Action Against Desertification

Call to integrate African Drylands Week into African Union’s work

3rd Drylands Conference seeks to boost political commitment to sustainable management of Africa’s natural resources


Rome - At the 3rd African Drylands Conference held in Windhoek, Namibia from 8-12 August 2016, delegates from global, regional, and national institutions involved in drought mitigation and drylands management in Africa called for the integration of the African Drylands Week into the work of the African Union.

Sustainable management of Africa’s natural resources is key in addressing some of the continent’s socio-economic woes, the over 100 participants to the conference agreed. It would also curb illegal immigration and clip the wings of criminal networks operating in the Sahara and Sahel regions.

Land degradation in Africa’s drylands is one of the major challenges to be tackled. To scale up restoration efforts that are spreading rapidly thanks to flagship programmes, including the Great Green Wall initiative, TerrAfrica and the Africa Forest and Landscape Restoration Initiative (AFR100), more political commitment and increased funding are crucial.

In order to beef up support, the Conference recommended that the Africa Drylands Week be a formal work programme of the African Union Commission to be held once every two years. A decision can be expected by the next African Union summit in January 2017.

The 3rd African Drylands Conference was hosted by the Government of the Republic of Namibia and was organized by the African Union in collaboration with NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency, FAO, the World Bank, UNDP, UNEP, CILSS, the UNCCD Secretariat and the Pan African Agency of the Great Green Wall.

View final declaration here.