To celebrate the 25th World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought WDCD in 2019, the UN will look at how to achieve degradation neutrality during the next 25 years.
What is Desertification
In short, desertification is the “degradation of land in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas”. According to the United Nations, desertification is caused by human activities and climate variations:
“It occurs because dryland ecosystems, which cover over one-third of the world‘s land area, are extremely vulnerable to overexploitation and inappropriate land use.”
In addition, several aspects such as poverty, political instability, deforestation, inadequate irrigation and agricultural practices can all aid desertification and undermine the productivity of the land.
World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought 2019 theme
Scientists, researches, academicians, experts, and policy-makers will discuss future trends of soil and land resources. In addition, they’ll be establishing new policies to promote degradation neutrality.
WDCD 2019 Key issues
The key issues at this year’s convention will be centred around Drought, Human Security and Climate. According to the United Nations:
“By 2025, approximately 1.8 billion people will experience absolute water scarcity, and two-thirds of the world will be living under water-stressed conditions.”
Twenty years after that, about 135 million people may face displacement due to desertification. In essence, reversing desertification is not only vital for the fauna and flora, but for human security too.
The land use sector represents almost 25% of total global emissions. Moreover, its rehabilitation and sustainable management is critical to combating climate change:
“Restoring the soils of degraded ecosystems has the potential to store up to 3 billion tons of carbon annually.”
What can you do to help combat desertification and drought
From organising events to raising awareness on social media, here are some suggestions on how to celebrate 25 years of promoting the importance of land-based sustainable development:
- Organise online and offline events to promote sustainable land management
- Download the official 2019 WDCD campaign materials to promote the event and raise awareness
- Share the information via social media and remember to tag @UNCCD and #2019WDCD
- Record a selfie using campaign key messages in your own language, in a creative way.
Watch: World Day to Combat Desertification 2019
Also read – Niger launches anti-desertification project