Terres et eaux

Sand & Dust Storms a key transboundary issue on International Day of Clean Air for blue skies

The International Day of Clean Air for blue skies on 7 September is focusing this year on ‘The Air We Share’, the transboundary nature of air pollution and the need for collective accountability and action. Sand and Dust Storms is a growing transboundary phenomena that impacts air quality and several other economic and social sectors. The United Nations Coalition on Combating Sand and Dust Storms (SDS) was born on September 2019 of a global desire to tackle the SDS growing threat, and comprises more than 15 UN entities and non-UN organizations (currently chaired by FAO). The aim is to catalyze global and regional actions to reduce SDS impacts on people’s health, agriculture, the environment and other economic activities. Sand and dust storms (SDS) occur when strong, turbulent winds erode small particles from dry land surfaces with little or no vegetation cover. Dust generated in SDS is often raised high into the atmosphere and transported over great distances across international boundaries. SDS hazards threaten the achievement of 11 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Air pollution caused by SDS poses a serious threat to air quality and human health, such as increases in mortality and hospital admissions due to respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. FAO, together with UN partners, are promoting appropriate mitigating actions, aligned with ecosystem restoration, without which the adverse impacts of SDS will become even more severe, due to climate change impact on aridity and drought frequency/intensity. A technical workshop is scheduled on October in the United Arab Emirates to discuss the technical and policy options, and to develop a large-scale program to assist countries and regions in mitigating the impact of SDS.


More information on Sand and Dust Storms

FAO Land and Water SDS website

Sand and dust storms (SDS): A transboundary issue of growing concern, watch the video

Fact sheet “Sand and dust storms (SDS): A transboundary issue of growing concern”

Flyer UN SDS Coalition

SDS at the UNCCD

Sand and Dust Storm Warning Advisory and Assessment System (Forecast Maps) - World Meteorological Organization