June 17 – World Day of Desertification and Drought

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  • On December 19, 1994, the United Nations General Assembly in Resolution 49/115 decided to proclaim June 17 World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought, to be celebrated from 1995.

    The purpose of this day is to raise awareness about land degradation and promote the implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification Available in English.

    In order to maximize the impact of the celebration, the Convention secretariat invites all countries and international, non-governmental and civil society organizations, among other actors, to raise awareness on land-related issues and educate the population about effective methods to neutralize land degradation through the publication and dissemination of documentaries, the organization of conferences, round tables, seminars and exhibitions on international cooperation to combat desertification and the effects of drought.

    The chosen date, June 17, coincides with the approval by the General Assembly of the Convention to Combat Desertification, the only legally binding international agreement that relates the environment and development to sustainable land management. It specifically addresses dry areas (arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid) where people and the most vulnerable ecosystems on the planet live.

    The 195 States Parties Available in English to the Convention collaborate to improve the living conditions of the inhabitants of these regions, maintain and restore the productivity of the soil and land, as well as mitigate the effects of drought.

    The Convention’s approach encourages participation at the local level to combat desertification and land degradation. The secretariat facilitates cooperation between developing and developed countries, particularly in the transfer of knowledge and technology for sustainable land management.

    Given the close interrelationship of the dynamics of land, climate and biodiversity, the Convention to Combat Desertification collaborates with the other two Rio Conventions, the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Framework Convention on Climate Change in order to address these complex challenges in a comprehensive manner and making the best possible use of natural resources.

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