03/03/2014 - This year's Africa Environment Day, celebrated under the theme "Combating Desertification in Africa: Enhancing Agriculture and Food Security," is also an occasion to kick-start the World Day to Combat Desertification (WDCD) observance, which will be held on 17 June.
Monique Barbut, UNCCD Executive Secretary, delivered remarks in Maseru, the Kingdom of Lesotho in Southern Africa, via a video-recorded message, at an event organized to kick-start the global campaign.
“Climate change is bringing more extreme weather like prolonged droughts and flash floods to more communities – the communities, who are most vulnerable to desertification.” said Barbut.
“The World Day to Combat Desertification on the 17th of June is a unique opportunity to remind everyone that land degradation can be effectively tackled and that solutions exist,” she continued.
The campaign promotes an ecosystem-based approach as a way to climate-proof land and secure its productivity for present and future generations. It is spearheaded by the UN and intergovernmental organizations behind the 2010-2020 UN Decade for Deserts and the Fight against Desertification (UNDDD), including the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
A campaign guide with info-graphics, facts, data and examples of land degradation and sustainable land management were also released at the event that took place during the celebrations of the annual African Environment Day/Wangari Maathai Day being observed today across Africa.
The campaign will peak on 17 June with the observance of the World Day to Combat Desertification in all countries.
Resources for observing the day are available here.