The United Nations(UN)’s World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought is annually observed across the globe on 17th June to create awareness about Drought, one of the most destructive natural disasters in terms of loss of life and also encourages people to find achievable solutions for combating desertification.
The theme of World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought 2023 is “Her land Her rights”.
- The theme emphasizes that investing in women’s equal access to land and associated assets is a direct investment in their future and the future of humanity.
Focus: The global focus for the 2023 World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought is on women’s land rights.
- It is essential for achieving the interconnected global goals of gender equality and land degradation neutrality by 2030 and contributing to the advancement of several other Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
i.UN observes the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought to strengthen the implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in countries experiencing serious drought and/or desertification, particularly in Africa.
ii.To let people know that desertification and drought can be effectively tackled, and that solutions are possible through strengthened community participation and cooperation at all levels.
i.The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted the resolution A/RES/49/115 in December 1994 and proclaimed the 17th June of every year as the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought.
ii.The first ever World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought was observed on 17th June 1995.
Women’s land rights agenda :
i.The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) reaffirms its commitment to gender equality with the following Desertification and Drought Day 2023 objectives:
- Raising awareness of the disproportionate impact of desertification, land degradation and drought on women and girls and the barriers they face in decision-making on land issues.
- Highlighting women’s contributions to sustainable land management and broader SDGs.
- Mobilizing global support to advance land rights for women and girls around the world.
ii.2023’s global observance of Desertification and Drought Day was held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, United States of America (USA).
i.Women hold a vital stake in the health of the land, yet they often don’t have control over it. In all parts of the world, women face significant barriers in securing land rights, limiting their ability to thrive and prosper.
ii.Nearly half of the global agricultural workforce is female, yet less than one in five landholders worldwide are women.
iii.Women’s rights to inherit their husband’s property continue to be denied in over 100 countries under customary, religious, or traditional laws and practices.
iv.Globally, women already spend a collective 200 million hours every day collecting water.
i.Forecasts estimate that by 2050 droughts may affect over three-quarters of the world’s population.
ii.The number and duration of droughts have increased by 29% since 2000 and more than 2.3 billion people already facing water stress.
About United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD):
Executive Secretary– Ibrahim Thiaw
Headquarters– Bonn, Germany