World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought 2021: Theme, History and Significance

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Desertification and Drought Day is marked on June 17 across the globe. As the name suggests, the day is meant for restoration of degraded land and to create and raise awareness regarding prevention of desertification of the soil. This year, the theme of the day has been finalised as “Restoration. Land. Recovery. We build back better with healthy land”.

For celebrating the day, people across the globe have been urged to take part in virtual activities, webinars and talks that are being held by experts on this subject matter.

The day also aims at finding achievable solutions for combating desertification that can be practiced by the majority of the countries and individuals all over the world.This year, due to the ongoing pandemic condition, no physical events will be conducted regarding the day in any part of the world. However, environment enthusiasts have been motivating people to amplify the day’s importance through social media and word of mouth.

As per the official United Nations, land degradation negatively impacts the well-being of a minimum of 3.2 billion people. However, restoring degraded land generates employment, raises income, brings economic resilience and also improves food security. Changes towards betterment of land also has a direct impact on climate change and leads to lesser global warming, which is one of the many major causes of concern in recent times.

Approximately three quarters of the Earth’s ice-free land has been altered by humans to meet their needs ranging from food, highways, raw materials, houses, building. As a result of this, the quality of land has drastically deteriorated over the years. In order to improve the situation, countries will need to proactively work on strategies that are favourable for the environment at large.

For the unversed, desertification refers to degradation of land in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas. This is caused due to dryland ecosystems, deforestation, overgrazing and bad irrigation practices.

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