World Day to Combat Desertification (WDCD)
The World Day to Combat Desertification (WDCD) is observed worldwide on 17 June every year. The theme of this year’s WDCD is ecosystem-based adaptation.
With the slogan ‘Land Belongs to the Future, Let’s Climate Proof It’, the 2014 WDCD highlights the benefits of mainstreaming sustainable land management policies and practices into our collective response to climate change. Sustainable land management increases both community and ecosystem resilience while improving the human condition particularly in the drylands.
The 2014 WDCD campaign kicked off on African Environment Day - Wangari Maathai Day on 3 March in Lesotho. The event was also combined with the observance of the UN Decade for Desert and Fight against Desertification, 2010 - 2020. To heighten awareness of the issue of desertification and strategically link a variety of education and awareness raising activities together, the United Nations declared that 2010-2020 the United Nations Decade for Deserts and the Fight against Desertification (UNDDD).
In declaring the Decade, the United Nations drew attention to two things: first, increasing desertification in all regions, especially in Africa; and second, its implications for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, more specifically, poverty eradication and environmental sustainability.
This year, South Africa through the Department of Environmental Affairs in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries is proposing to celebrate the WDCD event in the Free State Province at Thabo Mofutsanyane District Municipality on 17 June 2014. Free State is one of the provinces in the country that is severely affected by the impacts of land degradation, desertification and the effects of drought and has a significant of rural poverty.
The theme for the commemoration of 2014 WDCD is: “ecosystem-based adaptation”. The slogan: “Land belongs to the future – let’s climate proof it”