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The Parties to this Convention,

Affirming that human beings in affected or threatened areas are at the centre of concerns to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought,

Reflecting the urgent concern of the international community, including States and international organizations, about the adverse impacts of desertification and drought,

Aware that arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas together account for a significant proportion of the Earth's land area and are the habitat and source of livelihood for a large segment of its population,

Acknowledging that desertification and drought are problems of global dimension in that they affect all regions of the world and that joint action of the international community is needed to combat desertification and/or mitigate the effects of drought,

Tagged terms: international cooperation

Noting the high concentration of developing countries, notably the least developed countries, among those experiencing serious drought and/or desertification, and the particularly tragic consequences of these phenomena in Africa,

Tagged terms: developing country, least developed country

Noting also that desertification is caused by complex interactions among physical, biological, political, social, cultural and economic factors,

Tagged terms: desertification

Considering the impact of trade and relevant aspects of international economic relations on the ability of affected countries to combat desertification adequately,

Tagged terms: illegal trade

Conscious that sustainable economic growth, social development and poverty eradication are priorities of affected developing countries, particularly in Africa, and are essential to meeting sustainability objectives,

Tagged terms: poverty, sustainable development

Mindful that desertification and drought affect sustainable development through their interrelationships with important social problems such as poverty, poor health and nutrition, lack of food security, and those arising from migration, displacement of persons and demographic dynamics,

Tagged terms: food security, poverty

Appreciating the significance of the past efforts and experience of States and international organizations in combating desertification and mitigating the effects of drought, particularly in implementing the Plan of Action to Combat Desertification which was adopted at the United Nations Conference on Desertification in 1977,

Tagged terms: international cooperation

Realizing that, despite efforts in the past, progress in combating desertification and mitigating the effects of drought has not met expectations and that a new and more effective approach is needed at all levels within the framework of sustainable development,

Recognizing the validity and relevance of decisions adopted at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, particularly of Agenda 21 and its chapter 12, which provide a basis for combating desertification,

Tagged terms: synergy

Reaffirming in this light the commitments of developed countries as contained in paragraph 13 of chapter 33 of Agenda 21,

Tagged terms: common but differentiated responsibilities, developed country

Recalling General Assembly resolution 47/188, particularly the priority in it prescribed for Africa, and all other relevant United Nations resolutions, decisions and programmes on desertification and drought, as well as relevant declarations by African countries and those from other regions,

Tagged terms: synergy

Reaffirming the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development which states, in its Principle 2, that States have, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and the principles of international law, the sovereign right to exploit their own resources pursuant to their own environmental and developmental policies, and the responsibility to ensure that activities within their jurisdiction or control do not cause damage to the environment of other States or of areas beyond the limits of national jurisdiction,

Tagged terms: environmental damage, prevention, sovereignty

Recognizing that national Governments play a critical role in combating desertification and mitigating the effects of drought and that progress in that respect depends on local implementation of action programmes in affected areas,

Tagged terms: national strategy

Recognizing also the importance and necessity of international cooperation and partnership in combating desertification and mitigating the effects of drought,

Tagged terms: international cooperation

Recognizing further the importance of the provision to affected developing countries, particularly in Africa, of effective means, inter alia substantial financial resources, including new and additional funding, and access to technology, without which it will be difficult for them to implement fully their commitments under this Convention,

Tagged terms: financial mechanism, budget, implementation, technology

Expressing concern over the impact of desertification and drought on affected countries in Central Asia and the Transcaucasus,

Stressing the important role played by women in regions affected by desertification and/or drought, particularly in rural areas of developing countries, and the importance of ensuring the full participation of both men and women at all levels in programmes to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought,

Tagged terms: gender

Emphasizing the special role of non-governmental organizations and other major groups in programmes to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought,

Tagged terms: non-governmental organization

Bearing in mind the relationship between desertification and other environmental problems of global dimension facing the international and national communities,

Tagged terms: agrobiodiversity, climate change

Bearing also in mind the contribution that combating desertification can make to achieving the objectives of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Convention on Biological Diversity and other related environmental conventions,

Tagged terms: agrobiodiversity, climate change

Believing that strategies to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought will be most effective if they are based on sound systematic observation and rigorous scientific knowledge and if they are continuously re-evaluated,

Tagged terms: research, subsidiary body, advisory body

Recognizing the urgent need to improve the effectiveness and coordination of international cooperation to facilitate the implementation of national plans and priorities,

Tagged terms: international cooperation

Determined to take appropriate action in combating desertification and mitigating the effects of drought for the benefit of present and future generations,

Tagged terms: intergenerational equity

Have agreed as follows:

The Parties to this Convention,

For the purposes of this Convention:

"desertification" means land degradation in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas resulting from various factors, including climatic variations and human activities;

Tagged terms: desertification

"combating desertification" includes activities which are part of the integrated development of land in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas for sustainable development which are aimed at:

prevention and/or reduction of land degradation;

rehabilitation of partly degraded land; and

reclamation of desertified land;

"drought" means the naturally occurring phenomenon that exists when precipitation has been significantly below normal recorded levels, causing serious hydrological imbalances that adversely affect land resource production systems;

Tagged terms: drought

"mitigating the effects of drought" means activities related to the prediction of drought and intended to reduce the vulnerability of society and natural systems to drought as it relates to combating desertification;

"land" means the terrestrial bio-productive system that comprises soil, vegetation, other biota, and the ecological and hydrological processes that operate within the system;

Tagged terms: land, land degradation

"land degradation" means reduction or loss, in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas, of the biological or economic productivity and complexity of rainfed cropland, irrigated cropland, or range, pasture, forest and woodlands resulting from land uses or from a process or combination of processes, including processes arising from human activities and habitation patterns, such as:

Tagged terms: land, land degradation

soil erosion caused by wind and/or water;

deterioration of the physical, chemical and biological or economic properties of soil; and

long-term loss of natural vegetation;

"arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas" means areas, other than polar and sub-polar regions, in which the ratio of annual precipitation to potential evapotranspiration falls within the range from 0.05 to 0.65;

"affected areas" means arid, semi-arid and/or dry sub-humid areas affected or threatened by desertification;

"affected countries" means countries whose lands include, in whole or in part, affected areas;

"regional economic integration organization" means an organization constituted by sovereign States of a given region which has competence in respect of matters governed by this Convention and has been duly authorized, in accordance with its internal procedures, to sign, ratify, accept, approve or accede to this Convention;

"developed country Parties" means developed country Parties and regional economic integration organizations constituted by developed countries.

Tagged terms: developed country

The objective of this Convention is to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought in countries experiencing serious drought and/or desertification, particularly in Africa, through effective action at all levels, supported by international cooperation and partnership arrangements, in the framework of an integrated approach which is consistent with Agenda 21, with a view to contributing to the achievement of sustainable development in affected areas.

Tagged terms: desertification, international cooperation, climate change mitigation, sustainable development

Achieving this objective will involve long-term integrated strategies that focus simultaneously, in affected areas, on improved productivity of land, and the rehabilitation, conservation and sustainable management of land and water resources, leading to improved living conditions, in particular at the community level.

Tagged terms: conservation, sustainable use

In order to achieve the objective of this Convention and to implement its provisions, the Parties shall be guided, inter alia, by the following:

the Parties should ensure that decisions on the design and implementation of programmes to combat desertification and/or mitigate the effects of drought are taken with the participation of populations and local communities and that an enabling environment is created at higher levels to facilitate action at national and local levels;

Tagged terms: indigenous peoples, public participation

the Parties should, in a spirit of international solidarity and partnership, improve cooperation and coordination at subregional, regional and international levels, and better focus financial, human, organizational and technical resources where they are needed;

Tagged terms: international cooperation

the Parties should develop, in a spirit of partnership, cooperation among all levels of government, communities, non-governmental organizations and landholders to establish a better understanding of the nature and value of land and scarce water resources in affected areas and to work towards their sustainable use; and

Tagged terms: non-governmental organization, subsidiary body, advisory body, research

the Parties should take into full consideration the special needs and circumstances of affected developing country Parties, particularly the least developed among them.

Tagged terms: developing country, least developed country, common but differentiated responsibilities

The Parties shall implement their obligations under this Convention, individually or jointly, either through existing or prospective bilateral and multilateral arrangements or a combination thereof, as appropriate, emphasizing the need to coordinate efforts and develop a coherent long-term strategy at all levels.

Tagged terms: implementation, international cooperation

In pursuing the objective of this Convention, the Parties shall:

adopt an integrated approach addressing the physical, biological and socio-economic aspects of the processes of desertification and drought;

Tagged terms: sustainable use, land

give due attention, within the relevant international and regional bodies, to the situation of affected developing country Parties with regard to international trade, marketing arrangements and debt with a view to establishing an enabling international economic environment conducive to the promotion of sustainable development;

Tagged terms: developing country, common but differentiated responsibilities, sustainable development, illegal trade

integrate strategies for poverty eradication into efforts to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought;

Tagged terms: poverty

promote cooperation among affected country Parties in the fields of environmental protection and the conservation of land and water resources, as they relate to desertification and drought;

Tagged terms: international cooperation

strengthen subregional, regional and international cooperation;

Tagged terms: international cooperation

cooperate within relevant intergovernmental organizations;

determine institutional mechanisms, if appropriate, keeping in mind the need to avoid duplication; and

promote the use of existing bilateral and multilateral financial mechanisms and arrangements that mobilize and channel substantial financial resources to affected developing country Parties in combating desertification and mitigating the effects of drought.

Tagged terms: financial mechanism, budget

Affected developing country Parties are eligible for assistance in the implementation of the Convention.

Tagged terms: developing country, technology transfer, capacity building

In addition to their obligations pursuant to article 4, affected country Parties undertake to:

Tagged terms: national strategy

give due priority to combating desertification and mitigating the effects of drought, and allocate adequate resources in accordance with their circumstances and capabilities;

establish strategies and priorities, within the framework of sustainable development plans and/or policies, to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought;

Tagged terms: national strategy

address the underlying causes of desertification and pay special attention to the socio- economic factors contributing to desertification processes;

Tagged terms: economy in transition

promote awareness and facilitate the participation of local populations, particularly women and youth, with the support of non-governmental organizations, in efforts to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought; and

Tagged terms: capacity building, gender, indigenous peoples, non-governmental organization, public awareness

provide an enabling environment by strengthening, as appropriate, relevant existing legislation and, where they do not exist, enacting new laws and establishing long-term policies and action programmes.

Tagged terms: national law

In addition to their general obligations pursuant to article 4, developed country Parties undertake to:

Tagged terms: developed country, national strategy

actively support, as agreed, individually or jointly, the efforts of affected developing country Parties, particularly those in Africa, and the least developed countries, to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought;

Tagged terms: capacity building

provide substantial financial resources and other forms of support to assist affected developing country Parties, particularly those in Africa, effectively to develop and implement their own long-term plans and strategies to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought;

Tagged terms: financial mechanism, budget, technology transfer, capacity building

promote the mobilization of new and additional funding pursuant to article 20, paragraph 2 (b);

Tagged terms: financial mechanism, budget

encourage the mobilization of funding from the private sector and other non-governmental sources; and

Tagged terms: non-governmental organization, private sector, trade

promote and facilitate access by affected country Parties, particularly affected developing country Parties, to appropriate technology, knowledge and know-how.

Tagged terms: technology transfer

promote and facilitate access by affected country Parties, particularly affected developing country Parties, to appropriate technology, knowledge and know-how.

In implementing this Convention, the Parties shall give priority to affected African country Parties, in the light of the particular situation prevailing in that region, while not neglecting affected developing country Parties in other regions.

Tagged terms: developing country

The Parties shall encourage the coordination of activities carried out under this Convention and, if they are Parties to them, under other relevant international agreements, particularly the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Convention on Biological Diversity, in order to derive maximum benefit from activities under each agreement while avoiding duplication of effort. The Parties shall encourage the conduct of joint programmes, particularly in the fields of research, training, systematic observation and information collection and exchange, to the extent that such activities may contribute to achieving the objectives of the agreements concerned.

The provisions of this Convention shall not affect the rights and obligations of any Party deriving from a bilateral, regional or international agreement into which it has entered prior to the entry into force of this Convention for it.

In carrying out their obligations pursuant to article 5, affected developing country Parties and any other affected country Party in the framework of its regional implementation annex or, otherwise, that has notified the Permanent Secretariat in writing of its intention to prepare a national action programme, shall, as appropriate, prepare, make public and implement national action programmes, utilizing and building, to the extent possible, on existing relevant successful plans and programmes, and subregional and regional action programmes, as the central element of the strategy to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought. Such programmes shall be updated through a continuing participatory process on the basis of lessons from field action, as well as the results of research. The preparation of national action programmes shall be closely interlinked with other efforts to formulate national policies for sustainable development.

Tagged terms: developing country, national strategy

In the provision by developed country Parties of different forms of assistance under the terms of article 6, priority shall be given to supporting, as agreed, national, subregional and regional action programmes of affected developing country Parties, particularly those in Africa, either directly or through relevant multilateral organizations or both.

Tagged terms: developed country

The Parties shall encourage organs, funds and programmes of the United Nations system and other relevant intergovernmental organizations, academic institutions, the scientific community and non-governmental organizations in a position to cooperate, in accordance with their mandates and capabilities, to support the elaboration, implementation and follow-up of action programmes.

Tagged terms: international cooperation

The purpose of national action programmes is to identify the factors contributing to desertification and practical measures necessary to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought.

National action programmes shall specify the respective roles of government, local communities and land users and the resources available and needed. They shall, inter alia:

Tagged terms: indigenous peoples, local administration

incorporate long-term strategies to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought, emphasize implementation and be integrated with national policies for sustainable development;

allow for modifications to be made in response to changing circumstances and be sufficiently flexible at the local level to cope with different socio-economic, biological and geo-physical conditions;

give particular attention to the implementation of preventive measures for lands that are not yet degraded or which are only slightly degraded;

enhance national climatological, meteorological and hydrological capabilities and the means to provide for drought early warning;

Tagged terms: early warning system

promote policies and strengthen institutional frameworks which develop cooperation and coordination, in a spirit of partnership, between the donor community, governments at all levels, local populations and community groups, and facilitate access by local populations to appropriate information and technology;

Tagged terms: access to information, technology

provide for effective participation at the local, national and regional levels of non- governmental organizations and local populations, both women and men, particularly resource users, including farmers and pastoralists and their representative organizations, in policy planning, decision-making, and implementation and review of national action programmes; and

Tagged terms: breeders' right, gender, non-governmental organization

require regular review of, and progress reports on, their implementation.

Tagged terms: implementation

National action programmes may include, inter alia, some or all of the following measures to prepare for and mitigate the effects of drought:

establishment and/or strengthening, as appropriate, of early warning systems, including local and national facilities and joint systems at the subregional and regional levels, and mechanisms for assisting environmentally displaced persons;

Tagged terms: early warning system

strengthening of drought preparedness and management, including drought contingency plans at the local, national, subregional and regional levels, which take into consideration seasonal to interannual climate predictions;

Tagged terms: disaster

establishment and/or strengthening, as appropriate, of food security systems, including storage and marketing facilities, particularly in rural areas;

Tagged terms: food security

establishment of alternative livelihood projects that could provide incomes in drought prone areas; and

Tagged terms: alternative substance

development of sustainable irrigation programmes for both crops and livestock.

Tagged terms: agriculture

Taking into account the circumstances and requirements specific to each affected country Party, national action programmes include, as appropriate, inter alia, measures in some or all of the following priority fields as they relate to combating desertification and mitigating the effects of drought in affected areas and to their populations: promotion of alternative livelihoods and improvement of national economic environments with a view to strengthening programmes aimed at the eradication of poverty and at ensuring food security; demographic dynamics; sustainable management of natural resources; sustainable agricultural practices; development and efficient use of various energy sources; institutional and legal frameworks; strengthening of capabilities for assessment and systematic observation, including hydrological and meteorological services, and capacity building, education and public awareness.

Tagged terms: alternative substance, capacity building, national law, poverty, public awareness, sustainable development

Affected country Parties shall consult and cooperate to prepare, as appropriate, in accordance with relevant regional implementation annexes, subregional and/or regional action programmes to harmonize, complement and increase the efficiency of national programmes. The provisions of article 10 shall apply mutatis mutandis to subregional and regional programmes. Such cooperation may include agreed joint programmes for the sustainable management of transboundary natural resources, scientific and technical cooperation, and strengthening of relevant institutions.

Affected country Parties, in collaboration with other Parties and the international community, should cooperate to ensure the promotion of an enabling international environment in the implementation of the Convention. Such cooperation should also cover fields of technology transfer as well as scientific research and development, information collection and dissemination and financial resources.

Measures to support action programmes pursuant to article 9 include,inter alia:

financial cooperation to provide predictability for action programmes, allowing for necessary long-term planning;

Tagged terms: financial mechanism, budget

elaboration and use of cooperation mechanisms which better enable support at the local level, including action through non-governmental organizations, in order to promote the replicability of successful pilot programme activities where relevant;

Tagged terms: non-governmental organization

increased flexibility in project design, funding and implementation in keeping with the experimental, iterative approach indicated for participatory action at the local community level; and

Tagged terms: public participation

as appropriate, administrative and budgetary procedures that increase the efficiency of cooperation and of support programmes.

Tagged terms: financial mechanism, budget

In providing such support to affected developing country Parties, priority shall be given to African country Parties and to least developed country Parties.

Tagged terms: least developed country

The Parties shall work closely together, directly and through relevant intergovernmental organizations, in the elaboration and implementation of action programmes.

The Parties shall develop operational mechanisms, particularly at the national and field levels, to ensure the fullest possible coordination among developed country Parties, developing country Parties and relevant intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, in order to avoid duplication, harmonize interventions and approaches, and maximize the impact of assistance. In affected developing country Parties, priority will be given to coordinating activities related to international cooperation in order to maximize the efficient use of resources, to ensure responsive assistance, and to facilitate the implementation of national action programmes and priorities under this Convention.

Elements for incorporation in action programmes shall be selected and adapted to the socio- economic, geographical and climatic factors applicable to affected country Parties or regions, as well as to their level of development. Guidelines for the preparation of action programmes and their exact focus and content for particular subregions and regions are set out in the regional implementation annexes.

The Parties agree, according to their respective capabilities, to integrate and coordinate the collection, analysis and exchange of relevant short term and long term data and information to ensure systematic observation of land degradation in affected areas and to understand better and assess the processes and effects of drought and desertification. This would help accomplish, inter alia, early warning and advance planning for periods of adverse climatic variation in a form suited for practical application by users at all levels, including especially local populations. To this end, they shall, as appropriate:

facilitate and strengthen the functioning of the global network of institutions and facilities for the collection, analysis and exchange of information, as well as for systematic observation at all levels, which shall, inter alia:

aim to use compatible standards and systems;

Tagged terms: best practice

encompass relevant data and stations, including in remote areas;

use and disseminate modern technology for data collection, transmission and assessment on land degradation; and

Tagged terms: technology

link national, subregional and regional data and information centres more closely with global information sources;

ensure that the collection, analysis and exchange of information address the needs of local communities and those of decision makers, with a view to resolving specific problems, and that local communities are involved in these activities;

Tagged terms: indigenous peoples

support and further develop bilateral and multilateral programmes and projects aimed at defining, conducting, assessing and financing the collection, analysis and exchange of data and information, including, inter alia, integrated sets of physical, biological, social and economic indicators;

make full use of the expertise of competent intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, particularly to disseminate relevant information and experiences among target groups in different regions;

give full weight to the collection, analysis and exchange of socio-economic data, and their integration with physical and biological data;

Tagged terms: access to information

exchange and make fully, openly and promptly available information from all publicly available sources relevant to combating desertification and mitigating the effects of drought; and

Tagged terms: indigenous knowledge

subject to their respective national legislation and/or policies, exchange information on local and traditional knowledge, ensuring adequate protection for it and providing appropriate return from the benefits derived from it, on an equitable basis and on mutually agreed terms, to the local populations concerned.

Tagged terms: indigenous knowledge

The Parties undertake, according to their respective capabilities, to promote technical and scientific cooperation in the fields of combating desertification and mitigating the effects of drought through appropriate national, subregional, regional and international institutions. To this end, they shall support research activities that:

Tagged terms: subsidiary body, advisory body, research

contribute to increased knowledge of the processes leading to desertification and drought and the impact of, and distinction between, causal factors, both natural and human, with a view to combating desertification and mitigating the effects of drought, and achieving improved productivity as well as sustainable use and management of resources;

Tagged terms: subsidiary body, advisory body, research

respond to well defined objectives, address the specific needs of local populations and lead to the identification and implementation of solutions that improve the living standards of people in affected areas;

protect, integrate, enhance and validate traditional and local knowledge, know-how and practices, ensuring, subject to their respective national legislation and/or policies, that the owners of that knowledge will directly benefit on an equitable basis and on mutually agreed terms from any commercial utilization of it or from any technological development derived from that knowledge;

Tagged terms: access and benefit sharing, mutually agreed term, indigenous knowledge

develop and strengthen national, subregional and regional research capabilities in affected developing country Parties, particularly in Africa, including the development of local skills and the strengthening of appropriate capacities, especially in countries with a weak research base, giving particular attention to multidisciplinary and participative socio- economic research;

Tagged terms: subsidiary body, advisory body, research

take into account, where relevant, the relationship between poverty, migration caused by environmental factors, and desertification;

Tagged terms: poverty

promote the conduct of joint research programmes between national, subregional, regional and international research organizations, in both the public and private sectors, for the development of improved, affordable and accessible technologies for sustainable development through effective participation of local populations and communities; and

Tagged terms: international cooperation

enhance the availability of water resources in affected areas, by means of, inter alia, cloud-seeding.

Tagged terms: water resources management

Research priorities for particular regions and subregions, reflecting different local conditions, should be included in action programmes. The Conference of the Parties shall review research priorities periodically on the advice of the Committee on Science and Technology.

Tagged terms: research

The Parties undertake, as mutually agreed and in accordance with their respective national legislation and/or policies, to promote, finance and/or facilitate the financing of the transfer, acquisition, adaptation and development of environmentally sound, economically viable and socially acceptable technologies relevant to combating desertification and/or mitigating the effects of drought, with a view to contributing to the achievement of sustainable development in affected areas. Such cooperation shall be conducted bilaterally or multilaterally, as appropriate, making full use of the expertise of intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations. The Parties shall, in particular:

Tagged terms: best practice, technology transfer

fully utilize relevant existing national, subregional, regional and international information systems and clearing-houses for the dissemination of information on available technologies, their sources, their environmental risks and the broad terms under which they may be acquired;

Tagged terms: clearing-house mechanism, access to information

facilitate access, in particular by affected developing country Parties, on favourable terms, including on concessional and preferential terms, as mutually agreed, taking into account the need to protect intellectual property rights, to technologies most suitable to practical application for specific needs of local populations, paying special attention to the social, cultural, economic and environmental impact of such technology;

Tagged terms: intellectual property right, indigenous peoples, mutually agreed term, economy in transition

facilitate technology cooperation among affected country Parties through financial assistance or other appropriate means;

Tagged terms: technology transfer, capacity building

extend technology cooperation with affected developing country Parties, including, where relevant, joint ventures, especially to sectors which foster alternative livelihoods; and

take appropriate measures to create domestic market conditions and incentives, fiscal or otherwise, conducive to the development, transfer, acquisition and adaptation of suitable technology, knowledge, know-how and practices, including measures to ensure adequate and effective protection of intellectual property rights.

Tagged terms: economic instrument, public awareness

The Parties shall, according to their respective capabilities, and subject to their respective national legislation and/or policies, protect, promote and use in particular relevant traditional and local technology, knowledge, know-how and practices and, to that end, they undertake to:

make inventories of such technology, knowledge, know-how and practices and their potential uses with the participation of local populations, and disseminate such information, where appropriate, in cooperation with relevant intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations;

ensure that such technology, knowledge, know-how and practices are adequately protected and that local populations benefit directly, on an equitable basis and as mutually agreed, from any commercial utilization of them or from any technological development derived therefrom;

Tagged terms: access and benefit sharing

encourage and actively support the improvement and dissemination of such technology, knowledge, know-how and practices or of the development of new technology based on them; and

facilitate, as appropriate, the adaptation of such technology, knowledge, know-how and practices to wide use and integrate them with modern technology, as appropriate.

The Parties recognize the significance of capacity building -- that is to say, institution building, training and development of relevant local and national capacities -- in efforts to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought. They shall promote, as appropriate, capacity- building:

through the full participation at all levels of local people, particularly at the local level, especially women and youth, with the cooperation of non-governmental and local organizations;

Tagged terms: gender, indigenous peoples, non-governmental organization

by strengthening training and research capacity at the national level in the field of desertification and drought;

by establishing and/or strengthening support and extension services to disseminate relevant technology methods and techniques more effectively, and by training field agents and members of rural organizations in participatory approaches for the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources;

by fostering the use and dissemination of the knowledge, know-how and practices of local people in technical cooperation programmes, wherever possible;

Tagged terms: indigenous knowledge

by adapting, where necessary, relevant environmentally sound technology and traditional methods of agriculture and pastoralism to modern socio-economic conditions;

Tagged terms: agriculture, breeders' right

by providing appropriate training and technology in the use of alternative energy sources, particularly renewable energy resources, aimed particularly at reducing dependence on wood for fuel;

through cooperation, as mutually agreed, to strengthen the capacity of affected developing country Parties to develop and implement programmes in the field of collection, analysis and exchange of information pursuant to article 16;

Tagged terms: access to information

through innovative ways of promoting alternative livelihoods, including training in new skills;

Tagged terms: alternative substance

by training of decision makers, managers, and personnel who are responsible for the collection and analysis of data for the dissemination and use of early warning information on drought conditions and for food production;

Tagged terms: early warning system

through more effective operation of existing national institutions and legal frameworks and, where necessary, creation of new ones, along with strengthening of strategic planning and management; and

Tagged terms: national strategy, national law

by means of exchange visitor programmes to enhance capacity building in affected country Parties through a long-term, interactive process of learning and study.

Affected developing country Parties shall conduct, in cooperation with other Parties and competent intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, as appropriate, an interdisciplinary review of available capacity and facilities at the local and national levels, and the potential for strengthening them.

The Parties shall cooperate with each other and through competent intergovernmental organizations, as well as with non-governmental organizations, in undertaking and supporting public awareness and educational programmes in both affected and, where relevant, unaffected country Parties to promote understanding of the causes and effects of desertification and drought and of the importance of meeting the objective of this Convention. To that end, they shall:

organize awareness campaigns for the general public;

promote, on a permanent basis, access by the public to relevant information, and wide public participation in education and awareness activities;

Tagged terms: access to information, access to justice, public participation

encourage the establishment of associations that contribute to public awareness;

develop and exchange educational and public awareness material, where possible in local languages, exchange and second experts to train personnel of affected developing country Parties in carrying out relevant education and awareness programmes, and fully utilize relevant educational material available in competent international bodies;

assess educational needs in affected areas, elaborate appropriate school curricula and expand, as needed, educational and adult literacy programmes and opportunities for all, in particular for girls and women, on the identification, conservation and sustainable use and management of the natural resources of affected areas; and

develop interdisciplinary participatory programmes integrating desertification and drought awareness into educational systems and in non-formal, adult, distance and practical educational programmes.

The Conference of the Parties shall establish and/or strengthen networks of regional education and training centres to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought. These networks shall be coordinated by an institution created or designated for that purpose, in order to train scientific, technical and management personnel and to strengthen existing institutions responsible for education and training in affected country Parties, where appropriate, with a view to harmonizing programmes and to organizing exchanges of experience among them. These networks shall cooperate closely with relevant intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations to avoid duplication of effort.

Tagged terms: international cooperation

Given the central importance of financing to the achievement of the objective of the Convention, the Parties, taking into account their capabilities, shall make every effort to ensure that adequate financial resources are available for programmes to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought.

In this connection, developed country Parties, while giving priority to affected African country Parties without neglecting affected developing country Parties in other regions, in accordance with article 7, undertake to:

mobilize substantial financial resources, including grants and concessional loans, in order to support the implementation of programmes to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought;

promote the mobilization of adequate, timely and predictable financial resources, including new and additional funding from the Global Environment Facility of the agreed incremental costs of those activities concerning desertification that relate to its four focal areas, in conformity with the relevant provisions of the Instrument establishing the Global Environment Facility;

Tagged terms: kyoto mechanism

facilitate through international cooperation the transfer of technology, knowledge and know-how; and

Tagged terms: technology transfer

explore, in cooperation with affected developing country Parties, innovative methods and incentives for mobilizing and channelling resources, including those of foundations, non- governmental organizations and other private sector entities, particularly debt swaps and other innovative means which increase financing by reducing the external debt burden of affected developing country Parties, particularly those in Africa.

Tagged terms: non-governmental organization, private sector, trade

Affected developing country Parties, taking into account their capabilities, undertake to mobilize adequate financial resources for the implementation of their national action programmes.

In mobilizing financial resources, the Parties shall seek full use and continued qualitative improvement of all national, bilateral and multilateral funding sources and mechanisms, using consortia, joint programmes and parallel financing, and shall seek to involve private sector funding sources and mechanisms, including those of non-governmental organizations. To this end, the Parties shall fully utilize the operational mechanisms developed pursuant to article 14.

In order to mobilize the financial resources necessary for affected developing country Parties to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought, the Parties shall:

rationalize and strengthen the management of resources already allocated for combating desertification and mitigating the effects of drought by using them more effectively and efficiently, assessing their successes and shortcomings, removing hindrances to their effective use and, where necessary, reorienting programmes in light of the integrated long- term approach adopted pursuant to this Convention;

give due priority and attention within the governing bodies of multilateral financial institutions, facilities and funds, including regional development banks and funds, to supporting affected developing country Parties, particularly those in Africa, in activities which advance implementation of the Convention, notably action programmes they undertake in the framework of regional implementation annexes; and

Tagged terms: international cooperation

examine ways in which regional and subregional cooperation can be strengthened to support efforts undertaken at the national level.

Other Parties are encouraged to provide, on a voluntary basis, knowledge, know-how and techniques related to desertification and/or financial resources to affected developing country Parties.

The full implementation by affected developing country Parties, particularly those in Africa, of their obligations under the Convention will be greatly assisted by the fulfilment by developed country Parties of their obligations under the Convention, including in particular those regarding financial resources and transfer of technology. In fulfilling their obligations, developed country Parties should take fully into account that economic and social development and poverty eradication are the first priorities of affected developing country Parties, particularly those in Africa.

1. The Conference of the Parties shall promote the availability of financial mechanisms and shall encourage such mechanisms to seek to maximize the availability of funding for affected developing country Parties, particularly those in Africa, to implement the Convention. To this end, the Conference of the Parties shall consider for adoption inter alia approaches and policies that:

facilitate the provision of necessary funding at the national, subregional, regional and global levels for activities pursuant to relevant provisions of the Convention;

promote multiple-source funding approaches, mechanisms and arrangements and their assessment, consistent with article 20;

provide on a regular basis, to interested Parties and relevant intergovernmental and non- governmental organizations, information on available sources of funds and on funding patterns in order to facilitate coordination among them;

facilitate the establishment, as appropriate, of mechanisms, such as national desertification funds, including those involving the participation of non-governmental organizations, to channel financial resources rapidly and efficiently to the local level in affected developing country Parties; and

Tagged terms: fund

strengthen existing funds and financial mechanisms at the subregional and regional levels, particularly in Africa, to support more effectively the implementation of the Convention.

The Conference of the Parties shall also encourage the provision, through various mechanisms within the United Nations system and through multilateral financial institutions, of support at the national, subregional and regional levels to activities that enable developing country Parties to meet their obligations under the Convention.

Tagged terms: international cooperation

Affected developing country Parties shall utilize, and where necessary, establish and/or strengthen, national coordinating mechanisms, integrated in national development programmes, that would ensure the efficient use of all available financial resources. They shall also utilize participatory processes involving non-governmental organizations, local groups and the private sector, in raising funds, in elaborating as well as implementing programmes and in assuring access to funding by groups at the local level. These actions can be enhanced by improved coordination and flexible programming on the part of those providing assistance.

In order to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of existing financial mechanisms, a Global Mechanism to promote actions leading to the mobilization and channelling of substantial financial resources, including for the transfer of technology, on a grant basis, and/or on concessional or other terms, to affected developing country Parties, is hereby established. This Global Mechanism shall function under the authority and guidance of the Conference of the Parties and be accountable to it.

The Conference of the Parties shall identify, at its first ordinary session, an organization to house the Global Mechanism. The Conference of the Parties and the organization it has identified shall agree upon modalities for this Global Mechanism to ensure inter alia that such Mechanism:

identifies and draws up an inventory of relevant bilateral and multilateral cooperation programmes that are available to implement the Convention;

provides advice, on request, to Parties on innovative methods of financing and sources of financial assistance and on improving the coordination of cooperation activities at the national level;

provides interested Parties and relevant intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations with information on available sources of funds and on funding patterns in order to facilitate coordination among them; and

reports to the Conference of the Parties, beginning at its second ordinary session, on its activities.

The Conference of the Parties shall, at its first session, make appropriate arrangements with the organization it has identified to house the Global Mechanism for the administrative operations of such Mechanism, drawing to the extent possible on existing budgetary and human resources.

The Conference of the Parties shall, at its third ordinary session, review the policies, operational modalities and activities of the Global Mechanism accountable to it pursuant to paragraph 4, taking into account the provisions of article 7. On the basis of this review, it shall consider and take appropriate action.

A Conference of the Parties is hereby established.

The Conference of the Parties is the supreme body of the Convention. It shall make, within its mandate, the decisions necessary to promote its effective implementation. In particular, it shall:

Tagged terms: governing body

regularly review the implementation of the Convention and the functioning of its institutional arrangements in the light of the experience gained at the national, subregional, regional and international levels and on the basis of the evolution of scientific and technological knowledge;

promote and facilitate the exchange of information on measures adopted by the Parties, and determine the form and timetable for transmitting the information to be submitted pursuant to article 26, review the reports and make recommendations on them;

Tagged terms: access to information

establish such subsidiary bodies as are deemed necessary for the implementation of the Convention;

Tagged terms: subsidiary body

review reports submitted by its subsidiary bodies and provide guidance to them;

agree upon and adopt, by consensus, rules of procedure and financial rules for itself and any subsidiary bodies;

Tagged terms: financial mechanism, budget, Rules of Procedure

adopt amendments to the Convention pursuant to articles 30 and 31;

approve a programme and budget for its activities, including those of its subsidiary bodies, and undertake necessary arrangements for their financing;

Tagged terms: secretariat

as appropriate, seek the cooperation of, and utilize the services of and information provided by, competent bodies or agencies, whether national or international, intergovernmental or non-governmental;

Tagged terms: international cooperation

promote and strengthen the relationship with other relevant conventions while avoiding duplication of effort; and

Tagged terms: international cooperation

exercise such other functions as may be necessary for the achievement of the objective of the Convention.

The Conference of the Parties shall, at its first session, adopt its own rules of procedure, by consensus, which shall include decision-making procedures for matters not already covered by decision-making procedures stipulated in the Convention. Such procedures may include specified majorities required for the adoption of particular decisions.

Tagged terms: Rules of Procedure

The first session of the Conference of the Parties shall be convened by the interim secretariat referred to in article 35 and shall take place not later than one year after the date of entry into force of the Convention. Unless otherwise decided by the Conference of the Parties, the second, third and fourth ordinary sessions shall be held yearly, and thereafter, ordinary sessions shall be held every two years.

Tagged terms: secretariat

Extraordinary sessions of the Conference of the Parties shall be held at such other times as may be decided either by the Conference of the Parties in ordinary session or at the written request of any Party, provided that, within three months of the request being communicated to the Parties by the Permanent Secretariat, it is supported by at least one third of the Parties.

Tagged terms: extraordinary Conference of the Parties

At each ordinary session, the Conference of the Parties shall elect a Bureau. The structure and functions of the Bureau shall be determined in the rules of procedure. In appointing the Bureau, due regard shall be paid to the need to ensure equitable geographical distribution and adequate representation of affected country Parties, particularly those in Africa.

Tagged terms: arid ecosystem

The United Nations, its specialized agencies and any State member thereof or observers thereto not Party to the Convention, may be represented at sessions of the Conference of the Parties as observers. Any body or agency, whether national or international, governmental or non-governmental, which is qualified in matters covered by the Convention, and which has informed the Permanent Secretariat of its wish to be represented at a session of the Conference of the Parties as an observer, may be so admitted unless at least one third of the Parties present object. The admission and participation of observers shall be subject to the rules of procedure adopted by the Conference of the Parties.

Tagged terms: non-governmental organization, observer

The Conference of the Parties may request competent national and international organizations which have relevant expertise to provide it with information relevant to article 16, paragraph (g), article 17, paragraph 1 (c) and article 18, paragraph 2(b).

Tagged terms: advisory body

A Permanent Secretariat is hereby established.

The functions of the Permanent Secretariat shall be:

to make arrangements for sessions of the Conference of the Parties and its subsidiary bodies established under the Convention and to provide them with services as required;

to compile and transmit reports submitted to it;

to facilitate assistance to affected developing country Parties, on request, particularly those in Africa, in the compilation and communication of information required under the Convention;

to coordinate its activities with the secretariats of other relevant international bodies and conventions;

to enter, under the guidance of the Conference of the Parties, into such administrative and contractual arrangements as may be required for the effective discharge of its functions;

to prepare reports on the execution of its functions under this Convention and present them to the Conference of the Parties; and

to perform such other secretariat functions as may be determined by the Conference of the Parties.

The Conference of the Parties, at its first session, shall designate a Permanent Secretariat and make arrangements for its functioning.

A Committee on Science and Technology is hereby established as a subsidiary body of the Conference of the Parties to provide it with information and advice on scientific and technological matters relating to combating desertification and mitigating the effects of drought. The Committee shall meet in conjunction with the ordinary sessions of the Conference of the Parties and shall be multidisciplinary and open to the participation of all Parties. It shall be composed of government representatives competent in the relevant fields of expertise. The Conference of the Parties shall decide, at its first session, on the terms of reference of the Committee.

The Conference of the Parties shall establish and maintain a roster of independent experts with expertise and experience in the relevant fields. The roster shall be based on nominations received in writing from the Parties, taking into account the need for a multidisciplinary approach and broad geographical representation.

Tagged terms: advisory body

The Conference of the Parties may, as necessary, appoint ad hoc panels to provide it, through the Committee, with information and advice on specific issues regarding the state of the art in fields of science and technology relevant to combating desertification and mitigating the effects of drought. These panels shall be composed of experts whose names are taken from the roster, taking into account the need for a multidisciplinary approach and broad geographical representation. These experts shall have scientific backgrounds and field experience and shall be appointed by the Conference of the Parties on the recommendation of the Committee. The Conference of the Parties shall decide on the terms of reference and the modalities of work of these panels.

Tagged terms: advisory body

The Committee on Science and Technology shall, under the supervision of the Conference of the Parties, make provision for the undertaking of a survey and evaluation of the relevant existing networks, institutions, agencies and bodies willing to become units of a network. Such a network shall support the implementation of the Convention.

On the basis of the results of the survey and evaluation referred to in paragraph 1, the Committee on Science and Technology shall make recommendations to the Conference of the Parties on ways and means to facilitate and strengthen networking of the units at the local, national and other levels, with a view to ensuring that the thematic needs set out in articles 16 to 19 are addressed.

Taking into account these recommendations, the Conference of the Parties shall:

identify those national, subregional, regional and international units that are most appropriate for networking, and recommend operational procedures, and a time frame, for them; and

identify the units best suited to facilitating and strengthening such networking at all levels.

Each Party shall communicate to the Conference of the Parties for consideration at its ordinary sessions, through the Permanent Secretariat, reports on the measures which it has taken for the implementation of the Convention. The Conference of the Parties shall determine the timetable for submission and the format of such reports.

Affected country Parties shall provide a description of the strategies established pursuant to article 5 and of any relevant information on their implementation.

Affected country Parties which implement action programmes pursuant to articles 9 to 15 shall provide a detailed description of the programmes and of their implementation.

Any group of affected country Parties may make a joint communication on measures taken at the subregional and/or regional levels in the framework of action programmes.

Tagged terms: international cooperation

Developed country Parties shall report on measures taken to assist in the preparation and implementation of action programmes, including information on the financial resources they have provided, or are providing, under the Convention.

Information communicated pursuant to paragraphs 1 to 4 shall be transmitted by the Permanent Secretariat as soon as possible to the Conference of the Parties and to any relevant subsidiary body.

The Conference of the Parties shall facilitate the provision to affected developing countries, particularly those in Africa, on request, of technical and financial support in compiling and communicating information in accordance with this article, as well as identifying the technical and financial needs associated with action programmes.

Tagged terms: technology transfer, capacity building

The Conference of the Parties shall consider and adopt procedures and institutional mechanisms for the resolution of questions that may arise with regard to the implementation of the Convention.

Parties shall settle any dispute between them concerning the interpretation or application of the Convention through negotiation or other peaceful means of their own choice.

When ratifying, accepting, approving, or acceding to the Convention, or at any time thereafter, a Party which is not a regional economic integration organization may declare in a written instrument submitted to the Depositary that, in respect of any dispute concerning the interpretation or application of the Convention, it recognizes one or both of the following means of dispute settlement as compulsory in relation to any Party accepting the same obligation:

arbitration in accordance with procedures adopted by the Conference of the Parties in an annex as soon as practicable;

submission of the dispute to the International Court of Justice.

A Party which is a regional economic integration organization may make a declaration with like effect in relation to arbitration in accordance with the procedure referred to in paragraph 2 (a).

A declaration made pursuant to paragraph 2 shall remain in force until it expires in accordance with its terms or until three months after written notice of its revocation has been deposited with the Depositary.

The expiry of a declaration, a notice of revocation or a new declaration shall not in any way affect proceedings pending before an arbitral tribunal or the International Court of Justice unless the Parties to the dispute otherwise agree.

If the Parties to a dispute have not accepted the same or any procedure pursuant to paragraph 2 and if they have not been able to settle their dispute within twelve months following notification by one Party to another that a dispute exists between them, the dispute shall be submitted to conciliation at the request of any Party to the dispute, in accordance with procedures adopted by the Conference of the Parties in an annex as soon as practicable.

Annexes form an integral part of the Convention and, unless expressly provided otherwise, a reference to the Convention also constitutes a reference to its annexes.

Tagged terms: annex

The Parties shall interpret the provisions of the annexes in a manner that is in conformity with their rights and obligations under the articles of this Convention.

Any Party may propose amendments to the Convention.

Amendments to the Convention shall be adopted at an ordinary session of the Conference of the Parties. The text of any proposed amendment shall be communicated to the Parties by the Permanent Secretariat at least six months before the meeting at which it is proposed for adoption. The Permanent Secretariat shall also communicate proposed amendments to the signatories to the Convention.

The Parties shall make every effort to reach agreement on any proposed amendment to the Convention by consensus. If all efforts at consensus have been exhausted and no agreement reached, the amendment shall, as a last resort, be adopted by a two-thirds majority vote of the Parties present and voting at the meeting. The adopted amendment shall be communicated by the Permanent Secretariat to the Depositary, who shall circulate it to all Parties for their ratification, acceptance, approval or accession.

Instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession in respect of an amendment shall be deposited with the Depositary. An amendment adopted pursuant to paragraph 3 shall enter into force for those Parties having accepted it on the ninetieth day after the date of receipt by the Depositary of an instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession by at least two thirds of the Parties to the Convention which were Parties at the time of the adoption of the amendment.

The amendment shall enter into force for any other Party on the ninetieth day after the date on which that Party deposits with the Depositary its instrument of ratification, acceptance or approval of, or accession to the said amendment.

For the purposes of this article and article 31, "Parties present and voting" means Parties present and casting an affirmative or negative vote.

Any additional annex to the Convention and any amendment to an annex shall be proposed and adopted in accordance with the procedure for amendment of the Convention set forth in article 30, provided that, in adopting an additional regional implementation annex or amendment to any regional implementation annex, the majority provided for in that article shall include a two-thirds majority vote of the Parties of the region concerned present and voting. The adoption or amendment of an annex shall be communicated by the Depositary to all Parties.

An annex, other than an additional regional implementation annex, or an amendment to an annex, other than an amendment to any regional implementation annex, that has been adopted in accordance with paragraph 1, shall enter into force for all Parties to the Convention six months after the date of communication by the Depositary to such Parties of the adoption of such annex or amendment, except for those Parties that have notified the Depositary in writing within that period of their non- acceptance of such annex or amendment. Such annex or amendment shall enter into force for Parties which withdraw their notification of non-acceptance on the ninetieth day after the date on which withdrawal of such notification has been received by the Depositary.

An additional regional implementation annex or amendment to any regional implementation annex that has been adopted in accordance with paragraph 1, shall enter into force for all Parties to the Convention six months after the date of the communication by the Depositary to such Parties of the adoption of such annex or amendment, except with respect to:

any Party that has notified the Depositary in writing, within such six month period, of its non-acceptance of that additional regional implementation annex or of the amendment to the regional implementation annex, in which case such annex or amendment shall enter into force for Parties which withdraw their notification of non-acceptance on the ninetieth day after the date on which withdrawal of such notification has been received by the Depositary; and

any Party that has made a declaration with respect to additional regional implementation annexes or amendments to regional implementation annexes in accordance with article 34, paragraph 4, in which case any such annex or amendment shall enter into force for such a Party on the ninetieth day after the date of deposit with the Depositary of its instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession with respect to such annex or amendment.

If the adoption of an annex or an amendment to an annex involves an amendment to the Convention, that annex or amendment to an annex shall not enter into force until such time as the amendment to the Convention enters into force

Except as provided for in paragraph 2, each Party to the Convention shall have one vote.

Regional economic integration organizations, in matters within their competence, shall exercise their right to vote with a number of votes equal to the number of their member States that are Parties to the Convention. Such an organization shall not exercise its right to vote if any of its member States exercises its right, and vice versa.

This Convention shall be opened for signature at Paris, on 14-15 October 1994, by States Members of the United Nations or any of its specialized agencies or that are Parties to the Statute of the International Court of Justice and by regional economic integration organizations. It shall remain open for signature, thereafter, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York until 13 October 1995.

The Convention shall be subject to ratification, acceptance, approval or accession by States and by regional economic integration organizations. It shall be open for accession from the day after the date on which the Convention is closed for signature. Instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession shall be deposited with the Depositary.

Any regional economic integration organization which becomes a Party to the Convention without any of its member States being a Party to the Convention shall be bound by all the obligations under the Convention. Where one or more member States of such an organization are also Party to the Convention, the organization and its member States shall decide on their respective responsibilities for the performance of their obligations under the Convention. In such cases, the organization and the member States shall not be entitled to exercise rights under the Convention concurrently.

In their instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession, regional economic integration organizations shall declare the extent of their competence with respect to the matters governed by the Convention. They shall also promptly inform the Depositary, who shall in turn inform the Parties, of any substantial modification in the extent of their competence.

In its instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession, any Party may declare that, with respect to it, any additional regional implementation annex or any amendment to any regional implementation annex shall enter into force only upon the deposit of its instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession with respect thereto.

The secretariat functions referred to in article 23 will be carried out on an interim basis by the secretariat established by the General Assembly of the United Nations in its resolution 47/188 of 22 December 1992, until the completion of the first session of the Conference of the Parties.

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The Convention shall enter into force on the ninetieth day after the date of deposit of the fiftieth instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession.

For each State or regional economic integration organization ratifying, accepting, approving or acceding to the Convention after the deposit of the fiftieth instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession, the Convention shall enter into force on the ninetieth day after the date of deposit by such State or regional economic integration organization of its instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession.

For the purposes of paragraphs 1 and 2, any instrument deposited by a regional economic integration organization shall not be counted as additional to those deposited by States members of the organization.

No reservations may be made to this Convention.

At any time after three years from the date on which the Convention has entered into force for a Party, that Party may withdraw from the Convention by giving written notification to the Depositary.

Any such withdrawal shall take effect upon expiry of one year from the date of receipt by the Depositary of the notification of withdrawal, or on such later date as may be specified in the notification of withdrawal.

Any such withdrawal shall take effect upon expiry of one year from the date of receipt by the Depositary of the notification of withdrawal, or on such later date as may be specified in the notification of withdrawal.

The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall be the Depositary of the Convention.

The original of the present Convention, of which the Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish texts are equally authentic, shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF the undersigned, being duly authorized to that effect, have signed the present Convention.

DONE AT Paris, this 17th day of June one thousand nine hundred and ninety-four.

Two-thirds of the African continent is desert or drylands. This land is vital for agriculture and food production, however nearly three-fourths of it is estimated to be degraded. The region is affected by frequent droughts, which have been particularly severe in recent years in the Horn of Africa and the Sahel.

Poverty and difficult socio-economic conditions are widespread, and as a result many people are dependent on natural resources for their livelihoods. For many African countries, fighting land degradation and desertification and mitigating the effects of drought are prerequisites for economic growth and social progress. Increasing sustainable land management (SLM) and building resilience to drought in Africa can have profound positive impacts that reach from the local to the global level.

The UNCCD Regional Implementation Annex for Africa outlines an approach for addressing desertification, land degradation and drought (DLDD)  on the African continent. This Annex is the most detailed and comprehensive of all the regional annexes to the Convention.

Africa: Regional cooperation

All African countries are Parties to the UNCCD. Most African countries have developed and submitted National Action Programmes (NAPs). The preparation of NAPs is a dynamic, continuous process and the status of each country is subject to change over time.

To facilitate cooperation on issues related to land degradation, African countries have created five Sub-Regional Action Programmes(SRAPs) and a Regional Action Programme (RAP).

The current African RAP outlines were adopted at a ministerial level in 1999 and compose six thematic programme networks (TPNs) that concern:

• Integrated water management

• Agro-forestry

•  Soil conservation

• Rangeland management

•  Ecological monitoring and early warning systems

• New and renewable energy sources and technologies

•  Sustainable agricultural farming systems

Since the adoption of the UNCCD’s 10-Year Strategy, the sub-regional entities have begun aligning their action programmes to it, particularly the North, Central and Western African programmes. The other two sub-regions have benefited from training by the UNCCD on how to align their programmes to the Strategy. It is expected that the alignment of the SRAPs to the Strategy will improve their effectiveness in achieving land degradation neutrality (LDN) in the region.

After the Strategy was adopted, regional cooperation has received increasing attention within UNCCD decision-making. An important demonstration of this is decision 3/COP 9, which calls for strengthening the effectiveness and efficiency of regional coordination mechanisms, with the view to facilitate cooperation among affected parties within the regions, enhance synergies among relevant institutions and organizations, and respond to existing and emerging challenges, capacities and specific issues.

Achievements since decision 3/COP 9:

• A regional consultative committee was established in November 2012 in Algiers to guide and support regional coordination.

• A regional work programme was drafted as a practical framework for joint activities and coordination within the region.

• A regional coordination unit (RCU) for Africa, hosted by the African Development Bank in Tunis, has been strengthened.

Desertification manifests itself in many different forms across the vast region of Asia and the Pacific. Out of a total land area of 4.3 billion hectares reaching from the Mediterranean coast to the shores of the Pacific, Asia contains some 1.7 billion hectares of arid, semi-arid, and dry sub-humid land.

Land degradation varies across the region. There are expanding deserts in China, India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan, encroaching sand dunes in Syria, steeply eroded mountain slopes of Nepal, and deforested and in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic and overgrazed in central Asia counties. In terms of the number of people affected by desertification and drought, Asia is the most severely affected continent.

Asia: Regional cooperation

The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) Regional Implementation Annex for Asia recognizes these unique conditions, and calls for activities at the national, sub-regional, and regional level in the form of coordinated and integrated action programmes.

National Action Programmes (NAPs) have been prepared in many Asian and Pacific countries. The development and alignment of NAPs is a dynamic, continuous process, and the status of each country is subject to change over time. The Convention’s bottom-up approach, which was also generally adopted during the NAPs’ creation, calls for existing desertification programmes to be reviewed by stakeholders, including non-governmental organizations (NGOs), civil society organizations (CSOs), authorities and community leaders.

Mainstreaming the NAPs into other sustainable development policy frameworks or national strategy plans is important to ensure their effective implementation of UNCCD and achieving the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 15 concerning DLDD mitigation. Currently, many NAPs are being aligned to the future strategy framework, Rio Outcomesand Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The implementation of the NAPs is supported by regional cooperation, including promotion of collaboration and capacity-building at national and sub-regional levels. The Asian regional priorities are captured in the Regional Action Programmes (RAPs), which were adopted at ministerial level in 1997 and revised and endorsed in 2003. The regional priorities are formulated to six regional Thematic Programme Networks (TPNs) that seek to link institutions and agencies together via an institutional focal point in order to promote cooperation and information sharing.

The TPNs focus on the following themes:

 • Desertification monitoring and assessment

 • Water resources management for arid-land agriculture

 • Strengthening capacities for drought impact mitigation and combating desertification

 • Assistance for the implementation of integrated local area development programmes (LADPs)

The Asia-Pacific region has five sub-regions. All countries located in these sub-regions have formulated their sub-regional action programmes (SRAPs), except for one sub-region of the Pacific.

While well known for rainforests, Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) are actually about one-fourth desert and drylands (20,533,000 km2). The deserts of the Pacific coast stretch from southern Ecuador across the entire Peruvian shoreline to northern Chile. Further inland, at altitudes of 3,000-4,500 meters, the high plains, or Altiplano, of the Andean mountains cover large areas of Peru, Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina. To the east of the Andes, an arid region extends from Chaco‘s northern reaches in Paraguay to Patagonia in southern Argentina. In northeastern Brazil, the landscape is dominated by semi-arid zones and tropical savannahs.

Desertification and degradation of natural resources seriously affect nearly all countries of the LAC region. The region’s rural areas are home to 125 million people, including 60 percent of the poorest people in the region. These regions are particularly affected by land degradation, which is a factor in the vicious circle of land overexploitation, degradation, increased demands on production, greater poverty, food insecurity and migration.

The LAC region faces many challenges caused by land degradation. Severe droughts and land degradation have made the countries in Central America extremely vulnerable to natural disasters, delaying their sustainable development. Large parts of Colombia and Venezuela are highly degraded. In the arid zones of the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Haiti and Jamaica, erosion and water shortages are noticeably intensifying. Most of Mexico is arid and semi-arid, mainly in the north.

Poverty and pressure on natural resources are critical factors driving land degradation in much of Latin America and the Caribbean. In a region with 465 million inhabitants, around 110 million live below the poverty line. Land degradation threatens the subsistence of a large part of the population living in rural areas – making it more difficult for people to earn a living wage. These conditions often force inhabitants in degraded areas to migrate.

Latin America and the Caribbean: Regional cooperation

The Regional Annex for Latin America and the Caribbean strongly emphasizes the need for sustainable development. The Convention has strong political support in the region. Every country is a party to the Convention, and the issues of land degradation, desertification and drought are constantly integrated into the national agendas for sustainable development and poverty reduction.

National Action Programmes (NAPs) have been formulated by most countries, taking a bottom-up approach with involvement from all relevant stakeholders, including civil society organizations.

LAC countries have defined national voluntary land degradation neutrality (LDN) targets and the elements needed to implement this methodology at national level, as part of the process to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),in particular the SDG goal 15.3. Currently there are 22 LAC countries participating in the LDN Target Setting Programme (LDN TSP). Three of these - Costa Rica, Chile and Grenada – have been selected as pilot countries.

A regional coordination unit (RCU) is hosted by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) in Santiago de Chile.

The lands around the Mediterranean Sea (the Mediterranean Basin) form the largest of the five world regions subjected to a Mediterranean climate – long, warm to hot, dry summers and mild to cool, wet winters. These climatic conditions make the Mediterranean vegetation (woodlands, scrubs and grasslands) well adapted to survive dry conditions and to recover from droughts, floods and fires. Yet, land degradation and desertification> do occur in croplands, rangelands and woodlands in the Mediterranean Basin.

The Regional Implementation Annex IV offers opportunities for an effective national action in the Northern Mediterranean Region. The Annex involves 12 affected country members and three observers. Seven of the affected countries are members of the European Union, all but two (Portugal and Hungary) are within the Mediterranean Basin, and all but one (Albania) have drylands. In four affected countries, drylands cover most of the territory.

Currently, four countries to the Annex IV (Albania, Portugal, Spain and Turkey) have aligned their national action programmes (NAPs) with the 10-year Strategy.

Northern Mediterranean regional cooperation

These include:

  • Last updated: 18 Oct 2017
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