Rising up from drought together is Spain’s call for Desertification and Drought Day on 17 June
Bonn/Madrid, 13 June 2022 - Spain, one of the European countries most vulnerable to drought and water shortages linked to climate change, is hosting this year’s global observance of Desertification and Drought Day on 17 June. The event titled, “Rising up from drought together,” will take place at the Auditorio Museo Nacional Reina Sofia in Madrid. Drought is the theme for the Day this year.
Media are invited to participate at the event organized by the Government of Spain and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), where renown scientists, issue experts, youth representatives and high-level policymakers from Spain and around the world will speak about:
- the role of science based on the drought risks identified for different climate change scenarios
- success stories of drought mitigation and adaptation in Spain and other countries.
- viable drought policies and their components
Pedro Sánchez, President of the Government of Spain, Alain-Richard Donwahi, President of UNCCD COP15, Côte d'Ivoire, Ibrahim Thiaw, Executive Secretary, UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), and Patricia Kombo, UNCCD Land Hero from Kenya are among the notable speakers (see full list below).
Droughts are increasing in frequency and severity up 29 percent since 2000 and affecting an estimated 55 million people every year, according to the latest Drought in Numbers report from UNCCD. By 2050, drylands may cover between 50 to 60 percent of all land, with an estimated three-quarters of the world’s population living in these areas under conditions of severe water scarcity.
The Horn of Africa, for example, is in its fourth year of drought. A similar drought in Southern Africa five years ago put 20 million people on the verge of starvation. This year Chile marked a record-breaking 13th year of drought. A prolonged drought in the United States that started in 2000 is the country’s driest period in over 1200 years.
In the lead up to the 2022 Desertification and Drought Day, UNCCD launched Droughtland, a public awareness campaign featuring a fictional drought-stricken nation, to showcase solutions and rally global action to boost drought resilience.
Detailed information, which includes the programme, media resources and background documents to facilitate coverage of the event, is provided below.
Auditorio Museo Nacional Reina Sofia, Rondo de Atocha, Madrid, Spain.
Webcast Link: https://bit.ly/3Nw1Wgt (in the floor language)
Streaming through Twitter and Facebook: @unccd
Friday, 17 June 2022
11:00-14:00 hrs (CEST) /09:00-12:00 (GMT/UTC)
- Mr. Pedro Sánchez, President of the Government of Spain (Prime Minister)
- Mr. Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations
- Mr. Alain-Richard Donwahi, President of UNCCD COP15, Côte d'Ivoire
- Mr. Ibrahim Thiaw, Executive Secretary, UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)
- Mr Virginijus Sinkevičius, European Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries
- Ms. Teresa Ribera, Third Vice-President of the government and Minister for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge, Spain
- Ms. Maria Helena Semedo, Deputy Director, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
- Ms. Skumsa Ntshanga, Ag. Deputy Director-General, Biodiversity and Conservation Branch, Ministry of Forests, Fisheries and Environment, South Africa
- Ms. Patricia Kombo, founder of the PaTree Initiative and UNCCD Land Hero
- Ms. María Jesús Rodríguez de Sancho, General Director of Biodiversity, Forestry and Desertification, Spain
- Mr. Pilar Paneque, leader of the Spanish Citizen Observatory of Drought and Professor of Human Geography, Pablo de Olavide University of Seville, Spain
- Ms. Attia Rafla, Director for Soil Resources. Ministry of Agriculture, Water Resources and Fisheries of Tunisia.
- Ms. Elena López Gunn, Chief Executive Officer, ICATALIST. Associate professor at IE Business School and collaborator of the Water Observatory, the Botín Foundation and the Basque Center for Climate Change, Spain
- Mr. Mark Svoboda, Director of the National Center for Drought Monitoring in the United States
Drought in Numbers, released on 11 May at the fifteenth session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD COP15) calls for making a full global commitment to drought preparedness and resilience in all global regions a top priority.
The report was issued just days before The State of the Global Climate 2021 report released May 2022 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). According to the report, the past seven years have been the warmest seven years on record, and drought affected many parts of the world, including the Horn of Africa, Canada, the western United States, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Türkiye.
Drought resilience was a top agenda item at UNCCD COP15.
Countries agreed to boost drought resilience, and identified some of the key actions. They will identify the areas that could turn into drylands, improve national policies, including on early warning, monitoring and assessment, learn and share knowledge, build partnerships and coordinate action, and mobilize drought finance. In addition, they will set up an Intergovernmental Working Group on Drought for 2022-2024 to look into possible options, including global policy instruments and regional policy frameworks, to support a shift from reactive to proactive drought management.
The Working Group reports released earlier this year by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as part of the Sixth Assessment Report warn that we have up to 2030 to take actions to get us on track to staying within a temperature rise of no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius. Warming above that level would have catastrophic impacts on both people and the planet.
Notes to Editors
International journalists travelling to Spain to cover the event need be registered, and should email: bzn-prensa [at] miteco.es and copy wwischnewski [at] unccd.int. A copy of your valid press card and passport will be required to pick your access card.
Download various materials here (https://bit.ly/3xd4IjC):
Hashtags: #Nodroughtland #UNited4Land
Download social media assets, including banners, infographics, cartoons and postcards: https://bit.ly/3PZBzAX
Learn more about the campaign: droughtland.com
For information about Desertification and Drought Day visit: https://www.unccd.int/2022-desertification-and-drought-day
For information about Desertification and Drought Day events in Spain and around the world, contact Xenya Scanlon, Chief of Communications, UNCCD: xscanlon [at] unccd.int
For media related inquires:
On site contact: Alejandro Gomez, argomez [at] miteco.es
Virtually: Wagaki Wischnewski, wwischnewski [at] unccd.int, +49 173 268 7593 (m)
The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is the global vision and voice for land. We unite governments, scientists, policymakers, private sector and communities around a shared vision and global action to restore and manage the world’s land for the sustainability of humanity and the planet. Much more than an international treaty signed by 197 parties, UNCCD is a multilateral commitment to mitigating today’s impacts of land degradation and advancing tomorrow’s land stewardship in order to provide food, water, shelter and economic opportunity to all people in an equitable and inclusive manner.