The World Day to Combat Desertification has been observed since 1995 to promote public awareness relating to international cooperation to combat desertification and the effects of drought.
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, particularly in Africa.
Ever since, country Parties to the Convention, organizations of the United Nations System, international and non-governmental organizations and other interested stakeholders have celebrated this particular day with a series of outreach activities worldwide.
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.
Country Parties and civil society organizations are invited to organize events to celebrate the World Day to Combat Desertification as an additional opportunity to increase awareness raising and participation in the process.
This Year’s Activities
The international day for combatting degradation and drought will be celebrated on June 17th 2016. The day was instituted to increase understanding and awareness of land degradation and drought issues and the importance of conserving our scarce land resources.
The theme for LD 2016 is ‘Inclusive Cooperation for achieving Land degradation Neutrality’, with the slogan ‘Protect Earth, Restore Land, engage People’.
The theme focuses on inclusive cooperation amongst all stakeholders, ministries, agencies and sectors, to restore and rehabilitate degraded land and contribute towards achieving the overall Sustainable Development Goals. It emphasizes the importance of comprehensive participation and cooperation in working towards achieving LD neutrality.
Given that this day falls within the Environment Month of the Ministry of Environment and Drainage, a special activity will be conducted to mark the 50th anniversary celebration of Barbados. The activity to mark this week of activities (June 14th to 17th) is a tour by the adopted schools of the Turners Hall Woods. The tour of the Turners Hall Woods is to highlight the importance of the Woods as the last remaining stand of original forest, in the protection of the land resources and biodiversity.
These schools are:
- The St. Christopher’s Primary School
- The St. Bartholemew Primary School
- The Ellerton Primary School
- The Wesley Hall Infants School
The tour of Turners Hall will be conducted by Mr. Nigel Jones of the National Botanic Gardens. The staff of the Ministry will also be exposed to a tour of the Woods on the 21st June 2016.