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World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought 2021 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 2021

This year the theme of World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought 2021 is- Restoration. Land. Recovery.

The theme of the 2021 Desertification and Drought Day, will be restoring degraded land into healthy land. The restoration of degraded areas provides economic resilience, employment, incomes and food security. It helps to recover biodiversity. The atmospheric carbon seals the Earth away and slows down climatic change. It can help reduce the climate change consequences and support a green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Humans have altered about three-quarters of the Earth’s ice-free area to suit an ever-increasing demand for food, raw minerals, highways, and homes. The prevention, slowdown and reversal of land and natural ecosystems loss is now both necessary and vital for the rapid recovery from this epidemic to guarantee people’s and the planet’s long-term existence.

Image Courtesy: UN

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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