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Desertification and Drought Day 2024

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The future of our land is at stake. Desertification, land degradation, and drought are among the most pressing environmental challenges of our time, with up to 40% of all land area worldwide already considered degraded.

Healthy land not only provides us with almost 95% of our food but so much more: it clothes and shelters us, provides jobs and livelihoods, and protects us from the worsening droughts, floods and wildfires.Yet, every second, an equivalent of four football fields of healthy land becomes degraded, adding up to a total of 100 million hectares each year.

Growing word populations, coupled with unsustainable production and consumption patterns, fuel demand for natural resources, putting excessive pressure on land to the point of degradation. Desertification and drought are driving forced migration, putting tens of millions of people each year at risk of displacement.

Of the world’s 8 billion inhabitants, over one billion of young people under the age of 25 years live in developing countries, particularly in regions directly dependent on land and natural resources for sustenance. Creating job prospects for rural populations is a viable solution that gives young people access to eco-entrepreneurship opportunities and at the same time to scale up best practices. Each USD invested in land restoration can yield up to 30 USD in return. 

This year, the theme of the Desertification and Drought Day “United for Land. Our Legacy. Our Future” spotlights the future of land stewardship — our most precious resource to ensure the stability and prosperity of billions of people around the world.

The global observance of the Desertification and Drought Day 2024 was hosted by the Government of Germany, a signatory to the convention and one of its dedicated supporters. Together with the Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the City of Bonn, that has been home to the UNCCD Secretariat since 1999, we have organized a series of public-facing events. A photo exhibition, educational programmes and musical performances, together with a  social media campaign launched ahead of the Day, have ensured the global reach of the years' theme.

The global observance event at the Bundeskunsthalle on 17 June 2024 also marked the 30th anniversary of UNCCD, bringing together world leaders, youth and prominent personalities from academia, civil society, sports and entertainment to showcase a strong ambition to be united for land, ahead of the largest-ever UN conference on land and drought in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in December 2024 (UNCCD COP16). 


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