United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification

The objectives of the 1994 Convention to Combat Desertification in Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification are to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought with a view to contributing to the achievement of sustainable development in affected areas. The objectives are to be met through effective action at all levels, supported by international cooperation. 190 countries and EC are parties to the Convention.  

Desertification processes are closely linked to the conservation and use of biodiversity and international water resources, to climate change and to global warming. Combating desertification requires a well-defined, integrated, international and national approach. Consequently the Convention explicitly recognizes the need to:  

• Integrate desertification strategies with poverty reduction initiatives to reflect the relationship between poverty and the environment

• Develop an integrated, cross-cultural approach to sustainable management of natural resources,

• Prepare, publicize and implement national action plans,

• Promote sound policies and strengthen institutional frameworks,

• Establish or strengthen food security systems, including marketing and storage,

• Establish appropriate financial mechanisms.

 Turkey has been a Party to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification since 1997. Turkey is involved in the Regional Implementation Annex for the Northern Mediterranean (Annex IV) of the Convention. Turkey has been attaching great importance to working in close cooperation with the countries in the region and to participating in programs and projects.  

Turkey submitted the National Action Program on Combating Desertification that was prepared in 2005 to the Convention Secretariat. National Coordination Unit was established under the coordination of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry with the participation of related institutions and non-governmental organizations with a view to assessing the commitments arising from the Convention.  

The 7th Meeting of the Committee for the Review of the Implementation of the Convention (CRIC-7) will take place in Istanbul on 20-29 October 2008. The Ministry of Environment and Forestry expects this meeting to have the third highest number of participants among environmental meetings ever held in Turkey, after HABITAT I and 11th World Forestry Congress.