A sandstorm in Arizona, USA. Sand and dust storms pollute the atmosphere and can have serious health impacts. Photo: Wikimedia

UNEP helps launch new global coalition to combat sand and dust storms

A new global coalition to combat sand and dust storms was launched at the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification Conference of Parties (UNCCD COP14) meeting in Delhi on 6 September.

Sand and dust storms—also known as sirocco, haboob, yellow dust, white storms, and the harmattan—are a natural phenomenon linked with land and water management, and climate change. The fluctuation in their intensity, magnitude or interaction with each other is what can make them unpredictable and dangerous.

Forty-five countries are classified by the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification as sources of these storms and many others are directly affected.

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP), following calls by Member States, contributed to the establishment and early achievements of the coalition, created in September 2018, through the UN Environment Management Group. Following its launch, the coalition aims to:

  • Prepare a global response which could be used to develop a UN system-wide approach
  • Develop a strategy and action plan to identify entry points for supporting affected countries and regions to implement response measures
  • Provide a forum for engaging partners and enhancing dialogue and collaboration among affected countries and UN agencies at global, regional, and sub-regional levels
  • Provide a common platform for exchange of knowledge, data, resources, information and technical expertise
  • Strengthen preparedness measures and strategies for risk reduction, consolidate policy, innovative solutions, advocacy and capacity-building efforts, and fundraising initiatives
  • Identify and mobilize financial resources for joint responses to sand and dust storms
An arid landscape in Sudan, one of 45 countries that are sources of sand and dust storms. Photo: Pond 5

Continue reading the full story at UN Environment.

For more information, please contact Tim Christophersen.

Article tags

desertnatural disastersU.N. Convention to Combat DesertificationUN EnvironmentUNCCD



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