World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought is observed every year on 17 June, it aims to raise awareness about the cooperation needed to combat desertification and drought. Since 1995, this day has been observed to raise awareness about international cooperation to combat desertification and droughts. In 1994, the United Nations General Assembly declared 17 June as “World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought”.
This is an opportunity to remind people that desertification can be effectively combated, that there are solutions, and that participation and cooperation are important at all levels.
Every year, Desertification and Drought Day is observed as a way to promote public awareness. We celebrate the day to remind everyone that land degradation neutrality (LDN) is a reality. The Secretariat of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification organizes the commemoration of the day.
History of World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought
The World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought is observed on 17 June every year since 1995. The United Nations General Assembly declared 17 June 1994 as “The World Day to Combat Desertification” to raise public awareness about the issue and implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, especially in those areas that suffer from drought or desertification.
Desertification and drought are global issues in that they affect all regions of the world, and they need international cooperation to be addressed, especially in Africa. By its resolution A/RES/49/115, the United Nations General Assembly declared 17 June as “World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought.”
What is Desertification?
Desertification consists of the degradation of land in arid, semi-arid, and dry sub-humid environments. First, it is caused by human activities, and then by climatic variations. It is not the expansion of existing deserts, it is caused by dryland ecosystems, deforestation, overgrazing, bad irrigation practices, etc. that affect the productivity of the land.
Dryland ecosystems, which cover over one-third of the world‘s land area, are extremely vulnerable to overexploitation and inappropriate land use. Desertification is the degradation of land in arid, semi-arid, and dry sub-humid areas; it is caused primarily by human activities and climatic variations and affects the world’s poorest.
Goals of Desertification and Sustainable Development
As stated in the Agenda for Sustainable Development 2030, “we are determined to protect the planet from degradation, including through sustainable consumption and production, managing natural resources sustainably, and taking urgent action on climate change”. In particular, Goal 15 states our commitment to halt and reverse the degradation of land.
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