« back UNCCD 15th Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP15)

9-20 May 2022, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire

The theme of this COP, "Land. Life. Legacy: From scarcity to prosperity", calls for actions to ensure land, the lifeline on this planet, continues to benefit present and future generations. Land is the bedrock of a healthy, productive society, and COP15 explored links between land and other key sustainability issues.

The Conference built on the findings of the 2nd edition of the Global Land Outlook, and aimed at offering a concrete response to the interconnected challenges of land degradation, climate change and biodiversity loss as we step into the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. ​In the scope of the COP15, also a report Drought in Numbers, 2022 was released to mark the upcoming Drought Day. It calls for making a full global commitment to drought preparedness and resilience in all global regions a top priority. The report creates a compelling call to action. For example:

  • Since 2000, the number and duration of droughts has risen by 29 %
  • From 1970 to 2019, weather, climate and water hazards accounted for 50% of disasters and 45% of disaster-related deaths, mostly in developing countries
  • Droughts represent 15% of natural disasters but took the largest human toll, approximately 650,000 deaths from 1970-2019

Unless action is stepped up:

  • By 2030, an estimated 700 million people will be at risk of being displaced by drought
  • By 2040, an estimated one in four children will live in areas with extreme water shortages
  • By 2050, droughts may affect over 3/4 of the world’s population, and an estimated 4.8-5.7 billion people will live in areas that are water-scarce for at least one month each year, up from 3.6 billion today.  And up to 216 million people could be forced to migrate by 2050, largely due to drought in combination with other factors including water scarcity, declining crop productivity, sea-level rise, and overpopulation

We are at a crossroads. We need to steer toward the solutions rather than continuing with destructive actions, believing that marginal change can heal systemic failure. Needed as well are:

  1. Sustainable and efficient agricultural management techniques that grow more food on less land and with less water
  2. Changes in our relationships with food, fodder and fiber, moving toward plant-based diets, and reducing or stopping the consumption of animals
  3. Concerted policy and partnerships at all levels
  4. Development and implementation of integrated drought action plans
  5. Set up effective early-warning systems that work across boundaries
  6. Regular monitoring and reporting to ensure continuous improvement
  7. Mobilize sustainable finance to improve drought resilience at the local level
  8. Invest in soil health
  9. Work together and include and mobilize farmers, local communities, businesses, consumers, investors, entrepreneurs and, above all, young people

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