The slogan for the 2014 World Day to Combat Desertification is “Land belongs to the future - let's climate proof it." See how different stakeholders celebrated the Day and what events and activities took place in different parts of the world. If you marked the Day, but cannot find yourself on the list, please send us a note with information about your events to secretariat(at)unccd.int
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The Government of Burundi has decided to observe the World Environment Day and the World Day to Combat Desertification together on 14 June this year. On that day, the 2014-2015 campaign on forest will be launched by Director General of Forests and Environment.
The government and people of the State of Eritrea recognize the need and importance of conserving and rehabilitating the land. The State of Eritrea has taken many concrete steps to achieve sustainable development. The goal is to climate-proof the land because the land belongs to the future, in keeping with the slogan for the World Day to Combat Desertification 2014.
Eritrea has transformed the nature of its land use through means of simple farming techniques which preserve soil fertility like conservation agriculture in which communities construct soil and stone bunds to prevent soil erosion, and crop rotation whereby different types of crops are planted in the same field to maintain nutritional balance of the soil. Agroforestry has become common, wherein farmers plant trees along their farm boundaries to serve as shelterbelts to reduce the effect of the wind on their crops and to serve as feed for livestock. The Ministry of Agriculture provides a package for poor farmers in which they receive vaccinated chicks, feed, improved vegetable seeds, a cow, beehives, etc. Physical soil and water conservation structures have been constructed to prevent soil erosion and allow rainwater to seep into the soil. Coupled with tree-planting, such interventions help enriching biodiversity as well. Micro-dams, ponds and wells allow the judicious use of rainwater from the scarce rainfall that Eritrea receives. Farmers have switched back to using compost as manure rather than chemical fertilizers because they are environmentally friendly and cheaper. Innovations have also been made in traditional household items like stoves to make them more environment and human friendly. The government of Eritrea is now focusing on development of institutional an resources to carry on its fight against desertification, land degradation and drought. More
On the occasion of the World Day to Combat Desertification, the All Africa Students Union (AASU), an NGO based in Ghana has called upon the African youth, especially students, to imbibe a sense of voluntarism and participate in the efforts to combat desertification and drought. Recognizing the special status of Africa as with regard to the issue of land degradation, and the need to adapt, AASU urged African governments to implement national and regional strategies to combat desertification. Statement
Kenya will mark the World day to Combat Desertification in Mwea Kirinyaga County, a Semi-Arid ecosystem that is depended on water from the slopes of Mount Kenya, a montane ecosystem, critical in supporting livelihoods downstream. Some of the efforts to climate proof have been through irrigation initiatives to produce rice to boost national food security. Kirinyaga County is therefore relevant in showcasing sustainable land management in Kenya. More
UNDP equator initiative organized the award ceremony for the 2014 Equator Prize for Sustainable Land Management in Sub-Saharan in Nairobi on June 17. The ceremony had the representation of the Environment Secretary in the State Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Dr. Alice Kaudia and the enjoyed the performance of UNDP Goodwill Ambassador Achieng Abura. The 12 winners (link to http://www.equatorinitiative.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=811&Itemid=1028&lang=en
) participated in a capacity building workshop organized by UNDP Equator Prize in collaboration with OSISA and the UNCCD Secretariat. More
Mali holds several observance activities starting from 5 June, World Environment Day and end with 17 June, the World Day to Combat Desertification. The series of events will be launched in the even of the World Environment Day in the 4th Administrative Region of Mali, Segou. This event will be coupled with the launch of the national reforestation campaign from 2014 to 2015 under the initiative of the Prime Minister. During the period, the issues that will be addressed, among others, are: sustainable land management (SLM) / Climate Change, Sustainable Development, Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM), waste management, access drinking water, Public-Private Partnership in the management of natural resources and forest.
On 17 June, the Minister of the Environment will deliver a speech on the occasion of the World Day to Combat Desertification and film screenings are scheduled in addition to other activities.
The Réseau Associatif de Développement Durable des Oasis (RADDO) will organize in Tinjdad, Errachidia the conference entitled "collective oasis lands : what's their future? with participants from Algeria, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunis. A field trip will also be organized. More
The Nigerian NGO "Nigeria goes green" is marking this year's WDCD with an Award dinner to honor those who contributed in the fight against Desertification in Nigeria. Announcement
China will observe and promote the day thru various channels and events. Since June 10, a TV Public Service Advertisement for awareness raising will be broadcasted in all 18 channels of CCTV with the theme of “Change Desert Into Oasis”. In the same vain, the Public Service Advertisement about the national hero of combating desertification will be broadcasted around June 17.The minister of SFA will get coverage by XinHua News agency
An article by Mr. Zhou Shucong will be released in People's daily and Green Times both Chinese newspapers. The Vice Minister of State Forestry Administration will appear on television (CCTV), scheduled on 17 June, and explain the present situation and future work on desertification. An online interactive dialogue among scientist and the public on desertification will be hosted by the Micro blog(Weibo) of the state Forestry Administration on June 17. Success stories and approaches on how to combat Desertification as well as on the progress made in China will be the main topic at theMicro blogs of Sina.com and People daily.
In addition CCTV produced a short video clip highlighting the regreening of the Kubuqi Desert. See the video here
A three-week seminar on Combating Desertification for English speaking African countries was inaugurated on June 17, 2014 to mark the World Day to Combat Desertification. The participants include managerial officials and technicians from ten participating countries. The seminar constitutes of a lecture series on national government policy and strategy, science and providing technological support to practices on the ground by experts in the relevant fields. The final week will be dedicated to field visits of GEF partnership projects and the national project area in GanSu province in China. The seminar is a part of the seminar series previously held from 2011 to 2013 for French and English speaking African countries.
The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change celebrated the WDCD at the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi. The occasion was used by MoEF&CC to organize a Workshop which was chaired by the Union Minister, Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change, Mr. Shri Prakash Javalekar. The Secretary, Mr. Rajgopalan and Dr Susheel Kumar the Additional Secretary also chaired some of the sessions. GEF/UNDP Small Grants Programme was involved and presented success stories, and best practices. They also displayed the products produced by SGP partners to link up with the occasion. See photo
The NGO UDYAMA organized a local event in the state of Odisha in India to observe the World Day to Combat Desertification 2014. The event was held in Bolangir, which is severely affected by drought. With the help of local communities, the event brought together local Sarpanches and PRI members, representatives from NGOs and CSOs, labour collectives, health workers, women leaders, students and the youth to take a pledge to prevent land degradation and plant more trees to bring change that would start from the individual level.
The Indian organization Grameena Vikas Samithi organized an awareness Generation Camp together with the Sastry Dryland farmer Friends Group more
Indonesia marked the World Day to Combat Desertification on June 17 2014 with a ceremony inaugurated by the Forestry Minister of Indonesia who reiterated the UN Secretary General Ban-ki Moon’s message of adapting to climate change through recovering degraded land. A MoU was signed by the Ministry of Forestry with a mineral water company and a cement company to achieve forest and land rehabilitation. Furthermore, local governments which enacted regulations on Integrated Watershed Management were given certificates of achievement. An exhibition was set up to raise awareness about green economy and a workshop was held on combating land degradation to enhance watershed carrying capacity.
On the occassion of the WDCD 2014 Iran will organize a meeting and a field trip to a desertified area. A special newsletter for WCDC will be also prepared.
For the World Day to Combat Desertification, Kuwait provided a brief overwiev of the current afforestation campaign implemented throughout the State of Kuwait.Thanks to the afforestation projects, new trees and new varieties of trees have been introduced for the first time into the country. The construction of modern irrigation systems has also marked another significant development in the process of combating desertification in Kuwait. Brief report
See a video of the development of the agriculture in Kuwait from 1991 to 2014 .Video
The Forestry Service of the Ministry of Agro Industry and Food Security marked the World Day to Combat Desertification 2014 by organizing various activities. An Open Day was organized at three visitor centers at Mon Vert, Powder Mills and Plaine Sophie. Pamphlets and posters were distributed and guided tours and were provided to the public by forest officers. Between 17 and 20 June, decorative and indigenous plants were sold to the public at half the market prices. Further, on 17 June, an awareness raising campaign was held targeting school students, who were given talks by forest officers on the topic “Land Belongs to the Future, Let’s Climate-proof it.”
The Society for Environmental Actions, Reconstruction & Humanitarian Response (SEARCH), along with the Sindh Community Foundation, Sindh Hari Porhiyat Council and We-Journalist observed the World Day to Combat Desertification on 16-17 June by arranging a visit for the youth to the Gorkh Hill Station Dadu in the Kachho area, one of the dry regions of Sindh. The visit focused on the benefits of making sustainable land management policies and practices part of the agenda to respond to climate chang. More
The Bureau of Soils and Water Management, the UNCCD’s National Focal Agency conducted the 5th NAP Consultation Workshop on the occasion of the World Day to Combat Desertification 2014. The Philippine National Action Plan and the 2014 National Report were presented and discussed at the Workshop. The participants, who included representatives from the Land and Water sub-committees of the Committee on the Conservation and Management of Resources for Development, were also introduced to the Capacity Building Marketplace of the UNCCD. More
Republic of Korea
On 10 June, 2014, the International Symposium on Combating Desertification was held by the Korea Forest Service (KFS) in Seoul. The importance of the land was highlighted by presentations on actions taken by the UNCCD, the Korean and Chinese governments, academia and civil society organizations to rehabilitate the land. Emphasis was also laid on Korea’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) projects in the forestry sector that aim at combating desertification, land degradation and drought, and the action taken by the KFS to implement the UNCCD and the Changwon Initiative.Following the Symposium, a tee-plantation ceremony was held in the dry area of Bayankhangai, one of the Korea-Mongolia Greenbelt Plantation Project sites on 13 June 2014 with 100 participants.. Programme/ Poster
the Green consultancy comapny Ecogreen Marché will be hosting the “1st World Day to Combat Desertification (Singapore) 2014” event on 27 June, 2014. Ecogreen Marché will be showcasing their solutions to combat desertification on a global scale.
The Saviya Development Foundation in Sri Lanka organized events in Galle to mark the World Day to Combat Desertification 2014 sponsored by the Department of Forest Conservation (UN-REDD Program). With the aim of raising awareness on issues of DLDD among school children, teachers and adults, national level art and poster making competitions were held. Awareness building programs were also conducted which focused on environmental concerns such as forest and biodiversity conservation, global warming, etc. An exhibition was held featuring the artwork of the winners of the national competitions and 100 valuable plants were distributed among members of the community. More
On June 17th, 2014, the National Focal Point agency to the UNCCD, Land Development Department of Royal Thai Government, organized the National Seminar on Mitigation of desertification, land degradation and drought for commemorating the WDCD. The seminar was attended by about 150 officers/planners from governmental offices, educators, scientists and representatives from CSOs and UNCCD, UNDP and other agencies. Presentations were made on the issues of desertification, land degradation and drought worldwide and also in particular on soil deterioration in Thailand. After the technical session, a panel was conducted and representatives from Ministry of Interior, the Soil and Water Conservation Society of Thailand and UNDP Country Office shared their best practices in sustainable development and land management. It was also stressed that international exchange of best practice and technology transfer should be actively encouraged between countries at regional and sub-regional levels. Programme
On 16-17 June, 2014 Turkmenistan will host the inter-regional Conference on issues of desertification in Central Asia. The government of Turkmenistan invites public officials, academic and community and non-governmental organizations from five Central Asian countries as well as reputed experts and representatives of international organizations, to discuss issues of desertification in Central Asia. The meeting is sponsored and organized by the Government of Turkmenistan with the support of the Secretariat of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification. The participants will get familiar with international experience in the area of assessment of ecosystems services and ecosystems based adaptation. The issue of the regional cooperation among five affected Central Asian countries will be broadly discussed to provide impetus for further actions. The study tour to learn the experience on afforestation in Turkmenistan will also complement the meeting.
Uzbekistan marked the day organizing a Round Table discussion on mainstreaming SLM to achieve resilience to the adverse impact of desertification, land degradation, drought in a changing climate. The event was organized by the UNCCD Focal point and Uzhydromet in cooperation with with the State Committee for Nature Protection with support of the regional EU/GIZ project.
A national information agency has organized a press conference with representatives of SCOs and scientists working in the field of DLDD as well as the UNCCD National Focal Point of Armenia. The interview with the National Focal Point was broadcasted in the Armenian Channel “A1+”. An article about the World Day to Combat Desertification was published on the website of the Ministry of Nature Protection of the republic of Armenia.
A 2-day seminar “Improving Legal Regulation to Combat Land Degradation and Desertification” took place in the Biaroza District, Brest region of Belarus. Governmental and local authorities, parliamentarians, representatives of local communities and NGOs, scientist and mass media exposed current challenges and risks Belarus is facing with respect to desertification and stressed the necessity to develop and test sustainable approaches and innovative mechanisms to address land degradation and combat desertification. Apart from the plenary presentations and discussions the participants, together with local schoolchildren, took part in an action dedicated to the WDCD where they sowed grass seeds on around 1.5 ha of degraded peatlands, formerly managed for intensive agriculture.
In Hungary every year an expert meeting is organized on the occasion of the World Day to Combat Desertification. This year the General Directorate for Water Management will host the event on 17th June 2014. Hungarian experts, stakeholders and decision makers in the field of drought management, climate change adaptation, agriculture, meteorology are invited to the meeting. About 50 participants from the government, STIs and CSOs are expected to attend the consultation and representatives from the media will also be invited to inform the larger audience.
At the expert meeting the following topics will be discussed:
1. Increase the attention given to land and soil within climate change adaptation
2. Mobilize support for sustainable land management
3. Call for the inclusion of land and soil and their significance in food security into national climate change adaptation policies.
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) held an observance event “Land for Life – How Sustainable Land Management can Improve People’s Livelihoods and Resilience” on the World Day to Combat Desertification 2014. The FAO’s Deputy-Director General for Natural Resources highlighted the importance of addressing desertification, land degradation and drought in order to end hunger and poverty and ensure the sustainable management natural resources. The event was aimed at the inclusion of land and soil into national climate change policies.
See the programme and flyer
Read the event summary
The University of Basilicata has celebrated the 2014 World Day to Combat Desertification. Giovanni Quaranta, professor of Natural Resources Economics at the University of Basilicata, Potenza, Italy has organized a seminar focused on the close relationship between the management of natural resources and adaptation to climate change. In order to stress this year’s slogan, "Land belongs to the future, let's climate proof it!" and to highlight the benefits of mainstreaming sustainable land management policies and practices into our collective response to climate change, the seminar has linked the discussion on desertification and climate change to the transition town movement. In few days, in fact, a high level course on transition movement will start at the University of Basilicata, involving regional civil servants and policy makers. The seminar has been attended by almost 100 people (students, researchers and policy makers). The day has been closed by the Basilicata Cancellor for the Environment, Land and Policies of Sustainability, prof. Aldo Berlinguer. There have been also two video-conferences by Prof. Rob Hopkins (founder of the Transition Town Network) and Dr Ben Brangwyn (Of the Transition Town Network).
In Tbilisi the workshop under the project “Alignment of National Action Programme and Reporting Process under UNCCD Process” was organized. About 40 stakeholders came together to discuss an importance of a national strategy to combat desertification and soil degradation. Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Protection Ms Khatuna Gogaladze in her speech emphasized the importance of development of such strategy to combat desertification in Georgia. The photo exhibition was organized to show the land degradation and desertification particularly in East Georgia.
The Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Moldova has organized the Conference dedicated to the WDCD in the capital city of Chisinau. The Conference was attended by the land degradation experts to address the issues of land degradation monitoring in Moldova. The national report of Moldova was presented and discussed among the participants of the Conference.
Portugal will celebrate the WDCD 2014 in Palacios a village in the North East of Portugal near the Spanish border. At this occasion Portugal will announce its new national Action Programme and the 2014 Dryland Champion’s
Institute of Geography of the Russian Academy of Science has organized a seminar devoted to the World Day to Combat Desertification. During the seminar attendees discussed the UNCCD national report of the Russian Federation.
On June 17th 2014, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and Initiatives of Change International are organising a public event to celebrate the World Day to Combat Desertification 2014 in collaboration with UNCCD, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Centre for Development and Environment (CDE)/WOCAT. The objective of the event is to raise awareness on the issue of desertification and to introduce the concept of ecosystem-based adaptation to climate change. See the poster
Watch the conference video
National Academy of Agrarian Sciences of Ukraine (NAASU) has organized the following events of 17 June: 5-th International Conference “Combination of Research, Education, and Practice Production and Fair Selling High-quality Organic Products”, workshop “Combating DLDD in the context of climate change”, round Table “Combating DLDD for Sustainable Development of Agriculture of the Region”.
The Argentinean NGO Fundacion Agreste in collaboration with the University of Moròn and the Instituto de Estudios ambientales sociales y Resolución de conflictos will organize an event to celebrate June 17 and present the conclusions of the Environmental Management Indicators for the Republic of Argentina. More
The Ministry of Education of Argentina will show on its channel "Canal Encuentro" an environmental video focussing on climate change and desertification. More
On June 16, 2014 the Ministry of Environment in Brasilia held an event to mark the World Day to Combat Desertification. The event honored those who had been recognized by the Drylands Champions Awards. Their projects were showcased through posters during the event. The Minister of Environment of Brazil attended the event and in her speech highlighted the practical actions taken for implementing the UNCCD in Brazil in the form of the projects being undertaken by the Dryland Champions as well as other organizations and individuals. Members of civil society organizations also recognized the efforts made by the government by putting DLDD on its agenda.
The Chilean Senate observed the World Day to Combat Desertification inter alia with a tree planting in the garden of the Chilean Senate in the City of Valparaiso. During the ceremony the senator Adriana Muñoz, in representation of the President of the Senate Ms. Isabel Allende, conducted the planting of a Toromiro (Sophora toromiro ), one of the most symbolic species in Chile. More
Grenada is organzing several events on 17 June. The national radio station will do a quiz around land and soil. A photocontest with the theme "Love the land you live on: and a tree planting will also be organized
The National Forest Commission (CONAFOR) will celebrate the WDCD organizing a conference with representatives of FAO Mexico, Parliamentarians and representatives from the Water National Commission and the National Institute for climate change. The CONAFOR is also organizing an exhibition with information posters from environmental and academic institutions from Mexico and other Latin American countries. Agenda of the meeting
As part of the celebrations of the 2014 WDCD, Piura Regional Government and AIDER are organizing a workshop about REDD+ as a a financial alternative for dry forests. This event will take place from 11 to 13 June in the city of Piura, with financial support of the Environment Ministery and the Sustainable Forest Management Program of the Interamerican Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA).
The World Day to Combat Desertification was celebrated with a conference organized by the Ministry for Environment. Lectures were delivered by eminent scholars to raise awareness among private and public organizations about dry forests and the impact of climate change. At culmination of the event, the organizations which had been honored as Drylands Champions
by the UNCCD were recognized for their efforts to improve ecosystems and populations affected by desertification and drought. More
The UNCCD secretariat is organizing the global observance of the World Day to Combat Desertification in Washington DC this year, which will be hosted at the World Bank in partnership with the Global Environment Facility (GEF), TerrAfrica and Connect4Climate. The event is open to public. For more information, please visit: http://www.unccd.int/en/programmes/Event-and-campaigns/WDCD/Pages/World-Day-to-Combat-Desertification-Global-observance-event.aspx
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Roughly 1.5 billion people -- a quarter of the world's population -- depend directly on land that is being degraded as we speak. In dry areas, desertification is on the rise leading to loss in productivity. Yet millions of families across Africa and Asia rely on farming for sustenance. What can research do to help these communities?
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