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International Day of Happiness offers time for reflection on natural resource use

​20/03/2013- March 20 marks the International Day of Happiness, which is being celebrated for the first time worldwide. The day emphasizes what is perhaps the true meaning of sustainable development: the quest of all human beings to live free and happy lives.

This day was agreed upon by the United Nations General Assembly in June 2012, “ recognizing also the need for a more inclusive, equitable and balanced approach to economic growth that promotes sustainable development, poverty eradication, happiness and the well-being of all peoples.”

“Indeed happiness is an important personal issue,” said Mr. Luc Gnacadja, Executive Secretary of the UNCCD, reflecting on the new international day. “But it is also a global one, essential for a balanced approach to sustainable development, a pursuit of which we are part of and accountable for, especially with regard to drylands people.” 

"Our understanding of happiness does impact that of our (true) needs and thus our footprint on our ecosystems, especially the vulnerable ones such as those of the drylands," he continued.

Happiness will surely remain a serious 21st century issue, as the demands of the human population continue to grow and precious natural resources diminish.

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