Protect the planet from degradation by taking action on climate change: UN
Dr. Lalit Kishore
The World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought is going to be observed on June 17 to create, raise and promote public awareness of international efforts to combat desertification and re-affirm our resolve to halt and reverse land degradation.
The UN has linked Desertification to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Specifically, SDG Goal- 15 to be achieved by the year 2030 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".
According to the UN, the observance is meant to remind us that land degradation neutrality is achievable through problem-solving, strong community involvement and co-operation at all levels.
"Over 250 million people are directly affected by desertification, and about one billion people in over one hundred countries are at risk. These people include many of the world's poorest, most marginalised and politically weak citizens," states the UN.
Defining desertification the UN says, "Desertification is the degradation of land in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas. It is caused primarily by human activities and climatic variations. Desertification does not refer to the expansion of existing deserts."
The reasons for increasing desertification are attributed to poverty, political instability, deforestation; overgrazing and bad irrigation practices can all undermine the productivity of the land.