In May 2022, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) organized its fifteenth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP15) in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, with the aim to unite governments, scientists, policymakers, the private sector and communities around a shared vision to restore and manage the world’s land.

To demonstrate the need for national governments and producers to assess and understand the risk profiles of their main agricultural value chains, UNCCD commissioned FutureWater to identify land degradation and climate change hotspots in drylands across the globe and explore the likely impacts of climate change on degradation of the key cropping systems in these areas. The resulting report served as a knowledge product in support of COP15.

The final report is now available for the general public through this link. By zooming in on three case studies across the globe and innovatively integrating remote sensing and climate model outputs, the study highlights the close interconnection between climate change and landdegradation in dryland agriculture. The results should support national governments to evaluate the risk profiles of their main cash crops and, subsequently, support identification of alternatives for value chains that are projected to become insufficiently productive in the future. Subsequent work will link towards opportunities around other megatrends such as population changes, consumption patterns, energy and shifting geopolitical patterns present in the identification of new value chains.