Contest: 2020 Desertification and Drought Day theme and slogan

DDDay contest

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UNCCD is launching an online contest for the Desertification and Drought Day 2020 theme and slogan.

Submissions can be made in any United Nations language: English, Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish. The competition aims to raise awareness among the public on the relevance of desertification and drought to their daily lives. It will also promote public engagement in the internationally-agreed observance of the fight against desertification and drought. The contest is open to everyone over 18 years old. Those under 18 years old can also apply with their parent’s consent. The submitted theme and slogan should be accompanied by a brief statement of not more than 300 words, explaining why the theme and slogan are:

  1. Relevant for the Desertification and Drought Day
  2. Matter for everyone in the world 
  3. Can help the world to change. Relevant data and facts to support the theme and slogan are advantages 

This competition has closed. Learn more about the result here.


The theme and slogan should be:

  1. Informative – help the general public to learn something new, interesting or inspiring about the fight against land degradation, desertification and mitigation of drought
  2. Positive, solution-oriented, engaging and inspiring
  3. Focused on both people and ecosystems
  4. Forward-looking or future-oriented
  5. Easy to translate into actionable messages for individuals and for communities

Contest rules

Please read carefully before submitting

Submission criteria:

Fill the online form with proposed theme, slogan and a brief statement of maximum 300 words in German, English, French, Russian, Spanish, Arabic or Chinese.


Please submit by Saturday 26 November 2019 at 23:59 Bonn time (GMT +2). No submissions will be accepted after this date.

Eligibility of participants:

  1. Participation in the theme and slogan competition is FREE!
  2. Participants should register through the online form. Registration means agreement to the Competition Rules.
  3. All slogans must be original and exclusive propositions, attributed to the submitters
  4. To be able to participate, the participants need to be at least 18 years old on the date of the submission deadline or need parents’ consent to participate. Participants must provide proof of their age or parental consent form if and when requested by the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) Secretariat 
  5. Participants are limited to one submission per person and the same slogan cannot be submitted more than once
  6. Current and former staff, consultants, and interns of the UNCCD, as well as first degree relatives of the aforementioned individuals, can participate in the competition but not eligible for a monetary award
  7. The participants grant the UNCCD, its partners and other UN agencies as well as other persons or entities authorized by the UNCCD, a free of charge, non-exclusive, irrevocable, transferable, perpetual, worldwide license to use the copyright, related rights or any other intellectual property rights that have arisen by law or will arise by law from the prepared and submitted slogans
  8. The UNCCD Secretariat reserves the right to modify the winning slogan
  9. Competition submissions must not include any endorsements of products or services, or any obscene, violent, racist, religious intolerance or defamatory content. Incomplete entries or entries that do not comply with the formal specifications will be automatically disqualified

Voting process:

 UNCCD Secretariat selects shortlisted candidates. The Executive Secretary of the UNCCD will make the final selection.

What is Drought and Desertification Day

It’s a day to remind everyone, that desertification and drought affects them no matter where they live. How does desertification and drought affect you? No matter where you live, the consequences of desertification and drought concern you. Globally, 23 per cent of the land is no longer productive. 75 per cent has been transformed from its natural state, mostly for agriculture. This transformation in land use is happening at a faster rate than at any other time in human history, and has accelerated over the last 50 years. Scientists say the evolution from one state to the next is so rapid, the process is only observable over very short periods. More importantly, the causes of desertification and land use change are no longer primarily to meet local demands. Rather, in a globalized world, a de-linking of what we produce and consume is now the leading driver of land degradation. Climate change is making these situations worse. These changes, in turn, have consequences for critical livelihood needs such as food water, energy or job security as well as ecosystem services such as climate regulation and biodiversity systems, among others. Whereas the kind and scale of impact is not the same everywhere, everyone pays the price, for instance, through increased food costs, air pollution, and even, human insecurity. Read more...

The Desertification and Drought Day was unanimously adopted by the member countries of the United Nations as the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought at its General Assembly in 1994. (The resolution A/RES/49/115). The objectives of the Desertification and Drought Day are:

  1. To promote public awareness of the issue
  2. To let people know that desertification and drought can be effectively tackled, that solutions are possible, and that key tools to this aim lay in strengthened community participation and cooperation at all levels.
  3. To strengthen implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in those countries experiencing serious drought and/or desertification, particularly in Africa. 

Examples of how people and countries tackle desertification and drought:

Who celebrates Desertification and Drought Day

Anyone whose life depends on the land needs to care about it, and how land is treated by humans. That includes you, because:

  • 99 per cent of the calories every human being needs for a healthy life still come from the land
  • Land that is healthy and resilient is the first point of defense against disasters such as droughts and flashfloods, which are becoming more frequent, long and severe
  • The loss of more and more productive land is creating growing competition for land to meet the growing demand for goods and services and for ecosystem services that support life
  • The next few decades will be the most critical in restoring land for sustainable future.
  • The problem is man-made, which means humans are also part of the solution

What our life on land becomes during the next decade is the result of your and my choices.

What do we want people to know about desertification and drought

Sustainable land management is everyone’s business. Together, we can restore the productivity of over 2 billion hectares of degraded land and improve the livelihoods of more than 1.3 billion people around the world.

  • Land degradation, climate change and biodiversity loss are intimately connected, and are increasingly affecting human well-being. Tackling these issues together is key to achieving many of the Sustainable Development Goals.
  • A decade of land degradation may create irreversible damage, but a decade of land restoration may bring multiple benefits. What our life on land becomes during the next decade is the result of choices each of us makes.

More information about the Day and how people celebrated it can be found here.

Read more about why you need healthy land in your life


The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is an international agreement on good land stewardship. It helps people, communities and countries create wealth, grow economies and secure enough food, clean water and energy by ensuring land users an enabling environment for sustainable land management. Through partnerships, the Convention’s 197 parties set up robust systems to manage drought promptly and effectively. Good land stewardship based on sound policy and science helps integrate and accelerate achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, builds resilience to climate change and prevents biodiversity loss.​​

Contact: Mr. Pape Mamadou Camara/UNCCD Communication team. Email