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World day to combat desertification and drought: Date, Theme, Significance and History


World day to combat desertification and drought 2023

The World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought is an annual observance held on June 17th. It is a global initiative aimed at raising awareness about the threats posed by desertification and drought and promoting efforts to combat these challenges.

Desertification refers to the process of land degradation in arid, semi-arid, and dry sub-humid areas, often caused by various factors such as climate change, deforestation, unsustainable agricultural practices, and overexploitation of natural resources. Drought, on the other hand, is a prolonged period of inadequate rainfall, resulting in water scarcity, crop failure, and ecosystem disruption.

Theme of World day to combat desertification and drought

This year, the theme of the International Day Against Desertification, and Drought “Her land. Her rights”, 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. It’s time for women and girls to be at the forefront of global land restoration and drought resilience efforts.

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History of World day to combat desertification and drought

The World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought was established in 1994 following a convention held at the United Nations General Assembly. The inaugural observance took place in 1995. The creation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) stemmed from the need to address environmental degradation caused by climate change. The primary goal of the convention was to raise awareness among the global population about effective measures to halt desertification, with particular emphasis on regions currently experiencing severe drought.

World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought, Significance

  • Awareness and Education: The day serves as a platform to raise global awareness about the challenges posed by desertification and drought. It educates individuals, communities, and governments about the causes, impacts, and potential solutions to combat these issues. By increasing understanding and knowledge, it empowers people to take action.
  • Sustainable Land Management: The World Day highlights the significance of sustainable land management practices. It emphasizes the need to adopt strategies that conserve and restore land, promote responsible land use, and prevent further degradation. By promoting sustainable land practices, the day contributes to mitigating climate change, protecting biodiversity, and ensuring food security.
  • International Cooperation: The observance fosters international cooperation and collaboration in combating desertification and drought. It encourages governments, organizations, and communities to share knowledge, experiences, and best practices. By promoting cooperation at various levels, the day facilitates the exchange of ideas and the development of innovative solutions to address these challenges collectively.
  • Climate Change and Resilience: Desertification and drought are closely linked to climate change. The World Day highlights the interconnectedness between these issues and the urgent need to address them in the context of climate action. By promoting resilience and adaptive strategies, it contributes to building climate-resilient communities and ecosystems.
  • Sustainable Development Goals: The World Day aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly Goal 15: Life on Land. It supports the achievement of targets related to combating desertification, restoring degraded land, and ensuring sustainable land management practices. By focusing on these goals, the day contributes to overall sustainable development efforts.
  • Community Engagement: The World Day emphasizes the role of local communities in combating desertification and drought. It recognizes that sustainable land management requires the active involvement and participation of communities who are directly affected by these challenges. The day promotes community engagement, empowerment, and ownership of initiatives aimed at preventing land degradation and addressing water scarcity.

Overall, the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought holds significance by raising awareness, promoting sustainable land management practices, fostering international cooperation, addressing climate change, supporting the SDGs, and engaging local communities. It serves as a reminder of the importance of protecting our land resources and creating a more sustainable and resilient future for all.

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