Bamako International Conference on Youth and Desertification

Challenges and opportunities for the youth in the drylands

Bamako, Mali
4-6 September 2006
The UNCCD Secretariat, in collaboration with the Governments of Finland, Germany, Italy and Mali, will hold an international conference on Youth and Desertification in Bamako, one of several major conferences taking place to mark the 2006 International Year of Deserts and Desertification (IYDD).

Desertification affects arid regions throughout the world, causing underdevelopment of national economies and inflicting destitution on the populations of vast areas and threatening them with famine. It is directly linked to (a) loss of biodiversity and life supporting ecosystems, (b) conflicts over the use of declining natural resources, (c) climate change and frequent and severe droughts, (d) food insecurity and starvation, (e) forced human migration and (f) underdevelopment, unemployment and increased poverty.

Continued environmental degradation and the related effects, such as unemployment, poverty and migration, often directly affect the youth. Consequently, issues of desertification and the environment are critical for the youth because as the future generation, they will manage the limited and scarce natural resources as well as suffer the consequences of environmental degradation. Thus the youth need to be actively engaged in environmental management for sustainable livelihoods. There is need therefore to involve the youth in addressing priority issues related to land degradation, by harnessing the economic opportunities offered through investing in sustainable utilization and management of the natural environment.

Given the inevitability that the natural environment constitute the "bank of the last resort" that determine the economic opportunities available to the poor, it is only logical that the sustainable management of the natural environment should create a window for the youth to play a pivotal role that would culminate in the improvement of their well being and that of their respective communities and households.

Subsequently, the main objective of the conference is to encourage political establishments/governments of the countries most affected by desertification and land degradation to give priority to creating youth employment as a matter of national urgency, with job creation mainstreamed into macroeconomic and sectoral (agriculture, industry, services and labour) policies, by offering concrete cases of challenges and opportunities for youth in drylands.

In this respect, and considering the nature of this event, NGOs involved in the UNCCD implementation, are invited to identify and nominate representatives who can offer their personal experience and success stories to the Conference, thus bringing added value to its deliberations. The nominee could also be a recognized expert in issues related to youth and sustainable economic development, employment, soil conservation.

Those willing to participate will have to send a communication to the UNCCD Secretariat no later than 5 June 2006, indicating:

 The details of the nominee (name, surname, nationality, date of birth, contact address, telephone, fax and e-mail);

 His/her field of expertise, and

 Title and short summary of case studies, which he/she would like to present at the Conference.

Given the limited resources available, only a limited number of participants will receive financial support to attend the conference.

Please send the nomination and the case study to the UNCCD Secretariat at:
Fax: (49-228) 815 2898 / 99
Or through the e-mail: secretariat ( at )
 Press releases




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 Related Links

  UNV, UNCCD, UNDP engage Cape     Verdean UN Volunteers to fight     desertification  more...

  Youth combatting desertification    - the Lesotho experience  more...

  Youth at the United Nations     more...

  Youth Unemployment and      Regional Insecurity in West
     Africa - A United Nations
     Office for West Africa

  Tunza Magazine:Deserts and

 Agenda (provisional)

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 Information note

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 Background documents

  For a better tomorrow
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 Bamako Report

  Final Report
    English  |  French