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 in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa.
Ever since, country Parties to the Convention, organizations of the United Nations System, international and non-governmental organizations and other interested stakeholders have celebrated this particular day with a series of outreach activities worldwide.
The theme of the day this year is "Combating Land Degradation for Sustainable Agriculture".
The celebration of the Day this year is very important since the adoption of the 10-year strategic plan and framework to enhance the implementation of the Convention represents a turning point in the UNCCD process and recognizes the convention as an instrument to prevent, control and reverse desertification/land degradation and also to contribute to the reduction of poverty while promoting sustainable development.
The Convention is the only internationally recognized, legally binding instrument that addresses the problem of land degradation in dryland. It enjoys a truly universal membership of 193 Parties.
The World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought is a unique occasion to remind everybody that desertification can be effectively tackled, that solutions are possible, and that key tools to this aim lay in strengthened community participation and co-operation at all levels.