Central Asia is Committed to Tackling Desertification through Setting and Achieving Land Degradation Neutrality Targets

Publication date: 13 April 2021

#LandDegradationNeutrality #LDN #UNCCD #CRIC19 #CAREC #Drought #SDS #Desertification

The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), established in 1994, is centred on sustainable land management – a key aspect of environmental sustainability and development.

Desertification and land degradation are real threats to a large proportion of the global population. Restoring the productivity of degraded land and reducing the impacts of drought can improve the livelihoods of more than 1.3 billion people. The UNCCD’s 197 parties are working hard to achieve Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) goals under the new UNCCD 2018-2030 Strategic Framework.

In order to ensure that the aims of UNCCD are met, the Committee for the Review of the Implementation of the Convention (CRIC) holds regular sessions. The 19th session of CRIC (CRIC-19) was held between 15 and 19 March 2021 in an online format.

During the CRIC-19, UNCCD Stakeholders provided their updates on the implementation of the Convention at the national, sub-regional and regional levels. The session also reviewed the process of setting voluntary LDN targets and looked into the implementing measures for addressing drought.

Representatives of UN agencies and intergovernmental organizations involved in implementing the UNCCD hailed the parties to the Convention for committing to the LDN targets and pledged to provide their support and guidance in further promoting the LDN targets. All parties reiterated the need to restore land and reduce unavoidable degradation.

Participants of CRIC-19 also highlighted the multiple collaborations on sustainable land management and restoration of drylands that are currently under way across the globe. Representatives of UN agencies and intergovernmental organizations emphasized the necessity of global collaboration in addressing the issue of sand and dust storms (SDS).

Representatives of the Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia (CAREC) and experts from Central Asia took part in the CRIC-19 and provided their valuable inputs. In collaboration with the UNCCD secretariat, Central Asian participants underlined their commitment to achieving concrete results in mitigating the risk of drought and SDS in the region.

Striving to tackle desertification/land degradation, Central Asian countries are committed to the LDN goals. In its turn, the UNCCD secretariat will assist the countries of Central Asia in developing the LDN targets and foster regional collaboration in setting, monitoring and reaching those targets.

Dealing with drought and SDS remains a vital part of UNCCD’s global efforts in tackling desertification/land degradation. In Central Asia, a region with an arid to semi-arid climate, the UNCCD secretariat is collaborating with CAREC in implementing the project titled “Regional approaches in combating sand and dust storms and drought”. The project aims at involving multiple stakeholders, including international organizations, governments, experts and local communities, in finding innovative solutions to deal with drought and SDS.

Cooperation and strong community involvement are vital in achieving LDN. On 17 June the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought will be observed. This day is a reminder for the global community of the vital importance of combatting desertification at all levels. Together with the UNCCD secretariat, CAREC strives to use every opportunity to remind the people of Central Asia about its vulnerability in the face of desertification and the need to enhance capacity building and promote regional cooperation in dealing with this hazard. 


 The Project’s National Coordinator from Uzbekistan                                                              Representative of the academic community of Kazakhstan – Kuralay Karibayeva


                                                                                                                  The Project’s National Coordinator from Turkmenistan                                  

Information about the Project:

In January 2020, in all five countries of Central Asia with the financial support of the Secretariat of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) the project “Regional approaches in combating sand and dust storms and drought” was launched. The project is implemented by the Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia (CAREC), which works in close cooperation with designated national institutions and UNCCD National Focal Points in each of five countries.

The main objective of the project is to assist Member States in improving their preparedness and resilience to droughts and FDP, and to enable coordinated action and data exchange at national and regional levels.

You can learn more about the Project and its activities here:

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