#WorldDaytoCombatDesertification, # UnitedNationsConventiontoCombat Desertification, #Canada, #Marie-ClaudeBibeau
Toronto, June 18 (Canadian-Media): World Day to Combat Desertification (WDCD) was declared by the United Nations General Assembly to be "World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought" (WDCD) on June 17 in 1994 .
Since then WDCD is being observed on June 17 each year all across the world to promote public awareness of land degradation and to draw awareness to the implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) in countries affected by serious drought and/or desertification, particularly in Africa.
During the observance of WDCD in Canada yesterday, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, stated,
“Today, on World Day to Combat Desertification, Canada and the global community recognize the serious issues of desertification, drought, and land degradation. Climate change, one of the greatest challenges facing the world, is making these issues more acute. Canada recently re-established its support for the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) by rejoining the Convention, which is key to our commitment to the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.”
UNCCD is the only international agreement, bound by law, linking environment and development to sustainable land management. with special empahasis on dryland such as arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas, where some of the most vulnerable ecosystems and peoples can be found.
In 2007 the 10-Year Strategy of the UNCCD (2008-2018) was adopted with their goals to "to forge a global partnership to reverse and prevent desertification/land degradation and to mitigate the effects of drought in affected areas in order to support poverty reduction and environmental sustainability."
According to the UNCCD, in sub-Saharan Africa, due to degradation of an estimated 75 percent of the land and 10 million hectares every year, farmers experience lost income of more than $4 billion annually.
The situation is even worse for woman farmers, who often have access only to less fertile land.
The UNCCD is committed to encouraging the participation of local people in combating desertification and land degradation. The UNCCD secretariat facilitates cooperation between developed and developing countries, particularly around knowledge and technology transfer for sustainable land management.
Bibeau continued her statement, “Every year, the cumulative effects of overgrazing, over-cultivation, deforestation, poor irrigation combined with increasing extreme weather events have serious implications worldwide for poverty eradication, stability and sustainable development.
“Canada is committed to improving the living conditions of the world's most vulnerable people, including women and girls, and to addressing the serious implications of desertification.”
The UNCCD Secretariat invited Country Parties, United Nation’s organizations, civil society organizations, international and non-governmental organizations and other stakeholders to the Convention to increase the impact of WDCD and to educate the public about effective methods of achieving land degradation neutrality (LDN) on 17 June each year
In the next few decades, desertification could reportedly create as many as 135 million climate refugees.
Bibeau ended her statement by pledging, “Canada will continue to seek opportunities for constructive progress on the environment, to bring a positive approach to global conversations about climate change and to work with others to find workable solutions.”
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
Image of Marie-Claude Bibeau: Facebook Page