The World Day to Combat Desertification celebrated globally

Press Release

Bonn, Germany, 16 July 2011 – The World Day to Combat Desertification will be observed on Friday, 17 June 2011. The global observance event opened on Friday, 10 June, in Dakar, Senegal, with the First Africa Drylands Week that will conclude with the observance of the Day. Over 100 participants, among them policy-makers, scientists, representatives of civil society organizations and community groups are in attendance. Professor Jeffrey Sachs, the Senegal’s UN Representative, Mr Luc Gnacadja, UNCCD Executive Secretary and a community representative are scheduled to speak at the event that will be presided over by the Hon Djibo Leity Ka, Minister of State, Ministry of Environment and Nature Protection of Senegal.

© FAO/Seyllou Diallo

An observance event will take place in parallel in Madrid, Spain, at which Spanish football star and Champion of the World and of Europe, Mr Carlos Marchena, will be designated a Drylands Ambassador of the UNCCD. The event is organized by the non-governmental organization, IPADE, with the support of the UNCCD.

In his message for the Day, Mr Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, says the challenges facing the “forgotten billion” men, women and children in the drylands deserve special attention in the global efforts to meet the Millennium Development Goals.

Every year, the World Day to Combat Desertification is observed globally. This year, the event is also being marked in Argentina, Benin, France, Egypt, Iran, Lesotho and Mongolia, among many other countries. You too can join in the event by downloading and distributing this short film prepared specifically for mobile phone download.

A comprehensive press kit to be released on Friday, 17 June at 12:30GMT, with the following contents: a press release, television footage, pictures from the field visits in Senegal, three successful drylands forestry projects and contacts for various international organizations for interviewees. 

For more information on the event in Dakar, refer to the documents on the right-hand menu or contact:

Ms. Yukie Hori
Coordinator, ARCE
Email: yhori@unccd.int
Tel: +49 228 8152829

For general media related inquiries contact:

Ms. Wagaki Mwangi
Email: wmwangi@unccd.int
Tel: +49 228 8152820

For interviews with the participants

In Dakar, contact:
Mr. Marten Roest
maarten.roest@fao.org
Cell: +39 346 5010574

In Madrid, contact:
Ms. Andrea Perez
aperez@unccd.int