Without a long-term solution, desertification and land degradation will not only affect food supply but lead to increased migration and threaten the stability of many nations and regions. This is why world leaders made land degradation neutrality one of the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals.
-UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon
Desertification is a form of land degradation in which a relatively dry land region becomes increasingly arid, typically losing its bodies of water leaving no plants either wildlife on it. It is caused by a variety of factors, such as disasters or climate change which mostly resulting from irresponsible human’s activities. Desertification is a significant global ecological and environmental problem.
There is probably no greater issue than land in the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals that touches everyone. From the food we eat, to the clothes we wear and the houses we live in, there are all rooting from land resources. In order to “leave no one behind” as proclaimed in the new Sustainable Development Goals, achieving land degradation neutrality needs to be in the forefront to meet our requirements and achievement of environmental sustainability.
The World Day to Combat Desertification is a unique occasion that has been observed since 1995 in order to promote public awareness related to international cooperation in combating desertification and the effects of drought. World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought is celebrated on the 17th of June yearly. Its purpose is to highlight ways to prevent desertification and recover from drought. Each annual celebration has a different theme.
The theme for this year’s World Day to Combat Desertification and drought is ‘Inclusive Cooperation for Achieving Land Degradation Neutrality’ which advocates for the importance of inclusive cooperation to restore and rehabilitate degraded land and contribute towards achieving the overall Sustainable Development Goals. Land has been an overlooked component in Sustainable Development for years. Now, it is viewed as a vital link to provide solutions to cope with many other development challenges such as dealing with climate change, securing water and energy resources as well as promoting inclusive growth.
The World Assembly of Youth (WAY) aims 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. Every stakeholder plays important role in halting any further activity which could worsen the desertification that has already persisted in today world.
Join us for this year's 16th Melaka International Youth Dialogue to discuss on ‘Youth for Environmental Sustainability: Our Future, Our Care’ which will be held from 26th – 30thJune 2016 in King Greens Hotel Melaka, Malaysia. Let us unite our efforts to achieve a sustainable future and better tomorrow.
Happy World Day to combat Desertification and Drought!