Date: Thursday, 17 June 2021; 27th Anniversary.
Sponsor: United Nations
The purposes of World Day to Combat Desertification & Drought are to raise awareness of the presence of desertification and drought, promote actions for preventing desertification and recovering from drought, and strengthen implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in those countries experiencing serious drought and/or desertification.
Desertification and drought are global problems. In recent decades, desertification has been greatly facilitated by human activities such as over-cropping, over-grazing, improper irrigation, deforestation, and poor land management. These activities have made some of the earth’s surface or land no longer productive. The loss of more and more productive land causes serious problems – resulting in biodiversity loss, creating irreversible damage to land, and affecting our food and our daily lives. World Day to Combat Desertification & Drought is a unique moment to remind everyone that land degradation and desertification should be avoided and recovered through problem-solving, strong community involvement and co-operation at all levels.
Inception: It was held for the first time on 17 June 1995.
On 30 January 1995, the United Nations General Assembly officially declared 17 June of each year as World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought, by its resolution A/RES/49/115. The date was chosen because it is the day when the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification was signed in 1994.
How to celebrate the Day
Learn, share, and actions!
Since 1995, states and nations were invited to devote to promoting awareness of the need for international cooperation to combat desertification and drought. Since then, different parties, non-governmental organizations and interested stakeholders celebrated this day with outreach activities worldwide on June 17 each year.
On the Day every year, many organizations and communities hosted a range of educational and promotional activities, including seminars, lectures, conferences, forums, and social media campaigns, to raise and spread awareness of the issues relating to desertification and drought.
Each year’s global celebration of the World Day to Combat Desertification & Drought has a unique, novel emphasis. The theme is proposed by the United Nations, aiming to raise awareness of most relevant issues and promote innovative actions at all levels.
Annual theme in recent years:
2020 theme: “Food. Feed. Fibre – The links between consumption and land”
2019 theme: “Let’s grow the future together”
2018 theme: “Land has true value. Invest in it”
2017 theme: “Link between land degradation and migration”
2016 theme: “Protect earth. Restore land. Engage people”
2015 theme: “Attainment of food security for all through sustainable food systems” and “No such thing as a free lunch. Invest in healthy soil”.