June 17: World Day to Combat Desertification observed with the theme “Land Belongs to the Future – Let’s Climate Proof It”
World Day to Combat Desertification was observed on June 17, 2014 to promote public awareness of the issue, and the implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) in those countries experiencing severe drought and/or desertification, particularly in Africa.
The theme for 2014 is “Land Belongs to the Future – Let’s Climate Proof It“.
Globally, around 1.5 billion people depend on degrading areas for their livings, and nearly half of the world’s very poor (42%) dwell in degraded areas, rendering them some of the most insecure places in the world, and in some cases their imbalance can destabilize whole political regions.
The world is not isolated from the effect instability caused by the suffering of these people. As per estimates, by 2020 around 60 million people will migrate from desertified regions in Sub-Saharan Africa towards Northern Africa and Europe.
The theme emphasizes on raising awareness about the potential of ecosystem-based adaptation as a policy for coping with the impacts of climate change, particularly in the drylands. Ecosystem-based adaptation means the strengthening of natural systems to absorb the worst impacts of climate change. Healthy ecosystems are less susceptible to the impacts and hazards of climate change.
June 17 as World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought was declared by the United Nations General Assembly in 1994.