UNCCD Sets Theme for 2014 World Day to Combat Desertification
19 November 2013: The Secretariat of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) has announced that, on 17 June 2014, the World Day to Combat Desertification (WDCD) will focus on the theme of ecosystem-based adaptation and take place under the slogan 'Land belongs to the future, let's climate proof it!'
In announcing the selection of the theme, Monique Barbut, UNCCD Executive Secretary, highlighted that, “Land is the basis of all life on Earth and the source of livelihood for over 2 billion people. But every year, over 12 million productive hectares are transformed into wasteland through desertification and drought alone.” She called attention to links between ecosystem collapse and political instability or conflict, and said "Either we take the measures needed to enhance resilience and enable land-dependent communities to adapt or we prepare for the political consequences of our inaction. The choice is ours and 2014 is the year we are calling on every country to do its part."
The theme of ecosystem-based adaptation will include a focus on issues related to land and soil in the context of climate change adaptation and food security. The focus will also seek to mobilize public action for sustainable land management (SLM). The 2014 WDCD campaign will begin on African Environment Day/Wangari Maathai Day, on 3 March. [UNCCD News Release][World Day to Combat Desertification webpage]