Comoros and the Climate Commission for the Sahel Region join the International Drought Resilience Alliance
Nairobi, 5 September 2023
Acknowledging that severe drought affects Africa more than any other continent, leaders at the Africa Climate Summit in Nairobi have put forward a common vision for drought resilience in the run up to the next climate and desertification summits — UNFCCC COP28 in November 2023 and UNCCD COP16 in December 2024. The objective is to reduce the costs of future droughts for societies and economies through strategic investments in sustainable land and water management.
Africa accounts for 44 per cent of all severe droughts recorded globally in the past century and, in the last 50 years, sustained economic losses of more than USD70 billion alongside incalculable human suffering. By 2050, droughts aggravated by climate change and land degradation may affect three in four people worldwide. At the same time, investing in drought resilience is one of the most cost-effective actions countries and regions can take, with returns of up to 10 times the initial investment.
Speaking at the high-level side event ‘Empowering Africa’s Drought Resilience,’ convened by the International Drought Resilience Alliance (IDRA), H.E. Alioune Ndoye, Minister for Environment of Senegal, said: “Driving an African agenda for drought resilience is one of our priorities as co-chair of IDRA. We have experienced the devastating impacts of drought on lives and livelihoods and are committed to pioneering solutions for people and for the climate, land and biodiversity that sustains us all.”
The panel also featured the environment ministers of Mauritania, Senegal, Comoros and the UAE as well as the commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture of the African Union Commission, and it was moderated by the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), Ibrahim Thiaw.
Creating political momentum and mobilizing investments in drought resilience are key pillars of the International Drought Resilience Alliance (IDRA), a growing coalition of more than 30 countries and 20 institutions driving drought resilience in the face of climate change. IDRA, which is co-chaired by Senegal and Spain and hosted by UNCCD, acknowledges that we are only as resilient to climate change as our land is.
New IDRA members
During the African Climate Summit, Comoros and the Climate Commission for the Sahel Region (CCSR) announced their adhesion to IDRA. Comoros is chairing the African Union for the first time and championing the region’s agenda on areas such as climate, stability and prosperity, while the Commission channels investments against drought, desertification and the impacts of climate change in the Sahel.
H.E. Issifi Boureim, Executive Secretary of the Climate Commission for the Sahel Region (CCSR), pointed out: “Drought knows no borders and, often, neither do the landscapes, peoples and economies it hits, as the Sahel shows. As climate change intensifies, we are eager to join forces with IDRA members to build drought resilience at the necessary pace and scale.”
Africa-led solutions for drought resilience
Africa is already taking action to prepare for future droughts. For example, through early warning systems such as the Africa Flood and Drought Monitor in the Lake Chad basin and green infrastructures like the Great Green Wall in the Sahel, rooted in sustainable land management practices and ecosystem restoration.
In Ethiopia, weather-indexed insurance programmes are also helping farmers recover from drought while enabling them save money, access credit and invest in fertilizers and tools to increase agricultural productivity.
In parallel, national and municipal authorities are harnessing innovative finance mechanisms to mobilize funds for drought resilience. Between 2012 and 2021, Africa has seen 20 sustainable bond issuances, including the rise in green bonds to finance projects and infrastructures related to water in places like Egypt and Cape Town, South Africa.
Notes to editors
For media related inquires please contact the UNCCD Press Office: %20press [at] unccd.int (pressatunccddotint)
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.
The International Drought Resilience Alliance (IDRA) is the first global coalition creating political momentum and mobilizing financial and technical resources for a drought-resilient future. As a growing platform of more than 30 countries and 20 institutions, IDRA draws on the collective strengths of its members to advance policies, actions, and capacity-building for drought preparedness, acknowledging we are only as resilient to drought and climate change as our land is. The work of IDRA is aligned with, and supportive of, the mandate of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), which hosts the IDRA Secretariat.