Combat desertification and drought: A collective responsibility


The world has been grappling with natural disasters and climate change for years. Despite the increasing intensity of these disasters, Earth has been striving to adapt and survive the changing climate. This adaptation is crucial not only for the planet but also for the 3.2 billion people affected by environmental degradation, particularly in rural communities.
Desertification and drought are two of the most severe consequences of environmental degradation, causing extensive damage to life and property. These phenomena are largely driven by human activities such as deforestation, unsustainable agricultural practices, and unregulated use of water resources. Additionally, carbon dioxide emissions contribute to air pollution, further exacerbating the problem.
In response to these challenges, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution on 30 January 1995 to draft the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). The day of 17 June was designated as a significant day to raise awareness about desertification and drought, promoting methods to prevent and recover from these issues.
This year’s theme for Desertification and Drought Day is “United for Land. Our Legacy. Our Future,” aligning with the objectives of the UNCCD. The statistics are alarming: between 1990 and 2019, droughts affected 2.7 billion people and caused 11.7 million deaths. Projections suggest that by 2050, droughts may impact over three-quarters of the global population.
The UN General Assembly adopted three objectives related to mitigating the desertification and drought: to promote public awareness about desertification and drought as the first objective, 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 as the second objective and to enhance implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in countries experiencing severe drought and/or desertification, particularly in Africa as the third and last objective.
To mitigate the impacts of desertification and drought, it is essential for everyone to take responsibility for preventing environmental degradation. Sustainable practices, responsible use of natural resources, and reducing carbon emissions are critical steps toward this goal. By doing so, everybody can ensure a greener, more resilient environment for future generations.
Addressing desertification and drought requires a unified global effort. By raising awareness, promoting practical solutions, and strengthening international cooperation, everybody can combat these pressing issues, create a sustainable legacy for the planet and its inhabitants, and enjoy good results free from desertification and droughts.

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