Policy paper : France’s international strategic guidelines for combatting land degradation and desertification (2020-2030)


Desertification is a gradual degradation of soils in drylands, affecting their biological and economic potential. Today, more than 3.2 billion people worldwide live on around 2 billion hectares of degraded land. Moreover, 500 million people live in areas already affected by desertification. This growing phenomenon now affects all continents and is a genuine danger for human health, biodiversity, the climate, food security, stability and security.

France has long been committed to supporting the efforts of countries threatened by desertification, thanks to its ratification of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), adopted in Paris in 1994. France has created global initiatives, including the 4 per 1000 initiative and the Green Initiative for the Sahel, and supported many more. Given the importance of desertification issues for both the environment and social and economic development, France adapted its strategic framework to combat desertification and land degradation worldwide for the period 2020-2030.

This new strategic framework supports the following goals:

  • Contributing to France’s development policy to combat global inequalities and preserve global public goods, addressing the root causes of mutually reinforcing crises which affect all continents;
  • Guiding ministries, agencies, NGOs and scientists, as well as other French actors, in their support to the most vulnerable populations seeking to prevent degradation of land and manage it more sustainably.