It is the first and only internationally legally binding framework set up to address the problem of desertification.

Objective: To combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought and desertification.                                              

Secretariat location: Bonn, Germany.


  • 1992: Rio conference of 1992 resulted in 5 document’s. One of them was Agenda 21.UNCCD (United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification) stems from a direct recommendation of agenda 21.
  • 1994: UNCCD was finally adopted in Paris, France on June 17, 1994. That’s why June 17 has been observed as the ‘World Day to Combat Desertification (WDCD).
  • 1996: It was ratified in December 1996.

Conference of the Parties (COP):

  • The Conference of the Parties is the supreme decision-making body. It reviews the implementation of the Convention.
  • It meets on a biannual basis as at 2001.
  • COP 12 was held in Ankara (Turkey) in October 2015.

It’s relationship with other Rio conventions: Joint Liaison Group (JLG)

  • Since desertification is closely linked with global climate change and loss of biodiversity, thus coordination is required among the three Rio conventions to widen the impact of measures undertaken.
  • In this direction a Joint Liaison Group (JLG) was established in 2001 between the secretariats of the three conventions. The JLG collects and shares information on the work programmes and operations of each convention.

India and UNCCD:

  • India became a signatory to UNCCD on October 14, 1994 and ratified it on December 17, 1996.
  • Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change is the nodal Ministry for the Convention. 

Members: 196 (195 states + the European Union)

National action programmes:

  • Member countries should constitute a National Action Programmes.
  • Under this member countries will identify the factors contributing to desertification and the practical measures necessary to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought.