Land Belongs to the Future - Let’s Climate Proof It: Celebrate World Day to Combat Desertification

22 June 2014 | Article

 HRH Prince EL Hassan Bin Talal believes in systematic scale up of Hima concept and as a sign of his continues support in combating desertification and drought in West Asia in general and Jordan in particular has signed The Amman Declaration on Innovating Hima.

The World Day to Combat Desertification (WDCD) has been observed since 1995 to promote public awareness relating to international cooperation to combat desertification and the effects of drought and the implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) in those countries experiencing serious drought and/or desertification, particularly in Africa.

Approximately 1.5 billion people globally depend on degrading areas for their livelihoods, and nearly half of the world’s very poor (42%) live in degraded areas, making them some of the most insecure places in the world, and in some cases their instability can destabilize entire political regions.

While these regions may seem far away to those of us who live in cities or developed countries, the effects of their suffering ripple across the globe. It is estimated that by 2020 some 60 million people will migrate from desertified areas in Sub-Saharan Africa towards Northern Africa and Europe.

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.

Each annual celebration has a different theme. The theme of this year's WDCD is ecosystem-based adaptation with the slogan ‘Land Belongs to the Future, Let’s Climate Proof It’.

The theme of this year was chosen to increase awareness about the potential of ecosystem-based adaptation as a strategy for coping with the impacts of climate change, especially in the drylands.

Ecosystem-based adaptation means the strengthening of natural systems to cushion the worst impacts of climate change. When ecosystems are healthy, they are less vulnerable to the impacts and hazards of climate change.

Individuals and organizations in various countries have participated in the day in recent years. Many events focus on educational activities to help combat problems relating to desertification and drought.

However, the effort to fight against desertification and drought does not occur only on this day. Many countries have been making a progressive effort in proactively addressing the issue and looking for solutions.

IUCN ROWA through the Drylands, Livelihoods and Gender Programme participates in this fight against desertification and drought, where the programme contributes to the rehabilitation of drylands in the West Asia region.

The programme’s strength is in contributing to the revival of the Hima Concept within local communities, which in turn prevents desertification. It aims to move from scattered good practices towards more systematic scale up of Hima in order to combat desertification and drought.

All the estimations were taken from United Nations website.