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World Day to Combat Desertification
17 June

"Droughts are hard to avert, but their effects can be mitigated.[...] The price of preparedness is minimal compared to the cost of disaster relief. Let us therefore shift from managing crises to preparing for droughts and building resilience."

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
17 June 2013

2013 Theme: Don’t let our future dry up

Freshwater is valuable. Of all the water on Earth, only 2.5 per cent is freshwater. And of all this freshwater, the total usable supply for ecosystems and humans is less than 1 per cent. When demand for water exceeds available supply, it results in water scarcity. Drylands are particularly vulnerable to water scarcity.

map of desertification

The goal of the 2013 World Day to Combat Desertification is to create awareness about the risks of drought and water scarcity in the drylands and beyond, calling attention to the importance of sustaining healthy soils as part of post Rio+20 agenda, as well as the post-2015 sustainable development agenda.

This year’s slogan, “Don’t let our future dry up” calls for everyone to take action to promote preparedness and resilience to water scarcity, desertification and drought. The slogan embodies the message that we are all responsible for water and land conservation and sustainable use, and that there are solutions to these serious natural resource challenges. Land degradation does not have to threaten our future.

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.

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