The United Nations Friday said it was 'regrettable' that the Government of Canada is withdrawing from the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), the only legally binding instrument that addresses desertification, land degradation and drought.
"The Convention is stronger than ever before, which makes Canada´s decision to withdraw from the Convention all the more regrettable," the UNCCD secretariat said in a press release from Bonn, Germany.
"The UNCCD and its institutions works with all stakeholders and will continue to do so to safeguard the key resource base for food, water and energy security, and to sharply reduce poverty and build the resilience of rural ecosystems to expected climatic shocks like droughts," the press release continued.
The UNCCD thanked the Government of Canada and Canadian civil society for playing "significant roles in moving the Convention to where it is Friday." It also noted its annual contribution of about 3.127 per cent of the current Convention´s budget, or USD 290,644 in 2011.
The Convention also praised Canada for being a "major actor in global efforts to address food security in developing countries" while also being "frequently subjected to drought" with 60 per cent of its cropland in dry areas.
"We believe Canada will seize every opportunity to support efforts to sustain the implementation of the Convention for the good of present and future generations," the UNCCD said.
The Germany-based secretariat and the office of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon were informed of the Government´s decision to withdraw from the Convention on 28 March, according to the press release.
Canada is now the only one of 193 Member State not party to the Convention.