The Blue Paper: Drought Risks, Resilience & Restoration

Patrick Augenstein, Martin Lukas, Daniel Tsegai, Gunilla Björklund, Gaius Eudoxie, Michael Brüntrup, Carolina King-Okumu, German Kust
Posted on: 9/14/2022 - Updated on: 9/14/2022

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The Intergovernmental Working Group on Drought presents its outcomes at COP 15, building on a policy framework where implementation and partnerships as well as effectiveness under the Convention, should result in reduced disaster risks and enhanced resilience. This Blue Paper brings extra dimensions to the IWG document in deepening several aspects such as: “Policies make a difference”, “Land restoration works”, “Education brings change”, “Media matters”, “Turning the tide” and “New horizons”.

Droughts are one of the most far-reaching disasters impacting land, ecosystems, and the livelihoods of billions that depend on it, causing short- and long-term economic and ecological losses. To reduce vulnerability to droughts holistically, there is an urgent need to overcome the prevailing structures of reactive, post-hazard management and to move toward proactive risk management approaches. Against this backdrop, the Conference of the Parties at its thirteenth session (COP 13) adopted the UNCCD 2018−2030 Strategic Framework, comprising the following five objectives:

  • To improve the condition of affected ecosystems, combat desertification/land degradation, promote sustainable land management and contribute to land degradation neutrality
  • To improve the living conditions of affected populations
  • To mitigate, adapt to, and manage the effects of drought in order to enhance resilience of vulnerable populations and ecosystems
  • To generate global environmental benefits through effective implementation of the UNCCD
  • To mobilize substantial and additional financial and non-financial resources to support the implementation of the Convention by building effective partnerships at global and national level

At its fourteenth session (COP 14), the Conference of Parties decided to establish an Intergovernmental Working Group (IWG) on effective policy and implementation measures for addressing drought under the UNCCD. Its aim is, on the one hand, to take stock of and review the existing policy, implementation, and institutional coordination frameworks, including partnerships on drought preparedness and response. On the other, it is to consider options for appropriate policy, advocacy, and implementation measures at all levels for addressing drought effectively under the Convention, in the context of a holistic and integrated approach to disaster risk reduction and enhancing the resilience of human societies and ecosystems.

The working structure of the IWG consists of a Coordination Committee and four task groups, whose work has focused on the following topics:

  1. Implementing drought monitoring and early warning systems
  2. Assessing the risk and impacts of and the vulnerability to drought
  3. Finance instruments for drought risk management
  4. Policies for drought risk management.

This report comprises a synthesis of this work of the IWG, as well as of related reports and additional literature.


Patrick Augenstein, Martin Lukas, Daniel Tsegai, Gunilla Björklund, Gaius Eudoxie, Michael Brüntrup, Carolina King-Okumu, German Kust. 2022. The Blue Paper - Drought Risks, Resilience and Restoration. The Intergovernmental Working Group on Drought. Bonn, UNCCD.

Affiliated Organizations

The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification is a Convention to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought through national action programs that incorporate long-term strategies supported by international cooperation and partnership arrangements.