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World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought

Quick Facts

The United Nations' World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought is observed worldwide on June 17 each year.

Local names

NameLanguage
World Day to Combat Desertification and DroughtEnglish
Día Mundial de Lucha contra la Desertificación y la SequíaSpanish
יום עולמי למאבק במדבור והתייבשותHebrew
اليوم العالمي لمكافحة التصحر والجفافArabic
사막화와 가뭄에 대처하기 위해 세계 일Korean
Welttag für die Bekämpfung der Wüstenbildung und der DürreGerman

World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought 2014

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought 2015

Wednesday, June 17, 2015
List of dates for other years

The United Nations' World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought is annually observed on June 17 to highlight the urgent need to curb the desertification process. It also aims to strengthen the visibility of the drylands issue on the international environmental agenda.

UN desert awarenes day

World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought highlights the need to reduce desertification and combat drought.

©iStockphoto.com/James Margolis

What do people do?

Individuals and organizations in various countries, such as Australia, Algeria, Canada, China, Ghana, and the United States, have participated in the day in recent years. Many events focus on educational activities to help combat problems relating to desertification and drought.

Promotional activities may include the distribution of awareness raising materials, such as calendars, fact sheets, posters and postcards, to educational institutions and the general public. The day may also feature educational case studies, forums or discussions on drought and desertification, its implications on society and ways to minimize the problem.

However, the effort to fight against desertification and drought does not occur only on this day. Many countries have been making a progressive effort in proactively addressing the issue and looking for solutions. For example, the Algerian Government resorted to a French research and engineering firm, in view of elaborating a national plan to protect the agricultural lands and to fight desertification. Pilot projects in Lebanon resulted in villagers producing za’atar and other traditional delicacies to tackle the agricultural decline caused by years of drought and desert expansion.

Public life

World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought is a global observance and not a public holiday.

Background

In December 1994, the United Nations General Assembly declared June 17 the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought. The assembly acknowledged that desertification and drought were global problems because they affected all regions of the world. The assembly also realized that joint action by the international community was needed to combat desertification and drought, particularly in Africa.

States were invited to devote the World Day to promoting awareness of the need for international cooperation to combat desertification and the effects of drought, and on the implementation of the Convention to Combat Desertification.  Since then, country parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), non-governmental organizations and other interested stakeholders celebrate this particular day with outreach activities worldwide on June 17 each year.

Symbols

In March 2005 the UN agencies involved in celebrating the 2006 International Year of Deserts and Desertification organized a logo competition for that particular year. Krishen Maurymoothoo, a graphic designer from Mauritius, won the contest. The winning design featured three elements: a tree, which covers the logo as a protective roof; the sun, which acts as a symbol of warmth and life; and the dunes, which were formed of several colors relating to the earth's land. The current UNCCD logo, although different in some aspects, shares some similarities with Maurymoothoo's logo: trees that protect the earth; the sunlit sky, which brings about warmth in the background; and the land. Both logos use earth-based colors, which include green and brown.

World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought Observances

WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday typeWhere it is observed
SatJun 171995World Day to Combat Desertification and DroughtUnited Nations observance 
MonJun 171996World Day to Combat Desertification and DroughtUnited Nations observance 
TueJun 171997World Day to Combat Desertification and DroughtUnited Nations observance 
WedJun 171998World Day to Combat Desertification and DroughtUnited Nations observance 
ThuJun 171999World Day to Combat Desertification and DroughtUnited Nations observance 
SatJun 172000World Day to Combat Desertification and DroughtUnited Nations observance 
SunJun 172001World Day to Combat Desertification and DroughtUnited Nations observance 
MonJun 172002World Day to Combat Desertification and DroughtUnited Nations observance 
TueJun 172003World Day to Combat Desertification and DroughtUnited Nations observance 
ThuJun 172004World Day to Combat Desertification and DroughtUnited Nations observance 
FriJun 172005World Day to Combat Desertification and DroughtUnited Nations observance 
SatJun 172006World Day to Combat Desertification and DroughtUnited Nations observance 
SunJun 172007World Day to Combat Desertification and DroughtUnited Nations observance 
TueJun 172008World Day to Combat Desertification and DroughtUnited Nations observance 
WedJun 172009World Day to Combat Desertification and DroughtUnited Nations observance 
ThuJun 172010World Day to Combat Desertification and DroughtUnited Nations observance 
FriJun 172011World Day to Combat Desertification and DroughtUnited Nations observance 
SunJun 172012World Day to Combat Desertification and DroughtUnited Nations observance 
MonJun 172013World Day to Combat Desertification and DroughtUnited Nations observance 
TueJun 172014World Day to Combat Desertification and DroughtUnited Nations observance 
WedJun 172015World Day to Combat Desertification and DroughtUnited Nations observance 
FriJun 172016World Day to Combat Desertification and DroughtUnited Nations observance 
SatJun 172017World Day to Combat Desertification and DroughtUnited Nations observance 
SunJun 172018World Day to Combat Desertification and DroughtUnited Nations observance 
MonJun 172019World Day to Combat Desertification and DroughtUnited Nations observance 
WedJun 172020World Day to Combat Desertification and DroughtUnited Nations observance 
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