The United Nations(UN)’s World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought is annually observed across the globe on 17th June to create and raise awareness regarding the prevention of desertification of the soil in arid, semi-arid, and dry sub-humid areas caused due to climate change and human activities.
The theme of World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought 2021 is “Restoration.Land.Recovery: We build back better with healthy land”.
i.The United Nations General Assembly(UNGA) adopted the resolution A/RES/49/115 on 19 December 1994 and proclaimed the 17th June of every year as the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought.
ii.The first World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought was observed on 17th June 1995.
i.The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) has organised a High-Level Dialogue on Desertification, Land Degradation and Drought.
ii.The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) and UNCCD launch of Global Assessment Report Special Report on Drought 2021(GAR SRD 2021) during the official event on the occasion of International Day.
UN’s Efforts to Combat Desertification:
i.In 1992 during the Rio Earth Summit, the Desertification, Climate Change and the loss of biodiversity were identified as the threat to sustainable development.
ii.In 1994, the UNGA established the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), which addresses the arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas, known as the drylands, which houses the most vulnerable ecosystems and peoples.
iii.In 2007, the UNGA declared the decade 2010 to 2020 as the United Nations Decade for Deserts and the fight against Desertification to mobilize global action to fight land degradation.
Desertification and its impacts:
i.Desertification is defined as the degradation of dryland ecosystems by climatic variations and human activities. The wind and water erosion increases the damage by carrying away the topsoil and leaves behind the infertile mix of dust and sand.
ii.Due to desertification around 50 million people will be displaced within the upcoming 10 years.
iii.Around 2 billion people across the globe depend on the ecosystems in Dry land areas and around 90% of them are living in the developing countries.
About United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD):
Executive Secretary– Ibrahim Thiaw
Secretariat– Bonn, Germany