Desertification, along with climate change and the loss of biodiversity, were identified as the greatest challenges to sustainable development during the 1992 Rio Earth Summit. Established in 1994, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is the sole legally binding international agreement linking environment and development to sustainable land management. The Convention seeks to support countries to address Desertification, Land Degradation, and Drought (DLDD).
The mission of the External Relations, Policy and Advocacy (ERPA) Unit is to position the UNCCD as a credible and trusted partner in addressing DLDD. To achieve this goal, the Unit develops and then communicates relevant and persuasive policy messages to decision makers at all levels. It places a special emphasis on supporting the work of Parties at regional level and on building up partnerships that expand the UNCCD’s reach with key stakeholders such as civil society and the private sector.
- Provides advice and guidance on strategy and policy advocacy to the Executive Secretary, Secretariat, Global Mechanism and key partners. Acts as the main contact on ways and means to enhance the delivery of policy, derived from COP decisions and included in the programme of work or otherwise, related to DLDD.
- Develops and maintains relations with national focal points and senior officials of state Parties to the Convention and ensures an appropriate response to requests for advice and support on policy matters.
- Analyses critical policy issues in the context of the DLDD [mainly climate change, biodiversity, sustainable agriculture and forestry, drought and water scarcity, disaster risk management, sand and dust storms, migration, gender and rights-based approaches].