“Restoration, land and recovery. We build back better with healthy land” is the theme for 2021 Desertification and Drought Day | Source: https://www.unccd.int/
17 June is observed as World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought. It is a United Nations observance celebrated each year on 17 June since 1995. The United Nation General Assembly in 1994 declared 17 June as the “World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought”. Its purpose is to raise awareness of the presence of desertification and drought, highlighting methods of preventing desertification and recovering from drought.
The 2021 Desertification and Drought Day on 17 June will focus on turning degraded land into healthy land. Restoring degraded land brings economic resilience, creates jobs, raises incomes and increases food security. It helps biodiversity to recover. It locks away the atmospheric carbon warming the Earth, slowing climate change. It can also lessen the impacts of climate change and underpin a green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) will work with the Ministry of Environment (MINAE) of Costa Rica, the host of the global observance, to encourage households, communities, the private sector and countries to have a better relationship with nature as we recover from COVID-19.
“Restoration, land and recovery. We build back better with healthy land” is the theme for 2021 Desertification and Drought Day.
History and Objectives
The United Nations General Assembly in the early 90s decided on a resolution to observe June 17 as World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought. From this day every year, the United Nations, NGOs, and countries organize events to spread awareness to combat desertification and drought.
The objectives of Desertification and Drought Day are 1) to promote public awareness of issue 2) to let people know that desertification and drought can be effectively tackled, that solutions are possible, and that key tools to this aim lay in strengthened community participation and cooperation at all levels, and 3) To strengthen implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in those countries experiencing serious drought and/or desertification, particularly in Africa.
Why it is important?
Nearly three quarters of the Earth’s ice-free land has been altered by humans to meet an ever-growing demand for food, raw materials, highways and homes. Avoiding, slowing and reversing the loss of productive land and natural ecosystems now is both urgent and important for a swift recovery from the pandemic and for guaranteeing the long-term survival of people and the planet.
Current commitments from over 100 countries specify the restoration of almost 1 billion hectares of land over the next decade – an area almost the size of China. If we restore this land, we can deliver massive benefits for people and the planet.