The United Nations has called for urgent action to combat land degradation. It has also called for the need to make sustainable choices for greening the blue and reclaiming land that is getting lost due to deforestation. The World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought is celebrated on June 17 every year in order for us to understand the perils of unsustainable development and the degradation of the ecology.

The World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought seeks to promote the public awareness of global efforts that are ongoing in order to combat desertification. This day is a great opportunity to remind us that land degradation neutrality can be achieved through community involvement, problem-solving, and co-operation at various levels.

What is land decay?

Desertification is basically land degradation in arid, semiarid or dry sub-humid regions. It is triggered by human activities as well as climatic variations. It is a term that has vast connotations. It simply does not mean that desertification is the expansion of deserts. Desertification happens due to dry-land ecosystems, which cover as much as one-third of the world‘s land area. Such areas are vulnerable to over-exploitation as well as inappropriate land use. Poverty, deforestation, political instability, overgrazing along with bad irrigation practices have the potential to degrade the productivity and quality of land.

Theme of World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought 2018: Land has value, Invest in it

Our choices determine the future for sustainable development and growth. The 2018 World Day to Combat Desertification campaign #2018WDCD asks us to give up on unsustainable land use and try to make a difference through investing in the future of productive land. The slogan of the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought 2018 is: Land has true value: Invest in it.

Involving women in World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought

The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) has been instrumental in creating a novel plan in order to support as well as strengthen gender responsive policy needs. The Gender Action Plan (GAP) would increase and enhance participation as well as leadership of women on various levels of decision making and local implementation of the UNCCD. This includes drought management together with sand and dust storms as well as land degradation neutrality interventions. The aim is to reach gender equality and parity by the year 2030.

Fight against Desertification for Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)

The Agenda for Sustainable Development 2030 says that “we are determined to protect planet Earth from degradation including through sustainable consumption and production, sustainably managing natural resources, and taking action on climate change, so that it can support the needs of the present and future generations”. Specifically, Goal 15 states our resolve to halt and reverse land degradation.

Let us all make June 17, every year, an occasion to celebrate the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought as our date with nature. It is a good point in the year to monitor and evaluate our progress towards the New Year resolution which has sustainable lifestyle and development as its core.