3 June 2009


Up to one quarter of the world's surface is covered by dryland areas. The fragile environment of these areas is under serious threat - deserts are spreading at an alarming rate, and drought increasingly prevalent.

More than 135 million people – the equivalent to the population of Germany and France combined - are at risk of being displaced as a consequence of desertification.

Desertification, land degradation and drought (DLDD) threaten human security by depriving people of their means of life – by taking away food, access to water, the means for economic activities, and even their homes. In worst-case scenarios, they undermine national and regional security, force people to leave their homes and can trigger low- or high-level intensity conflicts.

The World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought is held every year on 17th June to mark the anniversary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification. This year, the theme of the day is "Conserving land and water = Securing our common future "

Th day follows on from World Environment Day on 5th June.

The theme of this year’s Environment Day is ‘Your Planet Needs You-Unite to Combat Climate Change'. The theme is designed to highlight the necessity for all nations to take proactive measures at the climate convention meeting to be held December 2009 in Copenhagen.

A range of suggested actions that individuals and communities can take in support of the environment can be found at the above website.

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