The World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought (WDCDD) is observed every year across the world on June 17 to promote public awareness of international efforts to combat desertification. This year United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is celebrating 25 years of progress made by countries on sustainable land management.
Objective of Day: (i) Promote public awareness of international efforts to combat desertification. (ii) Remind everyone that land degradation neutrality is achievable through problem-solving, strong community involvement and co-operation at all levels.
2019 Theme: “Let's grow the future together”.
- The World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought was proclaimed by United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in 1994 through resolution A/RES/49/115. It was observed for the first time in 1995.
- Why June 17? The date marks adaptation of United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) in 1994 by UNGA.
- Purpose of the day: Promote public awareness on the issue and implementation of UNCCD in those countries experiencing serious desertification or drought, particularly in Africa.
Desertification according to UN
- Definition: Desertification is degradation of land in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas. Desertification does not refer to the expansion of existing deserts. It does not refer to expansion of existing deserts.
- Cause: It is caused primarily by human activities and climatic variations. It occurs because dryland ecosystems, which cover over one third of the world‘s land area, are extremely vulnerable to overexploitation and inappropriate land use. Poverty, deforestation, overgrazing, bad irrigation practices and political instability can all undermine the productivity of the land
- Global scenario: According to UN, world loses 24 billion tons of fertile soil every year and dryland degradation reduces national domestic product in developing countries by up to 8% annually.
- Desertification and SDG: Goal 15 of 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development seeks to resolve to halt and reverse land degradation.
United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)
It is only legally binding agreement in the world to address problem of desertification and other land issues. It was adopted in June 17, 1994 and entered into force 1996. Its objective is to address desertification and land issues specifically arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas, known as drylands.