Desertification treaty includes key role for scientists



When Lois Barber, executive director of the non-profit group EarthAction, began efforts to press for U.S. Senate ratification of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification several years ago, the treaty's purpose tripped up some people, she said. They wondered whether it might be a treaty related to military personnel who had abandoned their service, de-certification of something or other, or even an overabundance of after-dinner treats. While the issue may not yet rate highly on the U.S. radar screen, U.S. Senate ratification of the Convention to Combat Desertification (CCD) on November 17, 2000 and entry into force of the treaty in the United States on February 2, 2001, could bring additional focus on desertification from the scientific community and policy-makers, according to a number of experts involved with the issue. The treaty now has been ratified by 174 countries.