Germany's contribution

Creating political and institutional frameworks

Agricultural landscape near Johannesburg, South Africa

Fighting local "symptoms" alone is not enough to stop soil degradation and desertification. In most cases progressive soil degradation has its roots in transregional and structural deficits. These include, for instance, economic and energy policies that fail to take the environmental and social consequences of incorrect use of soil into account.

That is why Germany is helping its partner countries to establish decentralised administrative structures. These help to enhance the political weight of municipalities. Economic incentives allow them to invest in sustainable natural resource use. One of the most important instruments involves introducing authenticated land ownership and land-use rights. The reference point for this was established by the international community's voluntary Guidelines to promote responsible practices with regard to land rights and land use, fisheries and forests. The BMZ aligns its development cooperation with these guidelines and supports their implementation in its partner countries, especially in Africa.

Within the framework of Technical Cooperation, experts advise the governments of affected countries on the realisation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). The aim is to establish sustainable land management and measures to fight desertification in the development strategies of the countries.

More information


External Links

BMZ glossary

Close window


Share page