World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought arises on June 17 of every year. The primary purpose of the day is to highlight the ways to prevent desertification and recover from the drought. The day also aims to increase the visibility of the drylands issue on the environmental agenda. It is the perfect day to remind everybody that desertification can be efficiently tackled, that solutions are possible, and that key tools to this aim lay in strengthened community participation and cooperation at different levels.
“Without a long-term solution, desertification and land degradation will not only affect food supply but lead to increased migration and threaten the stability of many nations and regions. This is why world leaders made land degradation neutrality one of the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals.” – General Ban Ki-moon
History of World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought
In 1994, the United Nations General Assembly announced June 17 as the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought. The assembly recognized that desertification and drought were the main global problems as they affect all regions of the world. The meeting also realized that joint action by the international community was required to combat desertification and drought, particularly in Africa. The States were asked to devote World Day to promoting awareness of the necessity for international participation to combat desertification and the effects of drought and also the implementation of the Convention on Conflict Desertification. After then, the country parties to the UNCCD (United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification), stakeholders, and non-governmental organizations celebrate the day with some Worldwide activities on June 17 each year.
Themes of the day
The past Themes of World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought are listed below
- 2003: International Year of Deserts and Desertification (IYDD).
- 2004: Social Dimensions of Desertification: Migration and Poverty.
- 2005: Women and Desertification.
- 2006: The Beauty of Deserts – The Challenge of Desertification.
- 2007: Desertification and Climate Change – One Global Challenge.
- 2008: Combating land degradation for sustainable agriculture.
- 2009: Conserving land and energy = Securing our common future.
- 2015: Attainment of food security for all through sustainable food systems.
- 2016: Inclusive cooperation for achieving Land Degradation Neutrality.
- 2017: Link between land degradation and migration.
- 2018: Land has true value. Invest in it.
- 2019: Let’s Grow the Future Together
- 2020: Food. Feed.Fibre. – the links between consumption and land.
- 2021: Restoration, Land, and Recovery.
- 2022: Rising from drought together.
Other Celebrations on June 17
June 17 is also celebrated as
- World Tessellation Day
- National Eat Your Vegetable Day
- National Apple Strudel Day
- National Flip Flop Day
How to celebrate the day
On the day, promotional events may include the distribution of awareness-raising materials, like fact sheets, calendars, posters, and postcards, to educational organizations and the general public. The day also features educational case studies, forums, or discussions on drought and desertification, its associations with society, and steps to minimize the problem. You can use the hashtag #WorldDaytoCombatDesertificationandDrought to post on social media.
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