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Healthy soil sustains your life
Sunday, 17 June 2012


The World Day to Combat Desertification is observed every year on 17 June. This year, the Day's slogan is "Healthy soil sustains your life: LET'S GO LAND-DEGRADATION NEUTRAL", said the Executive Secretary, Luc Gnacadja, when he announced the news to the press on 17 February 2012.

The world's most significant non-renewable resource is fertile soil, which is the peel of productive land. Nevertheless, each year 12 million ha of land, the area three times the size of Switzerland, are lost due to desertification. Land degradation directly affects 1.5 billion people globally.
Soil is key for securing water, energy and building resilience to climate change. Therefore, the international community needs to take urgent action in order to avoid the increasing loss of land. To this end, this year's World Day to Combat Desertification will highlight the efforts required to secure the long-term sustainable land management.
In September 2011, the United Nations General Assembly High-Level Meeting on "Addressing desertification, land degradation and drought in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication" brought together political leaders from across the world. Many of them stressed that the commitment to build a land degradation neutral world would be an important outcome for Rio+20. Therefore, the theme for the 2012 World Day to Combat Desertification is land-degradation neutrality.
Zero-net land degradation can be achieved when, over a given period of time, non-degraded land remains healthy, and already degraded-land is restored. Such approach can ensure food security, alleviate rural poverty and hunger and build resistance to major environmental challenges. Successful practices for attaining the zero-net land degradation in drylands could be then effectively adapted and adopted in non-drylands. This is further elaborated in the concept note and press release provided.
The World Day to Combat Desertification has been observed since 1995 (General Assembly Resolution A/RES/49/1995) to promote public awareness relating to international cooperation to combat desertification and the effects of drought, and the implementation of the UNCCD. We can celebrate the Day through organizing activities such as seminars, media events and campaigns. Every single activity involving community participation and cooperation is encouraged!
For more information about the Day, please contact: secretariat(at)
We would be delighted to hear from you about how your country plans to mark the Day. The information received will be posted on our website.
We wish you every success in your activities to celebrate 17 June 2012.

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