Sand & dust storms
One of the most intimidating sights in nature are rolling dark clouds of sand and dust that engulf everything in their path, a phenomenon that turns day into night and wreaks havoc everywhere from Northern China to sub-Saharan Africa.
Sand and dust storms are unfortunately becoming increasingly common in many parts of the world. Studies show that sand and dust storms negatively impact:
- human health
- water and air quality
At least 25 per cent of global dust emissions originate from human activities, and in some areas, desert dust has doubled in the 20th century. The impact of this phenomena is difficult to control, as human activity in one part of the world can cause sand and dust storms in another region. However, just as sand and dust storm is caused by human activities these storms can also be reduced through human actions.
UNCCD is at the centre of these actions. We help governments to create policies to promote the scaling-up of sustainable land management practices and to find and use the latest science to develop and implement effective mitigation policies. We assist UNCCD parties affected by SDS by helping them adopt sustainable land management techniques.
For example, working with The Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia, we assist countries vulnerable to drought and sand and dust storms in Central Asia to develop and implement risk reduction strategies at national and regional level. We encourage countries to adopt a comprehensive risk reduction strategy with monitoring and early warning systems to improve preparedness and resilience to these environmental disasters.
UNCCD is working in a coalition of 19 Members (CBD, ESCAP, ESCWA, FAO, ICAO, ITU, IUCN, UNCCD, UNDESA, UNDP, UNDRR, UNECE, UNEP, UNFCCC, UN-Habitat, UNITAR, WHO, WMO, World Bank) to provide and build the knowledge pool and expertise countries need to work together to solve these challenges.
million people around the world, including 14% of the world's children are affected by sand and dust storms
25 to 50%
of global dust emissions originate from human activities
The Sand and Dust Storm Toolbox provides a comprehensive package of tools and approaches and guidance for understanding and addressing the impacts of sand and dust storms.Access the toolbox