Desertification affects 70 per cent of the world's arable lands in more than 100 countries. Inextricably linked to poverty, it is estimated that the livelihood of 250 million people are directly affected while another billion living in rural drylands are threatened by this phenomenon. This volume examines the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) signed in 1994. It studies the links between land degradation and poverty, the role of civil society and good governance in implementing the UNCCD and the various approaches to fighting desertification. Furthermore, it assesses the National Action Programmes, development planning and new avenues for strengthening implementation. Synthesizing the main strengths and weaknesses of the UNCCD as a tool for environmental and developmental governance, this informative volume highlights the main challenges facing the UNCCD in the future.