SAMARKAND – The 21st session of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) Committee on the Review of the Implementation of the Convention (CRIC21) kicks off in Samarkand, Uzbekistan on Nov. 13.
More than 500 delegates from 196 countries gathered at CRIC21, which will run through Nov. 17, to address drought resilience, the promotion of women’s land rights, and combating sand and dust storms as well as the progress the countries are making in restoring productive land.
According to the latest UN data, 420 million hectares of fertile and productive land have been degraded between 2015 and 2019, an area exceeding the combined landscapes of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
In Kazakhstan, the share of degraded land in 2019, according to the UNCCD Data Dashboard, is estimated to be 21.3%, while desertification affects 66% of the country’s territory. The proportion of the total population susceptible to degradation is 31.7%.
The panel session on Nov. 13 will focus on trends in the Central Asian region in desertification, land degradation and drought.
The UNCCD Gender Caucus on Nov. 14 will convene international experts to discuss women’s land rights as a prerequisite to the success of global land restoration and drought resilience efforts.
On Nov. 15, the session will present the latest data on sand and dust storms, many of which have occurred in Uzbekistan and surrounding countries with increasing frequency and severity in recent years.