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Events around the World 2013

The slogan for the 2013 World Day to Combat Desertification is “Don't let our future dry up." 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)  



In communion with the international community, the Ministry of Environment, Habitat and Urban Development through the Directorate General of the Environment  organized an observance event in the Karimama district. Summary


In Burundi, the WDCD will be celebrated on 8 June 2013 and throughout the week of 3-8 June will be designated as the Environment Week.


This year's Ghana national celebration of the World Day to Combat desertification and Drought will be held at Navrongo in the Kassena Nankana Municipality of the Upper East Region on the 17th June. The celebration will be in a form of a public durbar and planting of about 10,000 trees seedlings around the Tono dam and Gia Community which serves as the watershed to the dam. Tree seedling will also be given to schools.
A desertification forum will be held on the 18th June where technical papers will be presented by experts centered on this year's theme.


The Minister of Agriculture  and the  Secretary of State of Environment and Turisme of Guinea-Bissau observes the day in  Biombo (North Region). Guinea-Bissau also organized awareness raising campaigns and radio discussions linked to this year’s WDCD theme. 

Ivory Coast

On 8 June, Ivory Coast elected the Miss Environment Ivory Coast. As a tribute to the WDCD she starts her mandate on the 17 June.


Kenya celebrates the WDCD at the A.I.C Cheptebo Center, Soy Division, Keiyo South District of Elgeyo Marakwet County. This is an area in the Rift Valley with Semi Arid climatic conditions. Observances activities include tree planting, exhibitions of best practices, shows and public address in the local dialect to create enough awareness. During the commemoration day, apart from the speeches by dignitaries including the UNDP representative, UNEP representative, Cabinet Secretary to the Ministry of Environment, Water and Natural Resources Prof Judi Wakhungu, the Principal Secretary of the same Ministry Mr Richard Lesiyampe, The Director General of the National Environment Management Authority Prof Geoffrey Wahungu and The Chairman of NEMA, Mr Maluki Mwendwa. A procession will be flagged of to start the days programme. Awards of certificates will be given to three Dry Land Champions who have applied. Water tanks will be given to two schools to support rain water harvesting and storage to be used by the students.

Kongo (Democratic Republic of)

The NGO RENJE, ADERIGAS plans to plant moringa trees in more than 10 hectares and share good practices to combat land degradation in the local community.


Since 2000, Mali organized on the occasion of World Day of the Environment (5 June) and Desertification (17 June), "the fortnight of the environment", two weeks of events from 4 to 18 June .
These fifteen days are reserved for advocacy, information, visits of practical achievements, the organization of scientific meetings and animation stands. This year scientists led discussions on: food security, sustainable management of land, water and climate change. The opening of the launch was chaired by the Prime Minister and the event on the 18th will be chaired by the Minister of Environment and Sanitation. The launch was attended by the Minister of Agriculture, Minister for Animal Husbandry and Fisheries, and the Ministry of Education.
The events are supported by more than 100 radio stations as well as national, local and community.


Niger is commemorating the WDCD on 17 June at the Abdou Moumouni Dioffo University. On 16th June, the Miniter of Environment will deliver a televised speech on national TV abou t the launch of the discussion/seminar. CSOs events are also planned. More


The Department of Forestry, Hunting and Soil Conservation of the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development together with Enda Energy,Environment, Development and SOS Sahel International in Senegal, will discuss on the theme “Desertification and sustainable management of water in Senegal” at the Chambre de Commerce, d’Industrie et d’Agriculture of Dakar. The opening ceremony will be chaired by the Minister of the Environment and Sustainable Development of Senegal. The event intends to raise awareness and inform political authorities, civil society and all stakeholders, about the impact of desertification on people and their livelihoods, and in particular the importance of better managing the water resource. Press release
On the occasion of the World Day to Combat Desertification Mr. Emmanuel Seck from the Senegalese NGO ENDA  was interviewed by Radio France Internationale on the cartography of desertification, the great green wall and the Convention to Combat Desertification.
Get Microsoft SilverlightInterview Emmanuel Seck


To celebrate the WDCD Tunesia organises a meeting on the challenges of drought and desertification on the 4 of July.



Bhutan joined the global community in celebrating the WDCD, with the theme “Drought and Water Scarcity,” by presenting the achievement highlights of initiatives undertaken by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests to mitigate DLDD issues in the country. More


On the occasion of the WDCD, China organized a seminar on combating desertification for African countries. The seminar organized by the   Chinese Governmental Capacity Building Programme, the ICBR and National Bureau to Combat Desertification (NBCD), the State Forestry Administration addressed policy and technical approaches to combat desertification for Developing Countries.

With support of the Sino-German Desertification Capacity Building programme the China National Committee for the Implementation of the UNCCD organized a special field trip on  last week of May. 14 journalist and correspondents were invited to visit project sites in Ningxia Autonomous region and Gansu province. Project managers, farmers and enterprisers were interviewed. The outcome of the field trip was shown on CCTV news on the World Day to Combat Desertification. A special newspaper report of the people ‘s daily, Xinhua News agency, Chinese economic daily, Green times was also produced. More


On Sunday June 16th 2013, GVS undertook an activity called “Method Demonstration of Farm Pond and Bund Formation” in observance of the WDCD, in the village of Routh Suramala in Thottembedu Mandal of the Chittoor District. More


Indonesia hosted a series of activities in observance of the WDCD, such as children’s drawing competition, journalist field visit and national television dialogue. More


On this year’s WDCD Iran launches the National Action Programme alignment process which will be followed by three consultative local and one national workshops in June and July.


The Philippines organized various events to celebrate the WDCD. On 7 June for instance a semiar entitled Sustainable Land Management: Preventing Land Degradation and Securing Water for the Future took place highlighting different SLM technologies and approaches in the Philippines to address land degradation. More


On the occasion of the World Day to Combat Desertification, the Land Development Department and the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, which is the UNCCD National Focal Point,
organized a seminar to celebrate this important day and to raise awareness. At the same event the 2013 Dryland Champions certificates were presented to three awardees, in recognition their significant contributions to the resistance of land degradation, desertification and drought. More


Timor Leste

The Secretariat of State for Forestry and Nature Conservation of Timor Leste planned to celebrate the WDCD by organizing the following activities:  

  • Talk show or Interactive Dialogue with Stakeholders such as   communities, local leaders, Government or International leaders, and NGOs dealing with land degradation and the environment.
  • Dissemination of information to community, local authorities, and students, through radio, television, leaflets, banners, and posters.
  • Sites preparation and production of seedlings that are to be planted in January 2014 as part of community awareness campaigns on the importance of protecting the earth.


United Arab Emirates

To Combat Desertification and stand up strong to say “Don’t let our Future Dry Up” SynergY youth supported by Al Futtaim Carillion associated together with Goumbook organized a pledge at Safa Park, Dubai for 111 National Tree –Ghaf Tree Plantation this season.  A special Symbolic Ghaf Tree, adopted three years ago was also handed over to Goumbook to make it the Good Luck Count as pointed by Simran Vedvyas, Founder SynergY and earnest student who raised awareness and brought together many youth to work for sustainable future and causes that relate to environment and societal uplift.  Also present during the event were Tatiana Antonelli Abella, Managing Director Goumbook, officials’ from Al Futtaim Carillion and some other members from SynergY.  The tree plantation is organized for 22nd October 2013- The World Plantation Day by members.  More 
Children and Youth members of environment organization Green Hope UAE participated in that event. In the run-up to the WDCD, Green Hope UAE conducted an environmental workshop , attended by scores of students and teachers with a view to capacity building and spreading awareness about desertification and the positive impact of tree planting in stopping land degradation. A total of 100 trees were planted at this event.
Photo 1 (Planting 100 trees)
Photo 2 (Collencting seed pods in the sand desert)
Photo 3 ( Pledge ceremony)


To mark the WDCD, Uzhydromet (Center for Hydrometeorology under the Cabinet of Ministers) and the State Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan for Nature Protection organized a round table on desertification in the National Press Center in Tashkent. The participants of the round table included scientists, representatives of the ministries, civil society and journalists. The round table discussed the problem of desertification and drought and the measures undertaken by the country in this respect, including land reclamation, improving soil fertility and the use of modern technology. They also discussed the best practices of the Central Asian Countries Initiative for Land Management. 


In cooperation with the GIZ, SVN Netherland and Tropenbos International, Vietnam organizes a meeting to celebrate the WDCD.



The Belarusian Geographical Society organized a wide range of activities arount the WDCD. The sheduled events can be viewed here


The global observance was marked at the Conference on Desertification and Land Degradation titled, “Desertification: to care or not to care?” organized by the University of Ghent, Belgium, jointly with UNESCO, UNU-UNWEH and BC Gent. More


Georgia organizes a media tour dedicated to problems of drought and desertification. Objective of the media tour is to increase both the capacity of journalists to report on environmental issues and to improve the quality and quantity of articles and feature stories that cover environmental issues. The excursion includes showcases of innovative projects of windbreaks rehabilitation and wheat cultivation as well as field trips to Shiraki Valley and to the Vashlovani National Park.


On WDCD, JustDiggIt in the Netherlands launched a new movement to greenify the world.JustDiggIt calls on everyone to Symbolically help dig a greener World. The fundraising Campaign is an initiative of the Naga Foundation, an organisation dedicated  to the reversal of desertification
and climate change through large-Scale greeification projects. The campaign lauchned today aims to involve the public helping to greenify an area in Kenya half the size of the Netherlands. Both numerous wildlife parks and the famous Mount Kilimanjaro are found in this area.
The ultimate goal is to restore all affected areas of the planet. The campaign is visible and audible on TV and radio, in print, digital and out-of-home media. More


On WDCD Portual organized the Dryland Champions Award ceremony.


This year’s WDCD observance will be part of an international Training Course entitled “Combating desertification techniques in arid lands” to be held from 12-17 June 2013 in Mersin-Konya, Turkey. The training course covers issues such as causes of desertification/land degradation, seed and seedling production for combating desertification/land rehabilitation, afforestation, erosion control. More
On 18-19 June, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the General Directorate of combating desertification and erosion of the Ministry of Forestry and Water affairs will host the second Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building measures in Asia (CICA) Experts Meeting on Combating Desertification. Main agenda topic of the meeting is the discussion and presentation about the CICA International Research and Training Center for Combating Desertification. A field trip to the Karapinar Center for Combating Wind Erosion is also part of the programme.


Ukraine celebrates the day in various ways. The Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources (MENR), will launch its five-years National Report on desertification and land degradation in Ukraine. A special publication on the WDCD, the UNCCD process and Desertification Land degradation and drought issues will be published in the "Herald Land Manager" in June. Relevant information on the WDCD will be posted on the web page of the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources.

Latin American and the Caribbean


In recognition of the theme of the 2013 World Day to Combat Desertification and recognizing the importance of engaging the young impressionable minds of our children, to ensure change, the Ministry used the week of the 17th -21st to raise awareness of the significance of managing Barbados’ natural fresh water sources more. 


An important meeting to celebrate the World Day to Combat Desertification was held  in the National Congress of Chile. The meeting has been organized by the Permanent Commission on Water Resources, Desertification and Drought (CWDD). The President of the CWDD  Ms.  Monica  Muñoz and other members of the commission called for an urgent action to combat desertification and to establish regulatory mechanisms for water use in the country. More
The WDCD celebration at the The Liceo A 100 San Miguel started with a presentation made by the  National Forestry Commission of Chile (CONAF) on the Urban Afforestation and the national programme “One Chilean, one tree”. Another activity was the presentation of the film Home (directed by Yann Arthus-Bertrand) followed by an iterative session
and discussions with the students. Dozens of students answered questions and the class leaders made a presentation on the status of the
commitments assumed last year on the same occasion. The Chilean National Focal Point Mr. Wilfredo Alfaro attended the meeting and gave a presentation on the challenges Chile has to face in the future to overcome the lack of water resources and the advancement of the Atacama Desert to the center of the country. More
On 21 of June the National Forestry Commission of Chile (CONAF) and representatives of the UNCCD secretariat  observed the WDCD together with a small  agricultural community located in the heart of the arid zone, 250 km northern far from Santiago de Chile. The agricultural community of Mincha Sur is a common land where CONAF has been supporting local communities for afforestation through its incentives to afforestation contained on Decree Law Nº 701, since more than twenty years with very impressive results. More than one thousand hectares of Atriplex (a forest specie used as forage for cattle) have been planted within this community area. More


The 2013 annual World Day to Combat Desertification was celebrated in Mexico with several events all over the country. From 10th to 18th of June Mexico’s  National Forestry Commission (CONAFOR) organized one central conference and 57 events in the 32 Mexican states. Report

Trinidad and Tobago

Trinidad and Tobago plans to set-up displays at schools in different parts of Trinidad and Tobago so as to raise awareness among the youths during the period June 10-17, 2013.


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