Support to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification UNCCD

More than 100 countries are affected by desertification, and 42% of the world’s poor live in these areas, posing a serious challenge to sustainable development. The United Nations’ Convention to Combat Desertification works at avoiding, reducing, and reversing desertification, linking sustainable land management to social and economic development. Switzerland, Party to the Convention, provides a core and an additional voluntary financing to specifically contribute to common priorities.

Land/Region Thema Periode Budget
Landwirtschaft und Ernährungssicherheit
Landwirtschaftliche Nutzflächen
Politik des öffentlichen Sektors
01.01.2023 - 31.12.2024
CHF  600’000

Desertification, along with climate change and the loss of biodiversity, were identified as the greatest challenges to sustainable development during the 1992 Rio Earth Summit. To combat desertification/land degradation and drought, the UNCCD was established in 1994. It is the only legally binding framework set up to address desertification and the effects of drought. There are 197 Parties to the Convention, including 196 country Parties and the European Union.

Desertification, land degradation and drought contribute to and aggravate economic, social and environmental problems such as poverty, poor health, lack of food security, biodiversity loss, water scarcity, reduced resilience to climate change and forced migration, and continue to pose serious challenges to the sustainable development of all countries, particularly those directly affected countries.

There has been a 29% rise in droughts since 2000 and it is projected that three quarters of the world’s population will be affected by drought by 2050 unless urgent action is taken.

Ziele Combat desertification and land degradation, and mitigate the effects of drought in countries experiencing serious drought and/or desertification, particularly in Africa.
Zielgruppen The direct stakeholders are the Parties to the Convention and the accredited organisations to the UNCCD (civil society). The ultimate beneficiaries are the vulnerable populations living in arid, semi-arid and dry areas affected by desertification, land degradation and drought, and their governments.
Mittelfristige Wirkungen

The core contribution to the UNCCD, under Switzerland’s engagement as a Party to the Convention, will contribute to allow the UNCCD Secretariat and it various implementing bodies to complete their tasks under their 2022-2024 programme and budget as agreed by the Parties at the Conference of the Parties 15 in June 2022.

The voluntary contribution to the UNCCD will specifically target the following :

-    advance the policy work of the Secretariat, in particular with regards to land tenure and to landbased opportunities through national consultations and with the Civil Society Organisations panel;

-    ensure technologies and information on sustainable land management practices are fully in line with the UNCCD 2018-2030 Strategic framework (also supporting the issue of drought and the implementation of the Gender Action Plan);

-    ensure that all stakeholders, and particularly those representing the most vulnerable population, can be represented in the UNCCD meetings and processes. This would include least developed country parties, CSOs, women, youth and indigenous peoples’ groups.


Erwartete Resultate:  

-    Participation of civil society organizations and youth in the work and meetings of the UNCCD;

-    Women’s involvement in land management through ensuring secure land tenure and collecting sex-disaggregated data on the impacts of desertification, land degradation and drought;

-    Greater synergies among the three Rio Conventions, including complementarities in the implementation of thesetreaties through nature-based solutions and target-setting at the national level.

Specifically related to the voluntary contribution:

-    support to Parties on land tenure;

-    support to Parties for youth engagement, notably by finalising & implementing the Youth Engagement Strategy;

-    support to the Civil Society Panel;

-    support to Parties for CRIC participation;

-    Support to the improvement of best practices on sustainable land management, including gender inclusion, notably in collaboration with WOCAT.

Resultate von früheren Phasen:  

-    A series of reports & studies have been published for awareness and policy advocacy, including :

Drought in numbers”

Differentiated Impacts of Desertification,Land Degradation and Drought on Women and Men

Sand and Dust Stroms Compendium

and the public campaign “Droughtland";


-    Jointly through social media, tracking has revealed a reach-out to over 5 Mio. people;

-    Jointly with the FAO, development of a "Technical Guide on the Integration of the VGGT into the Implementation of the UNCCD" for the practical application of the VGGTs in land degradation neutrality activities;

-    The voice of the Civil Society Organisations has been experiencing positive developments through their targeted support and promotion, notably : for the first time 2 representatives have been accepted as members of the Steering Board of the Land Degradation Neutrality Fund, blended finance vehicle investing in projects that directly or indirectly reduce or reverse land degradation, cosponsored by the UNCCD;

-    Close to 7’000 participants (delegations, civil society, youth) from 196 countries, attended the UNCCD COP15;

-    Establishment of an Intergovernmental Working Group on Drought for 2022-2024 to look into possible options, including global policy instruments and regional policy frameworks, to support a shift from reactive to proactive drought management;

-    WOCAT mentioned and highlighted in 5 of the 37 decisions, anchoring its value and use further both within the UNCCD and among the Parties.

Verantwortliche Direktion/Bundesamt DEZA
Projektpartner Vertragspartner
Organisation der Vereinten Nationen (UNO)
  • United Nations Convention to combat desertification

Koordination mit anderen Projekten und Akteuren

-        Members of JUSSCANNZ and the EU

-        UNCCD Civil Society Panel

-    Activities related to land governance and the FAO’s Voluntary Guidelines on land tenure

-    Section projects & partners :
    -    WOCAT (World Overview of Conservation Approaches and Technologies;            University Bern – Centre for Development and Environment), through            SDC’s core contribution;

    -    the International Land Coalition, o the Transformative Land Investment            project 

Budget Laufende Phase Schweizer Beitrag CHF    600’000 Bereits ausgegebenes Schweizer Budget CHF    570’338
Projektphasen Phase 12 01.01.2023 - 31.12.2024   (Laufende Phase) Phase 11 01.01.2020 - 31.12.2022   (Completed) Phase 9 15.03.2016 - 31.12.2017   (Completed) Phase 8 31.03.2012 - 31.12.2016   (Completed) Phase 7 15.03.2010 - 31.03.2013   (Completed)