UN declares 2025 to 2034 the decade to combat increasing sand and dust storms from Africa to China

Jul 10, 2024, 12:26 PM | Updated: 12:44 pm

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday declared 2025 to 2034 the United Nations Decade on Combating Sand and Dust Storms — extreme weather events that are increasing and threatening health and economies from central Africa to northern China.

Uganda’s U.N. Ambassador Godfrey Kwoba, who introduced the resolution on behalf of the Group of 77, a powerful U.N. group of 134 developing countries and China, told the 193-member assembly the initiative aims to “halt and mitigate the negative effects of sand and dust storms ” through “international and regional cooperation.”

The assembly adopted the resolution by consensus and a bang of the gavel by assembly president Dennis Francis.

In a 2022 report, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification said sand and dust storms have “increased dramatically in frequency in recent years.”

It said storms can exacerbate respiratory illnesses, kill crops and livestock, and increase desertification, though documentation of their impact is limited.

The convention estimated that 2 trillion tons of sand and dust enter the atmosphere annually, largely in dry lands and sub-humid regions with little vegetation.

The majority of emissions result from natural conditions, but droughts and climate change exacerbate the issue, it said.

The report estimated that “at least 25% of global dust emissions originate from human activities” like unsustainable land management and water use.

As part of the decade-long initiative adopted Wednesday, the General Assembly said the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization will promote mitigation practices in affected countries, including “sustainable land use management, agroforestry, shelter belts, afforestation/reforestation and land restoration programs.”

The resolution also calls for global cooperation to enhance early warning systems and share weather information important to forecasting sand dust storms.

The resolution’s adoption comes two days before the International Day of Combating Sand and Dust Storms on July 12, which the General Assembly declared last year and will be celebrated for the first time.

That resolution called on countries to observe the day with educational and other activities that raise public awareness of the importance of combating sand and dust storms for public health, improving land use, enhancing food security and livelihoods, and promoting “resilience to climate change.”


Follow AP’s climate coverage at: https://apnews.com/hub/climate-and-environment

United States News

FILE - A copy of the Ten Commandments is posted along with other historical documents in a hallway ...

Associated Press

Ten Commandments won’t go in Louisiana classrooms until at least November as lawsuit plays out

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana will delay implementing a requirement that the Ten Commandments be placed in all of the state’s public school classrooms until at least November, according to an agreement approved by a federal judge Friday. A lawsuit was filed in June by parents of Louisiana public school children with various religious […]

25 minutes ago

This image from U.S. Capitol Police security video and contained in the government's sentencing mem...

Associated Press

Marine accused of flashing a Nazi salute during the Capitol riot gets almost 5 years in prison

A Marine who stormed the U.S. Capitol and apparently flashed a Nazi salute in front of the building was sentenced on Friday to nearly five years in prison. Tyler Bradley Dykes, of South Carolina, was an active-duty Marine when he grabbed a police riot shield from the hands of two police officers and used it […]

36 minutes ago

Republican vice presidential candidate Sen. JD Vance arrives with his wife Usha Chilukuri Vance at ...

Associated Press

What Usha Vance’s rise to prominence means to other South Asian and Hindu Americans

Usha Chilukuri Vance, entered the spotlight this week as the wife of JD Vance, former President Trump’s running mate in the 2024 presidential election. Her rise comes at a time when, across the aisle, there’s another prominent figure of South Asian descent: Vice President Kamala Harris, the nation’s first woman and person of color in […]

1 hour ago

FILE - Steam billows from a coal-fired power plant Nov. 18, 2021, in Craig, Colo. A federal appeals...

Associated Press

US appeals court allows EPA rule on coal-fired power plants to remain in place amid legal challenges

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a victory for President Joe Biden’s administration, a federal appeals court on Friday ruled that a new federal regulation aimed at limiting planet-warming pollution from coal-fired power plants can remain in force as legal challenges continue. Industry groups and some Republican-led states had asked the court to block the Environmental Protection […]

1 hour ago

FILE - An eBay app is shown on a mobile phone, July 11, 2019, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, Fil...

Associated Press

Member of eBay security team sentenced in harassment scheme involving bloody Halloween pig mask

BOSTON (AP) — The former senior manager of special operations for eBay Inc.’s. global security team was sentenced Thursday in federal court in Boston for his role in a cyberstalking campaign that included sending a preserved fetal pig, a bloody pig Halloween mask and a book on surviving the loss of a spouse to a […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Some convictions overturned in terrorism case against Muslim scholar from Virginia

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — A judge has overturned a conviction carrying a life sentence for an Islamic scholar from Virginia who was found guilty of soliciting treason after the Sept. 11 attacks for encouraging followers to fight against the U.S. in Afghanistan. The ruling issued Thursday from U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema overturns three of […]

2 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinic visits boost student training & community health

Going to a Midwestern University Clinic can help make you feel good in more ways than one.


Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.



Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

UN declares 2025 to 2034 the decade to combat increasing sand and dust storms from Africa to China