China's implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification

Updated: 2017-06-13 Print

China is a developing country with the largest desertification area and the largest affected population in the world. However, it also has the most effective desertification prevention and control measures.

China's implementation of the UNCCD has been recognized and highly praised by the international community.

China is conscientiously fulfilling the obligations of the UNCCD and successfully combating desertification. It has launched relatively mature laws, policies, scientific research, planning, assessment, and evaluation for project construction and monitoring.

Over more than the last half century, from the 1950s to the late 1990s, sandification increased; but from 2000 to 2014 desertification has decreased each year.

China is actively participating in the convention processes of the UNCCD. It has promoted the establishment of the Committee for the Review of the Implementation of the Convention (CRIC) and supported the launch of a regional implementation mechanism. It has also participated fully in the research and formulation of both the 10-year Strategic Plan and Framework to Enhance the Implementation of the Convention (2008-2018) (the 10-Year Strategy), and the Future Strategic Framework for the Convention. China has played an irreplaceable role in the development of the Convention.

China has joined with the permanent secretariat of the Convention to host the Asian Ministerial Conference on UNCCD Implementation, the International Conference on Women and Desertification, the United Nations Conference on Desertification, and celebrations for the World Day to Combat Desertification.  In doing so it has established a thematic network on desertification monitoring and assessment in the Asian region, and set up an international training center for desertification control. The center offers seminars and other training to developing countries and is recognized by the parties to the Convention, especially the developing countries affected by desertification.

China considers desertification control to be an important international matter and has led or participated in international mechanisms that prioritize it, such as the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum, a cooperation mechanism between China, Japan and Korea, and the environment mechanism of Northeast Asia. In June 2015, the State Forestry Administration signed a memorandum of cooperation with an Arab League research center on desertification monitoring and prevention. China released the Belt and Road Joint Action Initiative for Combating Desertification together with a group of countries and international organizations in June 2016. It also actively promoted demonstration centers of desertification control technology in developing countries like Egypt and sharing of good experience and practices.

The State Forestry Administration was awarded by the Secretariat of the Convention in 2002 and 2009 for its great contribution to combating desertification. China's experience has been included in the Conference's official documents and compilations on best practices. Niu Yuqin and Shi Guangyin were awarded by the Food and Agriculture Organization, and the deeds of another desertification specialist, Wang Youde, were shown by video on the Convention's special website. China Elion Resources Group was honored with the title "World Dryland Guardian". Shapotou in Zhongwei, Ningxia, Xinjiang's Hetian and Aohan Banner in Inner Mongolia's Chifeng city were named to the Global 500 Roll of Honour for Environmental Achievement.