At the Rio+20 Sustainable Development Conference held last June in Brazil, world leaders identified desertification, land degradation and drought as global challenges and committed to strive to achieve a land degradation-neutral world, in which degradation of new areas is avoided and unavoidable degradation is offset by restoring an equal amount of land in the same time and in the same ecosystem.
Sustainable land management practices, including restoring degraded lands and improving soil and water management that help to mitigate drought already exist, but need to be reflected, supported and scaled up by national policies, FAO says.
Increasing resilience, focusing efforts
Better drought management is one of the priorities of the Global Framework for Climate Services now being implemented by governments with support from the United Nations. Climate services aim to increase drought resilience by improving climate information and services, especially for the most vulnerable. They will build on fast improving climate prediction capabilities.
The GFCS aims to give global access to improved services for four priority sectors – food security and agriculture, water, health and disaster risk reduction – by the end of 2017.