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World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought 2020 Theme

The World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought is a United Nations observance celebrated on every 17th of June with an aim to raise awareness about the desertification and droughts and also to promote solutions to desertification reduction and drought recovery. It also aims to make the dry lands issue more visible on the international environmental agenda.

On 30 January 1995, after the day  when UN Convention to combat  Desertification is drawn up and after that the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought under the resolution A/RES/49/115. The day is a unique moment to remind us that neutrality in land degradation can be accomplished by problem-solving, active participation of the community and collaboration at all levels.

The degradation of land in arid, semi-arid, and dry sub humid regions is known as desertification. It is primarily caused by human activity and climate variations. Desertification is not about expanding existing deserts. t occurs because dryland ecosystems are extremely vulnerable to overexploitation and inappropriate land use, covering over one third of the world’s land area. The productivity of the land can be undermined by poverty , political instability, deforestation, overgrazing and irrigation.

Theme of World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought 2020

This year the theme of World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought 2020 is- Food. Feed. Fibre. – the links between consumption and land

This year’s theme will focus on changing public attitudes towards the desertification and earth degradation: the continuous production and consumption of humanity. As populations grow larger, richer, and more urban, soil demand for food, animal feed, and clothing fibre is much greater. In the meantime, existing arable land is declining in health and productivity, and climate change is getting worse.

Lifestyles must change to satisfy the requirements of 10 billion people by 2050. World Day to Combat Drought and Desertification, under the slogan “Food. Feed .  Fibre. “aims to teach people how to reduce their personal impact. It should also compete with the fuel industries and expanding cities.

Logo of Desertification and Drought Day
image source: UN

Food, feed, and fibre are also contributing towards the climate change, with about a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture, forestry and other land use. Production of clothing and shoes accounts for 8% of the global emissions of greenhouse gases, a figure expected to increase by almost 50 % by 2030.

Today, More than two billion hectares are now degraded from formerly productive land and further 300 million hectares of land are required by 2030 for food production.

There have been over 70% transformations in natural ecosystems. It could reach 90% by 2050. By 2030, it is expected that the fashion industry will use 35 per cent more land – over 115 million hectares which is equivalent to the Colombia’s size.


To celebrate World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought, the UNCCD has produced a series of online activities, an online series on the subject from the YouTube short films and the competition Become # UNCCDLandHeroes, which young applicants propose a specific solution that will reduce the footprint that our production and consumption of food, foodstuffs and fibers leave in the area. In addition, they are invited to participate in this competition and the winner will be announced on 17th of June.

Swikriti Dandotia

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