Combating desertification in Central and Eastern Europe

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 the Regional Coordinating Unit (RCU) for Central and Eastern Europe

Ms. Jamal Annagylyjova
RCU Programme Officer
Tel: +49 228 815 2879
Fax: +49 228 815 2898/99

Langer Eugen
D-53113 Bonn