The United Nations World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought is annually observed on June 17 to highlight the urgent need to curb the desertification process. Its every year purpose is to promote public awareness of land degradation and to draw attention to the implementation of the UNCCD in countries experiencing serious drought and/or desertification. The United Nations General Assembly declared this day to be “World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought” (WDCD) in 1994. Each year’s global celebration has a unique, novel emphasis that had not been developed previously and it is a privileged moment to remind everyone that land degradation neutrality is achievable through problem-solving, strong community involvement and co-operation at all levels.
Desertification is the degradation of land in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas. It is caused primarily by human activities and climatic variations. Desertification does not refer to the expansion of existing deserts. It occurs because dryland ecosystems, which cover over one third of the world‘s land area, are extremely vulnerable to overexploitation and inappropriate land use. Poverty, political instability, deforestation, overgrazing and bad irrigation practices can all undermine the productivity of the land.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development declares that “we are determined to protect the planet from degradation, including through sustainable consumption and production, sustainably managing its natural resources and taking urgent action on climate change, so that it can support the needs of the present and future generations”.
Moreover, United Nations puts an annual theme upon this particular subject to raise more public awareness and attention to the implementation of the UNCCD in countries experiencing serious drought and desertification and “Land has true value. Invest in it” is the 2018 annual theme.