World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought


June 17 World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought

The World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought is a United Nations observance each June 17. Its purpose is to raise awareness of the presence of desertification and drought, highlighting methods of preventing desertification and recovering from drought. Each year’s global celebration has a unique, novel emphasis that had not been developed previously.

This day was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly resolution A/RES/49/115 on January 30, 1995, after the day when United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification is drafted.

Desertification and the Sustainable Development Goals

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development declares that “we are determined to protect the planet from degradation, including through sustainable consumption and production, sustainably managing its natural resources and taking urgent action on climate change, so that it can support the needs of the present and future generations”. Specifically, SDG Goal 15: Life on Land states the resolve of the United Nations and the SDG signatory nations to halt and reverse land degradation.

Annual themes

2019 – Let’s Grow the Future Together (Reflecting on 25 years of progress and envisaging to the next 25)

2018 – Land has true value. Invest in it

2017 – Link between land degradation and migration (in light of Syrian mass emigration following environmentally-caused failure of Syria’s agricultural system) #2017WDCD

2016 – Protect Earth. Restore Land. Engage People.

2015 – Attainment of food security for all through sustainable food systems. – “No such thing as a free lunch. Invest in healthy soil”

2009 – Conserving land and energy = Securing our common future

2008 – Combating land degradation for sustainable agriculture

2007 – Desertification and Climate Change – One Global Challenge

2006 – The Beauty of Deserts – The Challenge of Desertification

2005 – Women and Desertification

2004 – Social Dimensions of Desertification: Migration and Poverty

2003 – International Year of Deserts and Desertification (IYDD)

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