухи.   Представители Сторон КБО ООН соберутся в Самарканде (Узбекистан) с 13 по 17 ноября 2023г., чтобы рассмотреть ход реализации стратегических целей конвенции по устойчивому управлению земельными ресурсами, устойчивости к засухе, борьбе с песчаными и пыльным бурями, поддержке лидерства женщин в устойчивом развитии сельского хозяйства и решение проблем, связанных с вынужденной миграцией. Ожидается, что в мероприятии примут участие представители национальных, региональных и местных органов власти, гражданского общества, научного сообщества, международных организаций и всех видов СМИ.   Для освещения работы КРОК в состав пресс-службы при КБО OОН войдут пять русскоязычных журналистов из региона Центральной Азии. Члены пресс-службы примут участие не только в самой конференции, но и предшествующем ей медиа-тренинге. В программу работы пресс-службы войдет ряд специально разработанных мероприятий, включающих информационный семинар по ключевым направлениям работы КБО, экскурсии для ознакомления с успешными проектами по землевосстановлению и засухоустойчивости, а также встречи с региональными экспертами.  Срок подачи заявок до 8 октября 2023 г., кандидаты будут выбраны и оповещены к 15 октября 2023 г.   Кандидаты должны соответствовать следующим требованиям:   быть профессиональным журналистом или представителем ведущего СМИ из региона Центральной Азии  профессионально владеть русским языком  иметь опыт освещения экологических проблем и четко представлять, какие материалы они могут быть подготовлены во время участия в конференции  иметь возможность и желание лично приехать в Узбекистан для участия в конференции КРОК21 и предварительном медиа-тренинге на полный срок проведения этих мероприятий   взять на себя обязательство участвовать во всех мероприятиях пресс-службы  предоставить письмо поддержки от редактора, продюсера или руководителя СМИ, подтверждающее возможность публикации или трансляции вашего материала в одном из ведущих СМИ  фрилансеры могут подавать заявки, но должны предоставить сходное письмо от редакции, обязующейся опубликовать материалы о КРОК  Каждый заявитель должен направить следующие документы на электронный адрес press@unccd.int, с пометкой “Russian media fellowship CRIC21” до 8 октября 2023:  вступительное письмо с просьбой о финансовой поддержке и указанием того, какие темы будет освещать журналист  копия пресс-карты или другого аналогичного официального документа, подтверждающего профессиональный статус  копии страниц с фотографией и подписью в паспорте, действительном не менее чем до 31 мая 2024 года  разрешение работодателя на участие и освещение заседаний, для штатных сотрудников  кандидатам настоятельно рекомендуется представить независимые доказательства наличия вышеуказанных компетенций, например:  a) ссылки на опубликованные статьи – чем больше, тем лучше  б) рекомендательное письмо от редактора СМИ, в котором соискатель ранее публиковался  в) письмо от редакции, обязующейся опубликовать материалы о КРОК  г) рекомендательные письма от коллег из ООН, чьи мероприятия они освещали в прошлом  В числе покрываемых расходов – невозвратный авиабилет эконом-класса, гостиница, питание и транспортные расходы. Мы также окажем содействие в аккредитации и организации поездки и пребывания. Обращаем ваше внимание на то, что получение необходимых виз является обязанностью самого кандидата, однако соответствующие расходы могут быть компенсированы.   Участникам необходимо учитывать, что форс-мажорные обстоятельства, не зависящие от организаторов, могут воспрепятствовать участию отобранных журналистов в конференции. 

Конкурс на участие в работе русскоязычной пресс-службы первой конференции КБО ООН в Центральной Азии
Central and Eastern Europe searches for ways to reduce land loss

Land degradation, one of the world’s most pressing environmental problems affects 16.5 percent of the land in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), according to the latest UNCCD baseline assessment; equivalent to one out of every eight acres or hectares of the land in the region. From 6 to 9 December 2022, Bosnia and Herzegovina, one of the countries in the region, hosted a workshop to consider actions to take to avoid, reduce and reverse the land degradation, and to increase the area to be restored. Most CEE countries, including Bosnia and Herzegovina, participate in the drought initiative that is helping countries to be better prepared for droughts and have set their targets for restoring degraded lands. However, more restoration commitments above the current 13.5 million hectares, or 5% of the total degraded area, are needed to to reverse the ecosystem degradation and loss forests, croplands, grasslands, and peatlands in the region. The Workshop explored how to restore 350 million hectares of land degraded landscapes. The workshop participants, drawn mostly from countries in Central and Eastern Europe, the UNCCD and agencies that the Global Environment Facility (GEF) finances to help countries to carry out the desired actions discussed a new GEF programming cycle, known as “Healthy planet, healthy soils,” which offers countries the possibility to deliver on their environmental and climate agendas.   The Global Environmental Facility (GEF) is a financing instrument of the UNCCD and the largest environmental multi-donor trust fund. It contributes directly to the goals of the Convention through targeted financial and technical support to the countries which seek to meet the objectives of the UNCCD, and other international environmental agreements. Senad Oprašić, Head of Environmental Protection Department at Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which hosted the workshop spoke about the importance of tackling environmental challenges with the help of existing climate financial mechanisms. Bosnia and Herzegovina committed to revitalize 100,000 hectares of abandoned land as a part of its LDN target-setting process, according to the Global Land Outlook’s second edition of the Central and Eastern European Thematic Report. Ms. Nadezda Dementieva and Ms. Munazza Jaleel Naqvi, on behalf of the UNCCD, stressed that investing in land restoration as a win-win solution for the environment, the economy and people to combat desertification, climate change and loss of biodiversity. They encouraged participants to work closely with the Global Mechanism of the UNCCD (GM), which assists countries to mobilize substantial resources to implement agreements under the Convention. The GM helps Parties to translate their voluntary LDN targets and national drought plans into concrete actions on the ground, including developing gender-responsive transformative projects and programmes that generate multiple benefits. The GM also drew attention to upcoming events relevant to the work under consideration, more specifically, the 21st session of the Committee for the Review of the Implementation of the Convention (CRIC21) that will take place in October 2023 in Uzbekistan and the 16th session of the Convention’s Conference of the Parties to be held in 2024 in Saudi Arabia.

Central and Eastern Europe searches for ways to reduce land loss