"Sustainable land use is a prerequisite for lifting billions from poverty, enabling food and nutrition security, and safeguarding water supplies. It is a cornerstone of sustainable development."
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
The Sahara desert and the semi-arid Sahel zone cover about 80 percent of Niger, where the dry season lasts eight months. Photo Credit: Jaspreet Kindra/IRIN
Theme for 2012:
Healthy soil sustains your life: Let’s go land degradation neutral
The demand for life’s essentials will rise significantly in the next 20 years. About 50% more food will be needed, 40% more energy and 35% more water. How will these demands be met and with what resources?
This year the observance of the World Day to Combat Desertification will be celebrated one week before the Rio+20 Conference, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
- Creating the ‘Future We Want’ starts with the commitments:
- to preserve non-degraded land and soil; and
- to balance out the degrading land with the recovery of an equal amount of degraded land.
It is the commitment to become land-degradation neutral.
In 1994, the United Nations General Assembly declared June 17 the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought to promote public awareness of the issue, and the implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) in those countries experiencing serious drought and/or desertification, particularly in Africa.