Global Initiative on Psychiatry - Sofia
Caritas Bulgaria
BlueLink Information Network
Cooperation for Voluntary Service CVS-Bulgaria
Centre for Inclusive Education
"Gender Project for Bulgaria" Foundation
  More about the project and participants »  
Lost Password

June 17th The World Day to Combat Desertification


The World Day to Combat Desertification is observed every year on 17 June all over the world. The aim of the United Nations in designating a day of observance is to sensitize the public and policy makers to the increasing dangers of desertification, land degradation and drought for the international community. The observance events are designed to get everyone to undertake at least one action that year to help minimize the threat highlighted.

The World Day to Combat Desertification has been observed since 1995 to promote public awareness relating to international cooperation to combat desertification and the effects of drought.

In 1994, the United Nations General Assembly declared (General Assembly Resolution A/RES/49/115) June 17 the "World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought" to promote public awareness of the issue, and the implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in those countries experiencing serious drought and/or desertification, particularly in Africa.

This being the International Year on Forests, the World Day to Combat Desertification for 2011 will focus specifically on the forests in the drylands areas of the world, guided by the motto: ‘Forests keep drylands working’.

Desertification, land degradation and drought (DLDD) threaten human security by depriving people of the means to decent livelihoods. They undercut food production, access to water and the means to economic activity, and even destroy their homes. At worst, they lead to a breakdown in national and regional security as people are forced to leave their homes or to engage in low- or high-level intensity conflicts over increased or extended periods of resource scarcity.

Land degradation in the drylands, commonly known as desertification, begins with the clearing of vegetation, which means “forests are the first step towards healing the drylands and protecting them from desertification and drought,” as Mr Luc Gnacadja, Executive Secretary of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification observes. Dry forests may become the single most important determinant of the future sustainability of the drylands as the impacts of climate change escalate. Yet, only 18% of the drylands is forested.

The United Nations has designated 2011 as the International Year of Forests to stress the need for forests that serve people. Scientists and experts agree that this link is most evident and felt in the drylands where trees play multiple roles for the communities. They provide food and medicine for the people and their livestock. They are their places of worship and shelter and their decision-making centers. Trees mean life here and are not taken for granted by the close to 2 billion inhabitants that call drylands ‘home’.

The World Day to Combat Desertification is a unique occasion to remind everybody that desertification can be effectively tackled, that solutions are possible, and that key tools to this aim lay in strengthened community participation and co-operation at all levels.



This website has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Commission.
Тhe information given above is the sole responsibility of Getting to know! project.
Under no circumstances can the materials published on this website be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union.