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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

  • Regional Liaison Officer
  • ndementieva [at]
  • 00 49 228 815 2824
Related news
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