Wednesday, January 20, 2016

U.N. Convention to Combat Desertification

By Anton Antonio
January 21, 2016

Desertification may not be a concern for tropical countries like the Philippines.  But droughts (on account of protracted El NiƱo phenomena), land use conversion and inappropriate agriculture practices, which are common in our country, can also lead to desertification.  Desertification, therefore, should also be a serious concern.

“The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) in those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa, UNCCD is a Convention to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought through national action programs that incorporate long-term strategies supported by international cooperation and partnership arrangements.  The Convention, the only convention stemming from a direct recommendation of the Rio Conference’s Agenda 21, was adopted in Paris, France on 17 June 1994 and entered into force in December 1996.  It is the only internationally binding framework set up to address the problem of desertification.  The Convention is based on the principles of participation, partnership and decentralization – the backbone of Good Governance and Sustainable Development.  It has 196 parties, making it truly global in reach.  In 27 March 2013, Canada became the first country to announce its intention to withdraw from the convention.  To help publicize the Convention, 2006 was declared “International Year of Deserts and Desertification” but debates have ensued regarding how effective the International Year was in practice.  The UNCCD has been ratified by 195 states plus the European Union.  All member states of the UN are parties to the Convention.  The convention does not apply to Aruba, Caribbean Netherlands, Curacao and Saint Maarten (Kingdom of the Netherlands), or to Gibraltar, the Isle of Man, Guernsey, or Jersey (United Kingdom).  The only non-UN member states that have ratified the convention are the Cook Islands and Niue.  The Holy See and and the states with limited recognition are non-parties.” (Wikipedia)

There are several international agreements --- that are aimed at mitigating the effects of global warming and climate change… and, in this case, desertification (meaning: the process by which fertile land becomes desert, typically as a result of drought, deforestation, or inappropriate agriculture --- have already been passed and agreed upon by a majority of participating countries.  The next set of blogs/articles will be devoted to these international accords to increase the level of awareness on their history, aims and objectives.  One such international accord is the U.N. Convention to Combat Desertification.

Thoughts to promote positive action…

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Wikipedia, (2015).  “United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification”.  Retrieved on January 21, 2016 from

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