World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought
The General Assembly of the United Nations, at its 92nd Plenary meeting in 1994, adopted a resolution (A/RES/49/115) which proclaimed 17 June as the World Day to Combat Desertification (WDCD). The resolution further invites all States to devote the WDCD, to promote public awareness on Desertification, Land Degradation and effect of Drought (DLDD) related issues in those Countries experiencing serious drought and/or desertification, particularly in Africa.
As a party to the United Nations to Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), South Africa through the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) as the focal point of the UNCCD has coordinated the celebration of the WDCD annually since ratifying the Convention. The Day has been observed to promote public awareness relating to international cooperation to combat DLDD. WDCD is observed as a unique occasion to remind everybody that desertification and land degradation can be effectively tackled, that solutions are possible, and this day can also be used as a tool to strengthen community participation and co-operation at all levels.
This year's World Day to Combat Desertification theme is “Let’s Grow the Future Together”. On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Convention and the World Day to Combat Desertification in 2019, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) celebrates the 25 years of progress made by countries on sustainable land management. At the same time, the UNCCD looks at the broad picture of the next 25 years where we will achieve land degradation neutrality.
Desertification and Drought Day, a United Nations observance day held on 17 June each year, will in 2020 focus on changing public attitudes to the leading driver of desertification and land degradation: humanity’s relentless production and consumption.
As populations become larger, wealthier and more urban, there is far greater demand for land to provide food, animal feed and fibre for clothing. Meanwhile, the health and productivity of existing arable land is declining, worsened by climate change.
To have enough productive land to meet the demands of ten billion people by 2050, lifestyles need to change. Desertification and Drought Day, running under the slogan “Food. Feed. Fibre.” seeks to educate individuals on how to reduce their personal impact.
Food, feed and fibre must also compete with expanding cities and the fuel industry. The end result is that land is being converted and degraded at unstainable rates, damaging production, ecosystems and biodiversity.
» Celebrate #2019WDCD - https://www.unccd.int/
» The Decay of the Land - https://www.un.org/