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.

In this framework, Turkey hosted the 12th Session Conference of Parties of UN Convention to Combat Desertification in Ankara between 12-25 October 2015 and assumed the presidency of in the following two years. In that regard, Turkey started the Ankara Initiative to contribute efforts of the countries that are in most need in combating drought and desertification.

Moreover, in contribution to global endeavours to raise global awareness, Turkey hosted “The World Day to Combat Desertification” on 17 June 2019 in Ankara.