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World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought: Plantation is an Efficient Way to Combat Desertification

Shivam Dwivedi
Shivam Dwivedi
Let's Plant
Let's Plant

Plantation, in a broader sense means not just planting trees but also, carrying it with proper management of resources and a technical knowhow keeping in mind the aim to restore the land. That’s why only heavy investment in it can bring some positive changes. 

As the worldwide population grows, so does the demand for land to live on, feed off and food for animals. All these activities are making fertile areas become increasingly more arid, bringing desertification and drought.

Historical Background:

  • World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought was introduced in 1994 by the UN General Assembly on 17 June in its 49th session. Recognizing the fact that desertification and drought is a serious global issue, particularly in African continent, the UN General Assembly, on the same day, the same year, adopted the implementation of The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).

  • Since then, United Nations observes 17 June as the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought to commemorate the work put in by countries in the field of sustainable land management.

Theme of World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought 2021:

The purpose of this world day is “healthy land= healthy people”. And, this year’s theme “Food- Feed- Fibre”, reminding the over- consumption can lead to desertification and encouraging us all to help protect the planet.

Significance of the Day:

  • The day is held to make the public aware about the critical problems of desertification, land degradation and drought.

  • This year, it will focus on turning degraded land into healthy land. Restoring degraded land brings economic resilience, creates jobs, raises incomes and increases food security. It helps biodiversity to recover. It locks away the atmospheric carbon warming the Earth, slowing climate change. It can also lessen the impacts of climate change and underpin a green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • The significance of this day lies truly in recognizing the importance of cooperation and joint action by the international community in implementing ways to combat desertification and drought.

What is Desertification?

Desertification is a growing environmental issue. It is a process of land degradation in which fertile land loses its productivity and becomes desert. The United Nations officially defines it as “land degradation in typically dry areas resulting from various factors, including climatic variations and human activities.”

The main causes of drought and desertification can be:

  • Overgrazing

  • Deforestation

  • Excessive use of fertilizers and pesticides

  • Rapid Urbanization

Ways Forward:

Nearly three quarters of the Earth’s ice-free land has been altered by humans to meet an ever-growing demand for food, raw materials, highways and homes. Slowing and reversing the loss of productive land and natural ecosystems now is an urgent need for a swift recovery from the pandemic and for guaranteeing the long-term survival of people and the planet.

Keeping in mind the economic imbalance caused in the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic and the worldwide lockdown that followed, a better relationship with nature have become the need of the hour.

This year’s theme also aims at transforming deserted land into productive and fertile land through consistent plantation and care. This initiative will ultimately, achieve the following goals:

  • Bring Strong Ecosystem Resilience

  • Create Food Security

  • Tackle the Problem of Unemployment 

  • Combat the Effects of Climate Change

  • Accelerating Progress of Sustainable Development Goals

“Land restoration can contribute greatly to post-COVID19 economic recovery. Investing in land restoration creates jobs and generates economic benefits, and could provide livelihoods at a time when hundreds of millions of jobs are being lost”.
                                                                                     - Ibrahim Thiaw, UNCCD Executive Secretary

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