Success stories in reversing land degradation and the role of UNCCD

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Abstract

This report examines trends in dryland land degradation and success in its control since the ratification of the UNCCD in 1994. An attempt is made to identify the key drivers of these successes and the contribution made to them by the UNCCD. It finds that progress with land degradation control is clearest when initiatives have focussed on social and economic development with land degradation control coming as a secondary benefit associated with broader area development support initiatives. Common elements in those success stories reviewed include: emphasis on improving market access for agricultural products, building capacity and policy to support and sustain improvements in natural resource management and targeting women and their roles in land and soil management for support. The role of the UNCCD in the success stories reviewed is modest as the convention has prioritised the development of National Action Plans (NAPs) and a variety of partnership agreements over field level activity and the former have taken a long time and a lot of effort to complete. In many cases these NAPs are still not finalized or have yet to be implemented to any significant degree. Resource constraints, weak political will and the low priority often given by national governments to land degradation contribute to the forces slowing down progress in land degradation control. A new more confident and invigorated approach that prioritises field level activity and gives due emphasis to the main drivers of success recognised in those areas where progress has already been made is recommended for the UNCCD.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherUK Department for International Development (DFID)
Number of pages26
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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