Desertification has been recognized as a major economic, social and environmental issue of concern to many countries of various regions of the world. In 1977, the United Nations Conference on Desertification (UNCOD) adopted a Plan of Action to Combat Desertification (PACD).In spite of this initiative and other efforts, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) concluded in 1991 that the problem of land degradation particularly in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas had intensified. As a result, the issue of desertification was a major concern for the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), which was held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. The Conference supported a new, integrated approach to the problem, emphasizing action to promote sustainable development at the community level. The Rio Conference calledfor establishment of an Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INCD) to prepare a Convention to Combat Desertification, particularly in Africa. The Committee completed its negotiations and the Convention was adopted in Paris on 17 June 1994 and entered into force on 26 December 1996. Through this convention, parties work together to improve the living conditions for people in dry-lands, to maintain and restore land and soil productivity, and to mitigate the effects of drought. Thus UNCCD is the only internationally recognized, legally binding instrument thataddresses the problem of land degradation in the dry-lands.
The objective of this Convention is to; combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought in countries experiencing serious drought and/or desertification, particularly in Africa, through effective action at all levels, supported by international cooperation and partnership arrangements, in the framework of an integrated approach which is consistent with Agenda 21 forrealization of sustainable development in affected areas.