This article examines the role of linkage politics in revitalizing the largely ineffective UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). I argue that the UNCCD Secretariat has taken a leadership role in driving a regime linkage agenda that has focused disproportionately on linkages to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). By comparing the UNCCD Secretariat's attempts to build desertification-mitigation and desertification-adaptation linkages, I propose three criteria for predicting whether regime linkages are likely to benefit source regimes (here the UNCCD): the linkage's contribution to source governance goals; the credibility of knowledge presented by the source regime; and the linkage's political feasibility for the target regime. This analysis shows secretariats to be important actors in linkage politics whose actions can lead to both beneficial and harmful outcomes for the regimes they are intended to serve. Finally, by asking whether desertification issues that overlap with climate change might be better addressed under the UNFCCC, I question when regime overlap indicates regime redundancy and warrants regime death.