The International Day Against Desertification and Drought was established by the United Nations on June 17 in 1994. Its main objective is to raise public awareness of international cooperation to combat desertification and the consequences of drought.
World Day to Combat Desertification is a unique opportunity to raise awareness about the threat of desertification and the importance of combating it. Desertification affects one-fifth of the world's population in Asia, Sahel, Latin America, North America, and the Mediterranean region. Deserts cover more than one-third of the Earth's surface, which is over 4 billion hectares. The main cause of desertification and drought is human production and consumption, driven by population growth and increasing demand for land for food, feed, and clothing. This year's campaign focuses on the role of women in efforts to reduce and stop land degradation, highlighting the unequal access and limited rights women have to land in many countries. To ensure enough land to feed the projected population of 10 billion by 2050, a change in lifestyle is necessary. Currently, over 2 billion hectares of previously productive land are degraded, and by 2050, it could be 90% of natural ecosystems. Additionally, food production will require an additional 300 million hectares of land by 2030, and the fashion industry will need 35% more land than before, equivalent to the size of Colombia. If we continue with our current consumption and production patterns, we will exhaust the planet's resources. Each of us must think about what we consume and how we can contribute to the protection and restoration of the planet and its land.