"Desertification, land degradation, drought and climate change are interconnected. As a result of land degradation and climate change, the severity and frequency of droughts have been increasing, along with floods and extreme temperatures. More than 50 per cent of agricultural land is moderately or severely degraded, with 12 million hectares lost to production each year"
With this message from Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the United Nations (UN), the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought 2016 is presented.
This global event, first held in 1995, will focus this time around collective collaboration to stop the problem of desertification, as reflected in the choice of the theme: Inclusive cooperation for achieving land degradation neutrality. The slogan selected by the UN will be "Protect Earth. Restore Land. Engage People" in a obvious call to action for all inhabitants of the world.
Beijing, capital of the event
The official site of the present edition will be Beijing. China, the largest emitter of greenhouse gases (25%), announced its commitment to reduce its emissions. The close relationship between land degradation and climate change has meant that all countries include long-term energy plans compromising to be more respectful of the environment.
According to the UN, the aim of this international conference is to show "how land degradation neutrality can be a critical element for achieving other sustainable development goals, especially for promotion of inclusive and sustainable economic growth."
The land: key in Sustainable Development Goals
Desertification adversely affects more than one hundred countries with regard to health, biodiversity, agriculture, etc. Conservation land is, without doubt, a key purpose in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Halting its degradation is a matter of paramount importance to ensure a positive sustainable development in the future.
Do you know any way to avoid land degradation? Tell us how you're going to celebrate this World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought.