KORE - Knowledge sharing platform on Emergencies and Resilience

Sand and dust storms | A transboundary issue of growing concern



Sand and dust storms (SDS) are a common occurrence in the world's drylands, characterized by strong, turbulent winds that erode small particles from soil surfaces with little or no vegetation cover. Given that a significant portion of major agricultural activities, including most rangelands and approximately 40 percent of global cropland, are situated in drylands, SDS have far-reaching impacts on both national and transboundary levels. These storms adversely affect the yields and productivity of crops, trees, pastures, and livestock, causing the loss of nutrients, seeds, and fertilizer, as well as damaging crop tissues through sandblasting.

The expected outcome of this knowledge sharing event on Sand and Dust Storms were twofold. Firstly, to broaden participants' understanding of existing data and information on SDS sources and their impacts on agriculture in countries within the SDS 'risk-belt.' Secondly, to raise awareness about the imperative for increased investment in building resilience against SDS through the scaling up of existing and innovative good practices.

The objectives of the virtual SDS knowledge-sharing and awareness-raising event were to i) present the key findings and recommendations from the three technical reports recently launched under FAO’s interregional TCP on SDS in agriculture. ii) increase understanding of the SDS issue and implications for the agriculture sector. ii) Raise awareness on existing good practices that help mitigate and adapt to SDS impacts on agriculture. iv) share country case studies on the application of SDS risk and vulnerability assessments and development of SDS contingency planning process and action plans. v) provide recommendations to further strengthen efforts to combat SDS in agriculture at the practice and policy levels.

Key takeaways and ways forward

  • Improving SDS risk governance: strengthen implementation capacities at national and local level to implement and scale up sustainable land and water management practices.
  • Strengthen capacities on SDS risk information and analysis: this includes strengthening capacities on SDS risk monitoring and promoting early warning systems for SDS linked to anticipatory action to protect lives and livelihoods ahead of forecasted SDS.
  • Increasing investment in SDS for resilience building: to be effective, SDS risk and impact management require scaled up action on the ground to reduce source and impact areas affecting agrifood systems. In doing so, adequate finance must be mobilized to support countries in the fight against SDS, at all levels.
  • Enhancing collaboration at national, regional and global levels – given the transboundary nature of SDS, effective partnerships are key to reduce and manage SDS risks and impacts.
  • Increasing knowledge-sharing and awareness raising on SDS to exchange good practices and lessons learned.


For more information, contact [email protected] 

Webinar video

Webinar video

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