Program to combat desertification is “vague”, “ineffective” and has only “intentions of action” – Jornal Económico


The Court of Auditors (TdC) warns that the National Action Program to Combat Desertification (PANCD) has multiple shortcomings that compromise its effectiveness. In an audit published Tuesday, the oversight body recommends that the government review this plan.

The audit assessed the design, implementation and monitoring of the PANCD, which was last revised in 2014. While highlighting “the virtues of a strategic guiding role” in desertification of the territory, it makes clear that its concrete effects fall far short of what was desired.

“The lines of action do not, in general, represent concrete activities that may generate the intended products and results. Rather, they correspond to intentions for action, which, in addition to not fulfilling defined tasks, also do not identify the entities and areas of governance responsible for their implementation, their timetable, the cost involved and the link with susceptible programs / funds. to fund these actions. PANCD is thus a non-operational program ”, summarizes the ToC.

The court also considers that the PANCD format "impairs the operationalization and effectiveness of the actions necessary to effectively combat desertification." The shortcomings pointed out are multiple: “it is not clear” which entities should achieve the programme's priorities, the timetable is “very vague”, “there is no commitment” to finance the necessary measures, there are no estimates or final figures. On the costs of measures, the actions to be taken are spread across various policies and instruments, "which, without proper monitoring, does not ensure the coherent and timely implementation of the measures."

PANCD governance structures are also classified as “ineffective”. The National Coordinating Commission “has not fulfilled its duties” due to lack of human and financial resources, and the National Desertification Observatory “has never been operationalized, which does not ensure supervision and monitoring of program implementation and systematization of knowledge. about desertification ”.

Desertification is the degradation of soils in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas, resulting from factors such as climate variations and human activities. This phenomenon has been increasing in Portugal, and 58% of the Continent is already susceptible to desertification, especially in the southern and inland areas central and northern.



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