The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is the only legally binding international agreement linking environment and development to sustainable land management.
There are currently 197 parties to the convention. This includes the United Nations, the European Union, the Cook Islands, and Niue. Australia ratified the convention in 2000.
The convention is very relevant to Australia. It addresses several issues for which we have domestic and international interests. This includes:
- land degradation
- sustainable development
- sustainable land management
- drought mitigation
- adaptation to climate change.
The Conference of the Parties (COP)
The main decision-making body for the Convention is the Conference of the Parties (COP). The COP ensures that the UNCCD responds to global needs and challenges.
The COP meets every 2 years. The 15th meeting of the COP took place in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire from 9–20 May 2022. The meeting agreed 38 decisions to:
- improve drought resilience
- reduce land degradation
- invest in land restoration efforts.
The 16th meeting of the COP will be held in December 2024 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Learn more about the Conference of the Parties (COP).
The UNCCD’s success relies on reliable, up-to-date information on drought, desertification and land degradation.
Every 4 years, parties must report on the actions they have undertaken to implement the convention. The reports also provide information on the results parties have achieved and challenges they have faced along the way.
Australia completed its latest national report in 2022. The next report is due in 2026.
Learn more about the UNCCD national reporting process.