World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought — its extreme relevance in the time of climate change

By CNBCTV18.com | Jun 17, 2022

https://www.cnbctv18.com/environment/world-day-to-combat-desertification-and-drought–its-extreme-relevance-in-the-time-of-climate-change-13844372.htm

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Already, 2.3 billion people are suffering from water stress and 25 percent of all children in the world will face the consequences by 2040.

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Climate change is increasingly bringing extreme weather events to the forefront. Heatwaves and droughts are becoming more common across multiple parts of the world. At such a time, it is becoming increasingly important to raise awareness about issues like desertification and drought. Which is why the United Nations celebrates June 17 as World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought each year.

History

The day was chosen back in 1995 by the United Nations for spreading awareness about environmental degradation, after the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa (UNCCD), was formed. The convention, also called United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification for brevity, was aimed at bringing together global resources to prevent environmental degradation that is being caused by climate change.

Significance

Since 2000, the number of drought-like events has increased by 29 percent while the duration of such events has also increased, according to the United Nations. Already 2.3 billion individuals face a situation of water stress where potable water resources are not present for use. All the countries in the world are at risk of water shortage, and water shortage is expected to hit 25 percent of all children by 2040. The World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought promotes awareness of ways to combat desertification and soil degradation every year.

Theme

Every year, the United Nations sets the theme for the celebrations and activities that are planned around World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought. The theme for 2021 was ‘Restoration, land and recovery. We build back better with healthy land.’ The theme for 2022 is ‘Rising up from drought together,’ which hopes to emphasise the importance of early preventive action to combat desertification and soil degradation in order to protect sensitive dryland ecosystems.

(Edited by : Shoma Bhattacharjee)

Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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