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Resolve to halt and reverse land degradation: UN on World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought
Various UN agencies and nature conservationists observed the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought on June 17 with the theme "Land has true value – invest in it" to promote public awareness of international efforts to combat desertification.

"The day is a unique moment to remind everyone that land degradation neutrality is achievable through problem-solving, strong community involvement and co-operation at all levels," stated the UN website.

The observance has relevance for Rajasthan. According to the UN, desertification is the degradation of land in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas and is mainly caused primarily by human activities and climatic variations.

"Desertification does not refer to the expansion of existing deserts. It occurs because of dry land ecosystems, which cover over one third of the world's land area, are extremely vulnerable to over exploitation and inappropriate land use. Poverty, political instability, deforestation, overgrazing and bad irrigation practices can all undermine the productivity of the land," assets the website.

The website adds, "The 2018 World Day to Combat Desertification campaign #2018WDCD urges you to move away from unsustainable land use and make a difference by investing in the future of land under the slogan, 'Land has true value — invest in it' with a resolve to halt and reverse land degradation.

Terming women as active agents of change and making a call to transform gender equality and human rights into action, the UN observed, "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'.

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