WORLD DAY TO COMBAT DESERTIFICATION AND DROUGHT
Every year on June 17th, the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought highlights methods to prevent desertification. It’s also a day to focus on finding ways to recover from drought.
Desertification is the process by which fertile land becomes desert. This is usually a result of drought, deforestation, or inappropriate agriculture. When desertification occurs, biological productivity is lost. This is detrimental in areas that are already greatly affected by poverty and hunger.
In recent years, more than two billion hectares of productive land has become degraded. The good news is, there are some effective ways to prevent desertification. Some of these ways include:
- Protect the soil from degradation through land and water management.
- Protect vegetative cover.
- Integrate the use of land for grazing and farming to allow for a more efficient cycling of nutrients.
- Apply traditional agriculture practices with land use technologies.
- Give local communities the resources necessary to manage dryland.
- Create economic opportunities in dryland urban centers.
Besides these ways to prevent desertification, there are also ways to reverse land degradation. This includes planting trees, enriching the soil with nutrients, preventing soil erosion, and establishing seed banks.
It’s more important than ever to combat desertification and drought. This is because by the year 2050, there needs to be enough productive land to meet the demands of 10 billion people.
HOW TO OBSERVE #WorldDayToCombatDesertificationAndDrought
On this day, environmentalists and conservationists give presentations educating the public on ways to combat desertification and drought. To participate:
- Learn ways to protect the soil on your land.
- Plant at least one tree on your property.
- Educate yourself on the benefits of seed banks.
- Watch videos and read articles about desertification and its impact on our planet.
Spread awareness for this day on social media with #WorldDayToCombatDesertificationAndDrought.
WORLD DAY TO COMBAT DESERTIFICATION AND DROUGHT HISTORY
During the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, desertification was identified as one of the greatest challenges to sustainable development. In 1994, the UN General Assembly established the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). This legally binding international agreement linked the environment and development to sustainable land management. In addition to the UNCCD, the UN proclaimed June 17th as World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought. Recent themes for the day have included:
2020: Food. Feed. Fibre. – The Links Between Consumption and Land.
2019: Let’s Grow the Future Together
2018: Land Has True Value. Invest In It.
2017: Link Between Land Degradation and Migration.
2016: Protect Earth. Restore Land. Engage People.