In 1994, the United Nations General Assembly declared June 17 the "World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought" to promote public awareness of the issue, and the implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in those countries experiencing serious drought and/or desertification.
Ever since, country Parties to the Convention, organizations of the United Nations System, international and non-governmental organizations and institutes and other interested stakeholders have celebrated this particular day with a series of outreach activities worldwide.
As a follow-up of its inauguration in 2008, the UNESCO Chair on Eremology of Ghent University, Belgium, organized a First Conference on Desertification, focusing on ‘Combating Desertification: assessment, adaptation and mitigation strategies’. A Second Conference on Desertification was organized in 2009, covering ‘Methods for assessing and monitoring desertification and land degradation, forecasting precipitation and drought and ways to restore degraded land’. In 2010 the Third Conference on Desertification and Land Degradation was jointly organized by the UNESCO Chair on Eremology and ESSC (European Society for Soil Conservation) dealing with ‘Land degradation processes and assessment. Wind erosion, interrill erosion, gully erosion, land cover features’. The conference was preceded by a Workshop on the ‘Action of Wind and Rain on Soil Degradation Processes’. The Fourth Conference on Desertification and Land Degradation took place in June 2012 which brought together scientists concerned with global and regional environmental problems dealing with mitigation of desertification and land degradation.
The World Day to Combat Desertification on June 17, 2013 was a unique occasion to remind everybody that desertification and land degradation in different climatic zones can be effectively tackled, that solutions are possible, and that key tools to this aim lay in strengthened community, school and stakeholder participation and co-operation at all levels. On the first DesertLand conference in 2013 we showed what has been done!
And due to popular request we will show this again at the 2015 DesertLand II conference. Join us now!