Drylands Development Centre

About Us | Library | Contact Us

Working with people to fight poverty in the drylands of the world

spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer
main graphic spacer
summary spacer
summary summary prog button summary network button summary outreach button summary spacer
summary summary summary summary spacer

Over 40 percent of the world is drylands, where about 2.3 billon people live in nearly 100 countries. It accounts for up to 44% of all the world's cultivated systems. Many people living in drylands depend directly upon a highly variable natural resource base for their livelihoods, and about half of all dryland inhabitants - one billion people - are poor and marginalized. This accounts for close to half of the world's poor.

The Drylands Development Centre (DDC) is a thematic centre of UNDP dedicated to fighting poverty and achieving sustainable development in the drier regions of the world. UNDP-DDC adopts an Integrated Drylands Development Programme (IDDP) to help to meet challenges faced by dryland populations in a holistic and strategic manner. The IDDP addresses three interlinked issues of importance to poverty alleviation in the drylands into one integrated programme:

  1. Drylands issues, climate change adaptation and mitigation mainstreamed into national policies, planning and development frameworks and contributing to the effective implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD);
  1. Vulnerability of drylands communities to environmental, economic and socio-cultural challenges (such as climate risks, drought, land degradation, poor markets, migration) reduced and adaptation/mitigation capacity built; and
  1. Drylands communities benefit from improved local governance, management and utilization of natural resources

The IDDP is currently operational in 17 countries in sub-Saharan Africa and the Arab States as well as regional and international levels.

Who We Are   What We Do   Where We Work

What's New

UN Reveals "The Forgotten Billion"
[18/10/11] Initially unveiled for consultation last year, the joint report by the Secretariat of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and the UNDP-DDC, "The Forgotten Billion: MDG Achievement in the Drylands" was formally launched on October 18, 2011, at the UNCCD Conference of the Parties (COP 10) in Changwon, Korea, where leaders, scientists, civil society organizations and others are striving to reach agreements to combat desertification, land degradation and drought. More...

Fourth Africa Drought Adaptation Forum
[14/10/11] The United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UN-ISDR) Regional Office for Africa and the UNDP-DDC jointly organized the Fourth Africa Drought Adaptation Forum on October 13-14, 2011, in Nairobi, Kenya, with the special thematic focus on ongoing drought crisis in the Horn of the Africa region. It was held under the framework of the African Drought Risk and Development Network (ADDN) with the support of the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid & Civil Protection (ECHO) and the Government of Japan. More...

The Forgotten Billion: MDG Achievement in the Drylands
[20/09/11] The purpose of this publication is to highlight the development challenges faced by people who live in drylands and to outline how these challenges can be tackled successfully. Covering about 40 percent of the world’s land surface, dryland is home to more than 2 billion people in nearly 100 countries, of which about half remains under poverty. It will be impossible to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015 if life does not improve for the poor people of the drylands. Together, they are the forgotten billion. The publication stresses that the policies designed to meet the needs of dryland peoples must be based on a sound understanding of the full complexity and dynamics of dryland ecosystems. They need to emphasize the value of dryland ecosystem services and the investment and marketing opportunities they offer. More...

World Day to Combat Desertification Commemoration 2011
[17/06/11] The World Day to Combat Desertification (WDCD) is observed every year on 17 June all over the world. The aim of the WDCD is to sensitize the public and policy makers to the increasing dangers of desertification, land degradation and drought for the international community. The WDCD for 2011 focused specifically on the forests in the drylands areas of the world, guided by the motto: ‘Forests keep drylands working’. The UNDP-DDC participated in Kenya WDCD 2011 celebrations held in Gingo Secondary School in Mbita, Suba District.  More...

First Africa-Asia Drought Adaptation Forum
[15/06/11] The Africa-Asia Drought Risk Management Peer Assistance Network’s (AADP) First Africa-Asia Drought Adaptation Forum was organized in Bangkok, Thailand, from 14 -15 June 2011. The 2-day Forum was attended by a dynamic group of participants engaged in different aspects of drought risk management issues in Africa and Asia. The purpose of the Forum was to help establish effective modalities for identifying, exchanging and up-scaling good DRM practices within and between affected countries in the two regions. More...

Mainstreaming Drought Risk Management: A Primer
[30/03/11] This primer, published both in English and French, provides a basic roadmap for mainstreaming drought risk management into development planning and programming at different levels. It suggests and outlines the steps to define drought risks within a given context. It also presents a methodology for translating risk assessments and matrices into specific policy measures, planning instruments and measurable interventions. More...

Topics on Sustainable Land Management