UNCCD Announces WDCD Slogan, Highlights Links to Climate Action
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The UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) has announced that the slogan for the 2016 World Day to Combat Desertification (WDCD), which is celebrated on 17 June, will be ‘Protect Earth.

Restore Land.

Engage People.' UNCCD Executive Secretary Monique Barbut thanked China for offering to host the global observance event at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, highlighting the country's experience in “nursing degraded lands and man-made deserts back to health.”

???????????????????????23 February 2016: The UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) has announced that the slogan for the 2016 World Day to Combat Desertification (WDCD), which is celebrated on 17 June, will be ‘Protect Earth. Restore Land. Engage People.’ UNCCD Executive Secretary Monique Barbut thanked China for offering to host the global observance event at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, highlighting the country’s experience in “nursing degraded lands and man-made deserts back to health.”

Barbut noted that the current El Niño could destroy the livelihoods of up to 60 million people around the world in the first half of 2016. Emphasizing that “we have seen this before,” she urged the international community to show solidarity by finding long-term solutions, not just quick fixes, “to disasters that are destroying communities.” Among such actions, Barbut highlighted “simple and affordable acts,” such as restoring degraded lands and helping countries to set up better drought early warning systems.

Barbut expressed hope that WDCD commemorations in 2016 would mark a turning point by showcasing examples of practical action and cooperation to address these challenges “at the front-end” and “not only after disasters happen.” She noted that this knowledge “can and should” benefit initiatives such as the Great Green Wall of the Sahel, Regreening Africa, and Initiative 20×20 in Latin America.

The 2016 WDCD campaign will also seek to advance the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly the target to achieve a land degradation-neutral world by 2030.

A related meeting between the UNCCD Executive Secretary and Ségolène Royal, France’s Minister of Environment, Energy and the Sea, and newly-appointed President of the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 21) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), explored urgent adaptation actions in African countries that are on the frontline of climate change. The two leaders discussed the further implementation of the UNCCD in the framework of the recently adopted Paris Agreement on climate change, including the contribution of the UNCCD’s Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) Fund in advancing land restoration and rehabilitation, and creating employment opportunities for young people in the worst hit regions.

In 1994 ,the UN General Assembly designated 17 June as World Day to Combat Desertification, marking the anniversary of the adoption of the UNCCD and with a view to raising public awareness about international efforts to stop desertification and the effects of drought. [UNCCD News Announcement: WDCD 2016] [UNCCD Press Release: Desertification-Climate Links] [WDCD 2016 Website] [IISD RS Story on Partnership to Advance Great Green Wall]


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