soundunderstanding of the underlying factors of land degradation—particularly climate and the risk of natural hazards related to or induced by climate—is necessary for the sustainable development of countries affected by drought and desertification, according to Michel Jarraud, secretary-general of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). Jarraud spoke on 17 October at the seventh session of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) in Nairobi, Kenya.

Land degradation, including one of its most extreme forms, desertification, directly affects about 250 million people and threatens one billion in over 100, mostly developing, countries worldwide, according to Jarraud.