Making the issues of land and drought top-of-mind

Social • United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification

UNCCD communications


With drought events increasing by 29% since 2000 and half of the world’s population being affected by land degradation, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) wanted to capture the world’s attention and raise awareness about the impact of drought on livelihoods and present land restoration as an opportunity with limitless potential.

Protecting and restoring land could be a way to address multiple SDGs, and drought, while inevitable, could be mitigated if countries and citizens started taking action and preparing early for them. UNCCD wanted to make sustainable land and water management part of the political agenda of governments, while also educating the public about misconceptions surrounding drought such as being caused only by insufficient rainfall. Parallel to this, they wanted to reinforce UNCCD’s positioning as the global vision and voice for land protection.

UNCCD had different milestones planned for 2022, including the launch of the Global Land Outlook Second Edition, COP 15, Desertification and Drought Day, and other conferences, through which they wanted to take advantage of to spark conversation about the key issues of land restoration and drought.

  1. Objective 1

    Raise awareness about the impact of land and drought on different dimensions of life and how these issues affect all SDGs.

  2. Objective 2

    Change mindsets from reactive to proactive around land restoration and drought mitigation.

  3. Objective 3

    Expand the scope of influence from “insufficient rainfall” to all factors that can influence water scarcity and build resilience to drought.

How can we design a campaign that can spark and elaborate on the drought and land restoration conversation and reach different types of target audiences throughout UNCCD’s milestones for 2022?

What was the big project question?

How did we work through the challenge?

After conducting interviews with subject matter experts and UNCCD staff, as well as reviewing desk research, we identified that the topics of land restoration and drought, while interconnected, were slightly different, and needed to be tackled through different engagement strategies. Otherwise, we risked having a campaign that encompassed too many messages for too many audiences.

We opted to have targeted approaches. We thus decided to split the project into different communication efforts, aligned with the agendas of the different UNCCD milestones: the Global Land Outlook content, the Droughtland Campaign, and the Desertification and Drought Day branding. Learn more about each below.