The drylands of Eastern and Southern Africa face many environmental challenges including land degradation, deforestation, degradation of watersheds and wetlands, invasive species, habitat loss, and human-wildlife conflict. Challenges of sustainable development and biodiversity conservation are compounded by population pressures, insecure land tenure, competition over land and resources, food and livelihood insecurity, and conflict.

IUCN’s Regional Drylands Programme is part of an emerging Global Drylands Programme that is being led by the ESARO office, and is part of the IUCN’s Ecosystem Management Programme. The goal of the programme is that dryland ecosystems are sustainably managed to protect biodiversity and contribute to local livelihoods and national economies.

The programme contributes to strengthening the resilience of dryland ecosystems and livelihoods and conserving drylands biodiversity by improving understanding of the value of dryland ecosystems. This includes increasing effective action to sustainably manage ecosystems, building capabilities and support for sustainable drylands management, strengthening governance, rights and empowerment of drylands custodians, building on indigenous and external knowledge, and strengthening the supporting policy and legal environment.

For more information contact:
Robert Wild, Technical Coordinator, Landscapes Programme :