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First Invitation to Participate in a

Free Virtual World Community Forum on  

Desertification & Citizen Action  Saving the Life-Giving Soils of the World  


Tuesday, 28 February-Tuesday, 6 March   

First Session: Tuesday, 28 February 2012
  • 8am (New York, Quito, Toronto)
  • 1pm (Bamako, Dakar, London)
  • 4pm (Doha, Nairobi, Minsk)
  • 9pm (Beijing, Kuala Lumpur, Perth)
****Pre-registration Needed****
You are invited to participate in a Virtual World Community Forum on Desertification and Citizen Action-Saving the Life-Giving Soils of the World that will take place Tuesday, February 28 through Tuesday, March 6, 2012. The Forum is being co-sponsored by the secretariat of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), EarthAction, and The Global Citizens Initiative (TGCI). The Forum is being made available at no cost to participants.  
Desertification is the loss of topsoil and soil fertility in the drylands of the world. These regions cover 41% of the Earth's land surface, are inhabited by over 2 billion people, and provide 30% of the world's cultivated plants. The delicate soils in these drylands are becoming so degraded they can no longer support life, causing malnutrition, poverty, economic failure, forced migration, conflict and extinction of species.  This free Virtual World Community Forum is intended to raise awareness about the ways in which desertification is affecting our quality of life, and to enable people and organizations from around the world to share experiences and lessons learned in fighting and reversing desertification. The Forum is intended to lead to the production of a Primer on Desertification and Citizen Action which will be widely distributed to governments, NGOs, business organizations, and religious groups engaged in efforts to halt and reverse the spread of desertification.  

The World Community Forum Agenda:

  • Day One-Tuesday, 28 February 8:00 am New York time (see times for other places above.) The Forum will start with a one-hour online webinar beginning with a 15-minute kick-off interview with Luc Gnacadja, the Executive Secretary of the UNCCD, followed by a 20-minute webinar presentation by Yukie Hori of the UNCCD secretariat with questions and answers. Following the webinar, participants will have an opportunity to post and exchange experiences and lessons learned about desertification in a global online forum that will continue for seven days.
  • Days Two to Six-Wednesday, 29 February to Monday, 5 March: Each day an expert on desertification will initiate and guide an online examination of a specific topic related to desertification. These will include: the impact of desertification on water and food security, gender, children, migration, etc., and effective citizen action to combat desertification. For each topic, participants will have an opportunity to post and exchange experiences and lessons learned regarding that topic in a global online forum that will continue through Day Six of the Forum.
  • Day Seven-Tuesday, 6 March, 8:00 am New York time: On the final day of the Forum, a panel composed of the experts from the previous days' topics will engage in a 60-minute webinar to summarize the important ideas, experiences, and lessons learned from the discussions during the week. Questions and answers will follow. Participants will have an opportunity to post their concluding observations and remarks throughout the day.

To participate in this free forum, please use the following steps:

  • log-on to The Global Citizens' Initiative (TGCI) website:; this will take you to the TGCI Landing Page
  • click-on Desertification Forum Signup; this will take you to a short registration form 
  • complete the registration form and click Submit­; this will take you back to the TGCI Home Page 
  • click-on World Community Forum 
  • click-on Current Forum
Once you are registered for the Forum you will be able to post your own messages and comments that relate to the different topics that will be covered. You also will have access to related webinars, video presentations, and documents that will be provided to all participants.
We sincerely hope you will participate in the Forum on Desertification & Citizen Action-Saving the Life-Giving Soils of the World. You have much to contribute and learn from this event.  
If you have any questions please contact  
Ron Israel, Global Citizens Initiative
Lois Barber, EarthAction
Yukie Hori, UNCCD secretariat  

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