Today, Barbados joins with the rest of the world in celebrating World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought—or Desertification and Drought Day for short—under the theme “Food. Feed. Fibre“.
The aim is to encourage changes in consumption and production patterns in order to make adequate land available for other uses, to meet the high demand. These changes may include, but are not limited to, reducing food waste, buying produce from local markets and farmers and wearing clothes for a longer period of time or buying or swapping used clothes.
Barbados has been a Party to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification and Drought (UNCCD), which deals with sustainable land management, since 1997. As a Small Island Developing State (SIDS), Barbados has limited land space to support the high demand for the different uses by the dense population. Like other SIDS, Barbados imports most of its food and other products which can be unsustainable. Therefore, the change in consumption and production habits is necessary to be sustainable, while avoiding land degradation via unsustainable practices. There must be a balance between animal and crop production for people, feed for animals and also material for clothes. Education and awareness campaigns are also essential for the public to begin making the much needed changes and work in harmony with nature. As the National Focal Point to the UNCCD, the Ministry of Environment and National Beautification is acutely aware of these realities and works with multiple stakeholders to address these cross-cutting issues, while engaging in public awareness programs to spread this message.
As party to the UNCCD since 1997, Barbados has hosted a number of activities to celebrate this day over the years. However, due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the Biodiversity Conservation and Management Section was unable to host any in-person events to commemorate Desertification and Drought Day, 2020.
But the day did not go unacknowledged...
The Biodiversity Conservation and Management Section of the Ministry of Environment and National Beautification is taking this day to signal boost messages from the Secretariat of the UNCCD and other bodies engaged in the global fight against desertification and drought.
So, as the Biodiversity Conservation and Management Section and the Ministry of Environment and National Beautification join with the rest of the Caribbean and the World to celebrate another successful Desertification and Drought Day, we invite you to view our previously completed activities.