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 2022 Desertification and Drought Day on 17 June will focus on “Rising up from drought together.”
The 2021 Desertification and Drought Day on 17 June focussed 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.
Theme of World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought 2022
17 June is observed as World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought. The theme of the International Day Against Desertification, and Drought 2022 is “Rising up from drought together”, emphasises the need of an early action to avoid disastrous consequences for humanity and the planetary ecosystems.
The theme of the International Day Against Desertification, and Drought 2021 was ” turning degraded land into healthy land ”
Quick facts about World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought
Here are quick facts about situation of draught and desertification across globe.
- Since 2000, the number and duration of droughts has risen 29%.
- An estimated 55 million people globally are directly affected by droughts every year.
- By 2050, droughts may affect over three-quarters of the world’s population.
- More and more of us will be living in areas with extreme water shortages, including an estimated one in four children by 2040 (UNICEF).
- Between 1900 and 2019, droughts impacted 2.7 billion people in the world, and caused 11.7 million deaths
History of World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought
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.