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Sand and dust storms - Coalition

The United Nations Coalition on Combating SDS was launched at COP 14. This UN Coalition was established in response to the United Nations General Assembly resolution 72/225 of 2017 through the efforts of UNEP.

Currently, 19 Members of the Coalition include UN agencies and non-UN agencies: CBD, ESCAP, ESCWA, FAO, ICAO, ITU, IUCN, UNCCD, UNDESA, UNDP, UNDRR, UNECE, UNEP, UNFCCC, UN-Habitat, UNITAR, WHO, WMO, World Bank.

Mandate of the SDS Coalition

  • Promote and coordinate a collaborative UN-system response to SDS, on local, regional and global scales, ensuring unified and coherent actions are taken
  • Facilitate exchange of knowledge, data and best practices among Coalition members to promote effective and coherent action on SDS across the UN system
  • Encourage and promote collaboration on initiatives and action within the Members of the Coalition on SDS, including advocacy and funding initiatives
  • Facilitate dialogue and collaboration amongst affected countries and the UN system in addressing SDS issues collectively
  • Facilitate the capacity building of Member States, raise their awareness and enhance their preparedness and response to SDS in critical regions

Coalition members have agreed a set of Key Documents to guide the Coalition’s work: A Governance Framework, a Strategy, and an Action Plan. According to the Governance Framework, the chair/host of the Coalition changes every two years and the chair was formally transferred at the 3rd Coalition meeting in July 2020 from UNEP to FAO for the next two years.

Working Groups of the Coalition

The working groups, with their leads and co-leads, aim to catalyze global and regional actions to reduce SDS impacts on people’s health, agriculture, the environment and other economic activities.

  • WG1 Adaptation and mitigation: UNDP and FAO
  • WG2 Forecasting and early warning: WMO
  • WG3 Health and safety: WHO
  • WG4 Policy and governance: UNCCD
  • WG5 Mediation and regional collaboration: ESCAP and ESCWA

Discussions within and between these Working Groups have focused on prioritizing outputs from the Coalition’s Action Plan, alongside ideas to enhance resource mobilization. Once resources are identified, the intention is to commence the Coalition’s global response to sand and dust storms with a number of fast-track, high-visibility, high-impact projects.