28 March 2012: The UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) have signed a Programme of Cooperation to formalize their long-standing strategic partnership to address poverty among the poorest populations.
Motivated by the findings of a joint study they conducted on the scope of poverty in areas affected by desertification and/or land degradation, and in view of the current scenarios of climate change, the partnership identifies three priority areas of action. The organizations will collaborate in supporting affected countries to align their National Action Programmes (NAPs) with the 10-year Strategy of the UNCCD and in mainstreaming the Programmes in national and sectoral development planning. In addition, there will be joint efforts in undertaking knowledge sharing, learning and improving the knowledge on the drylands, as well as in conducting policy analyses and advocacy, giving particular attention to the linkage between sustainable land management, climate change and biodiversity.
At the signing, Olav Kjorven, Assistant Secretary General and Director of UNDP's Bureau for Development Policy, emphasized that "Addressing desertification, land degradation and drought is essential for attaining sustainable development. It will be impossible to meet the Millennium development Goal (MDG) of halving poverty and hunger if life does not improve for the poor people of the drylands.”
A study that UNDP and UNCCD carried in 2011, titled "The Forgotten Billion," showed that poverty eradication is lagging the most among a majority of the over two billion people who live in the drylands. [UNCCD Press Release] [UNCCD-UNDP Programme of Cooperation (2012-2014)] [Publication: The Forgotten Billion]