2017 WDCD Events around the World

Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) Send us your World Day celebration to WDCD2017@unccd.int and we will post it on this page!

Shortcuts:  Africa  Asia/Pacific  Europe  LAC  Other

Africa

Benin

AMAF-BENIN plans to celebrate the day in connection with the reforestation of degraded areas of the mangrove forest on the Ramsar site 1018 in South Benin. This reforestation activity involves 620 children from the "Sô-Ava Center" public school, who plant two trees each of the degraded areas.  This tree planting will take place on 1 June for the observations of the National Day of the Tree (NDT) and the World Day to Combat Deforestation.

Cameroon

The Forest Environmental Programme for Sustainable Development (FOEPSUD) celebrated the World Day by organizing a number of tree planting activities in GBHS Kedjom-Keku and in the Abongfen water catchments, in the Kedjom keku Mountain forest on the and 16 June. A brief training was offered to the participants before starting to plant the seedlings. FOEPSUD also broadcasted a radio talk on the 14 June to raise awareness environmental challenges. Furthermore, a quiz was carried out to gage the level of knowledge among youngsters regarding environmental topics; the students with the three best scores of each group were given awards. The official celebration took place on 19 June with presentations, music, award ceremonies and a drama sketch denouncing serious environment problems. (Read report)

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On the occasion of the World Day, a student initiative in Cameroon will promote the use of green coal as an alternative fuel to charcoal and wood in the Sahel. The initiative will aim at sensitizing the inhabitants of the town of Garoua about the dangers linked to desert encroachment of the land, and to encourage the use of green coal in households as an alternative to wood energy.

Egypt

Desert Research Center will organize a one-day festival in cooperation with the UNCCD National Focal Point Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation, counterparts Ministries, the public and private sectors. During the event scheduled on 13 June, activates are planned in the Sand Dune Fixation facility near Cairo. Lectures, films and some other practical activities related to combating desertification are planned.

Guinea

The Guinean Association for the Promotion of Renewable Energies (AGUIPER) and the National Platform of the United Citizens for Development (PCUD) celebrate the Day with an event which was moderated by the national CST focal point. The event focused on the United Nations strategy to combat desertification and on the National Action Programme to Combat Desertification (PAN / LCD ). The National Consultant PDC / NDT-Guinea made a contribution concerting the aims of reaching LDN by 2030. More than 30 NGOs were present and made commitments for pursue and support sustainable land management 

Guinea-Bissau

A number of activities are being organized in Guinea Bissau for the Word day to Combat Desertification in parallel with the Month of the Child 2017 celebration. The event will be held with the theme, "Making children actors in the fight against climate change and the defense of human rights, a guarantee for Sustainable Development".

The program will last throughout the month of June with numerous activities led by Fatoumata Chérif, campaign coordinator together with volunteer ambassadors, media and civil society actors, patrons, artists, MPs, schools and other members of the public who wish to participate.

Kenya

This year’s Kenyan national commemoration of the World Day to Combat Desertification (WDCD) is Hulahula Catholic Church grounds, located in Saku Sub-county of Marsabit County. The area is semi-arid and has all the characteristics of an emerging desert, with prolonged dry spells and short erratic rains.

Two Steering Committees prepare the observance at the national level (so far 4 meetings have been held), coordinated by the National Environment Management Authority which is an institution under the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources. At the County level, the Local Steering Committee under the County Government of Marsabit was established. The composition of these committees covers all relevant government and Civil Society organizations. The main activities will include tree planting, a procession, exhibitions, media talk shows, newspaper supplements and a visit to selected rehabilitated areas in the county near the venue. The climax will be the various messages by dignitaries headed by the Cabinet Secretary of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Prof. Judi Wakhungu.

Read further

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Kakamega Isecheno forest group is a not-for-profit organization working to improve their livelihoods through soya bean production and processing. Kakamega forest has set some space in the forest and farmers lease for farming. The group, in partnership with Shibuye Community Health Workers, plan to celebrate the WDCD to educate and mobilize their communities for environmental preservation and sustainability.

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At the Mpala Academy in Laikipia a special initiative to educate young children about desertification and ways to build a greener and healthier future was carried out on the WDCD.

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Madagascar

The Ministry of the Environment, Ecology and Forest celebrated the World Day by holding a conference on the 15 June, focusing the environmental challenges of land degradation and desertification. The main objective of the event was to draw attention to the environmental threats posed by human behavior and stress the urgent need for a change of attitude, turning towards sustainable practices. The Madagascan environmental authorities presented the national targets for land degradation neutrality to ensure sustainable future growth. 
Also, following the slogan: ‘Our Home, Our Land, Our Future’ the discussions considered the role that sustainable land management can play in reverting the flow of migrants fleeing unproductive land. (Read report)
 

Namibia

Namibian authorities organized a public event to address land degradation and desertification issues. During the event Anna Shiweda, Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Water and Forestry, called for collaborative efforts to fight climate change and Kiki Gbeho, UN Resident Representative in Namibia, reconfirmed UN Namibia’s commitment to finding answers to the environmental challenges of the country.

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In the Zambezi region, an event, organized by Rogan Sinyambo and Agri Connexions, took place on 16 June in the village of Namalubi. During the event for the World Day there were tree planting activities and a lucky number draw to win solar lights, trees and books donated by the solar light enterprise, Elephant Energy. The event’s location was a newly established Training Garden in the village of Namalubi. 
(See event details)

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Nigeria

The Ecosystem Based Adaptation for Food Security Assembly (EBAFOSA)organized a workshop and provided information in order to build awareness regarding LDN concept and practices. They also donated cocoa and cashew seedlings to farmers to encourage agroforestry in order to restore stretches of degraded agricultural land. Over 500 farmers benefited from the distribution of cocoa and cashew seedlings, around 25 of them were invited for the Train the Trainers (TOT) sessions and workshops on LDN concepts.

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Green Mobilisation Initiative (GMI)organized the programme ‘Run for Trees’ to celebrate the Day in collaboration with the State Ministry of Forestry of Ogun state. About 35 schools across Ogun State have participated in the ‘Run for Trees’ event; so far, 1500 seedlings of Teak and Gmelina have been planted and  the 2nd and 3rd tree planting phases will take place soon.The programme began at the University of Agriculture, Abeokuta on 21 June with a donation by GMI of 500 seedlings to the University.

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A group of interested individuals intends to plant the trees in Enugu State and Yobe State Nigeria. Trees to be planted include Neem, pine and cashew trees. Starting from 17 June, the group will start tree planting until 1,000 trees and planted.  It will also create awareness about desertification and what people can do to help.

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In Akure, Ondo State, an event was held on 17 June to discuss the effects of desertification and afforestation in some high schools and a grammar school. Also, there was a street campaign to raise awareness on desertification and afforestation. 

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Kejibaus Youth Development Initiative celebrated the World Day by visiting a number of high schools, creating awareness among the students regarding the pressing environmental challenges posed by desertification. The students were encouraged to join further discussions about desertification and afforestation practices at Alamo grammar school. After that, the team moved to the streets to create awareness among the public concerning the effects of unguided afforestation that could lead to increased desertification.

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The Youth Programme on Agriculture and Entrepreneurship Development (YPAED) in collaboration with Government Day Secondary School Dutse Alhaji organized a Tree Campaign on the occasion of the World Day. They planted 100 trees to commemorate the event and promote the re-greening of their territories. Central to their activities was youth engagement: ‘’Youth engagement is crucial to the sustainable development goals simply because the youth are the future, tree planting must be adopted in engaging and capturing their imagination’’  (Read report)

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Centre for Earth Works(CFEW) celebrated the World Day by organizing a series of activities aimed at creating awareness among farmers and miners of the effects of land degradation and educating community members about Sustainable Land Management (SML). They planted trees to involve the locals in caring for the land. Also, a video was created focusing on the issues revolving around mining and land degradation. (Read report)

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Togo

Every year the organization  Présence en ligne plants trees (especially leguminous trees) to stop erosion and rehabilitate the country’s soils by promoting rapid compost. This time they plan to combine vetiver plants with trees on riverbanks where hundreds of hectares of land have been lost. During the Month of the Tree, 5,600 trees will be planted on 11.5 hectares together with the communities in Togo, leading up to the climax of the event on 17 June.

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Association des Pépiniéristes et Planteurs de Tône-Ouest (SONGOU-MAN) has celebrated the WDCD with a tree planting initiative. On the 17 June they planted 1,600 trees: 552 cassias siameas, 400 leucenas, 124 Nîmes, 100 calcias, 336 moringas, 48 mango trees, 24 orange trees and 16 guava trees in the attempt to rehabilitate and protect the soil, combat desertification and global warming.

Asia/Pacific

Bangladesh

Department of Environment and Forest will celebrate this year’s WDCD by organizing a workshop, ‘World Day to Combat Desertification’, on 17 June in Dhaka. The objective of the workshop is to encourage stakeholders and participants to reflect on their roles in combating land degradation and drought in Bangladesh. The workshop will first discuss a concept note on ground water recharge feasibility in the drought prone Barind Tract in Bangladesh, then climate change and crop modeling as a tool for climate smart agriculture. Lastly, the issue of land degradation in Bangladesh and the way forward to combat it will be discussed. The representative of GOs, NGOs, STIs and more are expected to participate in the event. Mr. Istiaque Ahmad, Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forests will be the chief guest and Mr. Md. Raisul Alam Mondal, Director-General, Department of Environment will chair the occasion.

Cambodia

The National Focal Point for UNCCD, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Cambodia plans to celebrate the Day this year on 15 June in the Royal University of Agriculture, Phnom Penh. About 600 people will be invited to join the event. Leaders and officers of the Ministry and line ministries will be attending the event, as well as civil society, development partners, local authorities, communities and students. The programme includes: 1) Traditional Wishing Dance, 2) Welcome Speech by a Secretary of State of the Ministry (in charge of UNCCD-related matters), 3) slide presentation, 4) Watching videos on UNCCD, LD, SLM etc. 5) Remarks and Opening Speech by the Minister, 6) Visiting exhibition of materials and products produced and used by line departments under the Ministry that are relevant to UNCCD, LD, SLM, etc. 7) Visiting experimental sites and laboratory processes that are relevant to UNCCD, LD, SLM.

China

The Chinese government has organized a number of activities on the occasion for the WDCD. During the days leading up to the 17 June it mobilized the forestry departments, carrying out campaigns against desertification, holding press conferences, interviews and training sessions on environmental and sustainability topics. Furthermore, a 20 day training workshop ‘The Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road” started on the 15June in Beijing. The workshop, sponsored by the Ministry of Commerce, focuses on strategies to combat desertification in Central Asia.

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The China Green Foundation and the Central University for Nationalities celebrated the World Day by organizing a creative poster designing  competition focusing on the theme ‘‘land and people’’. The activity helped to bring people together to gain information regarding land degradation. Also, a video "15-year of tree planting in Tengri Desert" was circulated on the 16th of June and over 1 million people have visualized it so far. (Read report)

 

India

India commemorated the 2017 'World Day to Combat Desertification' in its true spirit with active participation of people from all walks of life. This year, the landmark celebration took place at Swarn Jayanti Nature Camp at the Bhondsi village of Gurugram, in the Northern State of Haryana, which is located in the Aravallis, one of the oldest mountain ranges of the world. A large variety of youth-centric awareness-raising and nature education activities with the focus on challenges posed by desertification, land degradation and drought were showcased during the event. 

Read full report.

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Along the banks of River Swarnamukhi  the Grameena Vikas Samithi Group in collaboration with Srinivasa Ryotu Mitra Group organized an event to celebrate the World Day. The event started with a commemoration of the farmers that lost their lives in the area in April this year, while protecting their land. Then the Group Leader, Mr. S. Janardhana Naidu explained to the fellow members of the congregation the significance of the WDCD Day 2017. Later, multiple Pongamia trees were planted and the soil fertilized. (Read full report)

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In the Rajasthan region, the organization Grameen Vikas Sodh Avam Takniki Kendra (GVSATK) is planning the event, ‘Save our Land’ to celebrate the World Day to Combat Desertification on 17 June 2017 by a one-day conference. The conference aims at building awareness among local communities of the necessity to combat desertification through local and self-reliant efforts. Also, preceding the conference, a campaign will be organized to spark awareness and action to combat desertification with slogan writing on walls, street plays and group meetings at village level. The project for the celebration of World Day to Combat Desertification will be implemented in 10 villages within the Kishangarh block of Ajmer district under Rajasthan province.   

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Hazinagar Organization for Global Disaster Management (MITIGATOR) in Kolkata which works for the World Heritage Site for Biosphere at Sunderbans plans for plantation of 100,000 palm trees at Jaisalmer in Rajasthan to commemorate the World Day. 

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The Sandhan Foundation is planning to observe the World Day on 17 June at Baripada. The event will be attended by 50 local CSOs including agriculture and soil scientists, local eco clubs, forest officials and other dignitaries.

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St. Jude’s Alumni Education and Welfare Association, a non-profit organization based in India,  celebrated  the World Day along with students of St. Jude’s High School by organizing a cycling event with the purpose of collecting  garbage and plastic bottles that were polluting the woods and the surrounding environment. They aimed at raising   awareness regarding  the importance of protecting and restoring land, demonstrating commitment to protecting  the environment  and safeguarding forested land from desert encroachment. 

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Sai Seva Samithi in collaboration with M/S Venkatadri Maha Tanai Raitu Mitra Group organized an event to celebrate the World Day. Starting with a presentation and explanation of land degradation and concepts, making pledges to protect the environment, they proceeded with planting activities in collaboration with the farmers from the area. (Read report)

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The accredited UNCCD CSO of Eastern India in Baripada of Odisha has celebrated the World Day carrying out a planting and fencing program involving the local community and then continued with a  workshop and a series of talks regarding land degradation and desertification. (Read report)

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Iran

The National Campaign for Desert is a new project run by a group of students from the University of Tehran. The initiative will be inaugurated officially on 17 June. The project will be comprised of several parts:  Desert Short Film Festival, National Prize for Desert Ideas (Education, Research and Innovation), Experts Meeting for Desert, Desert Photo Festival, Culture and Art for Desert Festival, Scientific Exam of Desert Related Courses, Best Thesis Prize for Desert, Book Reading Festival for Desert, Monthly Seminar for Desert, Desert Radio Program and Local Traditions and Religion for Desert. The official opening ceremony of the program will be on 19 June in the Campus of Agriculture and Natural Resources of the University of Tehran.

Kuwait

Kuwait Environment Public Authority celebrates World Day to Combat Desertification by encouraging people to plant local plants. It distributed local plant seeds to the public and advocated the importance of preserving and protecting local and native plants (watch video). The Authority also launched a questionnaire to measure people's awareness level on the importance of combating desertification. A campaign to plant one million local seedlings will start in 2018.

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Mongolia

The Ministry of Environment and Tourism of Mongolia will celebrate the Day nationwide with a range of activities starting from 15 June. The National Symposium will kick start the celebration by bringing diverse stakeholders together to discuss lessons from the last decade of experience in combating desertification. Technical aspects of land restoration will be discussed along with strategies to engage local communities. 

Other events in the programme will include the promotion of the Call for Action issued by Mrs. Oyunkhorol, Minister for Environment and Tourism. Also, a national media campaign will be carried out on the day and the winners of the Student Art and Video contest will be announced. Finally, a tree planting event will take place in the Ulaanbaatar City Park and a documentary on the theme of combating desertification will be broadcasted on the main national TV channels.

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Division for Desertification Study in the Institute of Geography and Geoecology Mongolian Academy of Sciences with support of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) of Mongolia and other partners organized a week celebration of the WDCD. The events included a science and technology workshop, a science an business forum, broadcasting of the UNCCD film on migration, a public event and an art contest. A facebook page was opened for the WDCD promotion. (Read report)

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Green Asia Network (GAN), the UNCCD Land for Life Award winner of 2014, carried out a tree planting initiative for the WDCD. On 16 June, college students planted 300 trees at the Agroforestry Training Center of Mongolia which is being built in cooperation with Ministry of Environment and Tourism in Mongolia, KT&G Social Welfare Foundation, and Green Asia Network. The Center will offer practice-orientated agroforestry education, emphasizing community co-operation to secure better livelihoods and serve as a base to spread campaigns to combat desertification. Currently 78% of the land in Mongolia risks becoming deserted and 91% is affected by desertification in Mongolia. Traditional nomadic life here is threatened by desertification, climate change and unbalanced development. As a result, communities are often forced to migrate to city slums in very poor living conditions. (Read report)

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Nepal

Grameena Vikas Samithi Voice of Animal-Nepal (VOAN), an organization that offers shelter and protection to injured and stray animals in the Kathmandu area as well as providing an awareness program, organized a rally on the on the occasion of the World Day.
I’ve put some pictures in the folder and here is a link to one of their videos.

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Pakistan

The ARTS Foundation celebrated the World Day with a tree planting initiative. 
 

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Philippines

The Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM), being the UNCCD National Focal Agency with support and assistance provided by Mr. Eduardo Queblatin, UNCCD LDN consultant, celebrated the World Day by holding a Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) Technical Consultation and Stakeholders’ Forum. The event was attended by representatives of agency-members from Land and Water Subcommittees of the Committee on the Conservation and Management of Resources for Development (CCMRD), Civil Society Organizations (CSO), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), United Nations Development Program (UNDP), State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) and the private sector.(Read report)

Republic of Korea

Every year, the Korea Forest Service (KFS) organizes an international symposium for the observance of the World Day and to promote public awareness of combating desertification and related issues. This year, KFS is organizing a symposium on 15 June 2017 in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Under the theme, “Combat desertification: finding sustainability”, the symposium will discuss the achievement of the 10-year Korea-Mongolia Greenbelt Plantation Project. In particular, the symposium will address participatory plantation management, Saxaul rehabilitation and ecological balance in the Gobi region, and future steps of the project. The event will facilitate cooperation and participation of local community in advancing efforts to combat desertification, building on the knowledge and experience gained by the Korea-Mongolia Greenbelt Project.   

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“Green Corps,” a green volunteering group composed of youths and seniors from various countries gathered in the Kubuqi desert in Inner Mongolia, China, to plant trees to celebrate the WDCD. This year, about 2,000 trees were planted by Green Corps and the residents from Dalateqi region. The sand-dune was fixed by Green Corps’ placing the tree branches on the ground. This was done so the sand doesn’t blow away and cover the planted trees. (Read the report)

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Syria

On the occasion of celebrating the World Day to Combat Desertification in 2017, the Ministry of Local Administration and Environment will hold a workshop in Damascus on 6 July under the theme, "Our Land. Our Home. Our Future." During the workshop, the indicators of land degradation and desertification in Syria, developed by the ACSAD Center and all concerned parties, will be presented. The workshop will be attended by several national bodies concerned with combating desertification and land degradation in Syria.

Thailand

On 16 June, Land Development Department as the National Focal Point of UNCCD to Thailand had organized the seminar to celebrate the World Day to Combat Desertification 2017.  The seminar was presided over by Dr. Teerapat Prayunsit, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives (MOAC), and there were about 250 participants from public, private agencies, and Civil Service Organization (CSO) attended the seminar.  The seminar focused on the experience sharing in land resource management from stakeholder agencies in Thailand which relevant to best practices on land improvement, forest management, economics of land degradation and LDN baseline and target setting. There were exhibitions on Agri-Map which was the decision-making support database for agriculture land management, Royal Project on deteriorated soil rehabilitation, and the works in forest and water resource management.  Moreover, the NFP also organized the Photo Contest under the theme “fertility and abundant on soil water and forest for sustainable land use”, and held the awards ceremony and photo exhibition for the winners at the seminar.  

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Europe

Belgium

To celebrate the Day, Federal Public Service for Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation will organize a  KLIMOS seminar on 14 June in Brussels, focusing on Integrated assessment of irrigated agriculture in the Maghreb region. Overview and case study in Morocco. On 17 June, a special message to celebrate the Day will be published on the Ministry's website.

France

The CSFD (French Committee on Desertification) plans to celebrate the Day with a one-day conference on 20 June at Agence Française de Développement, Paris. This event will cover topics including the fight against desertification through agroecology, pastoralism and degraded land restoration. See more details of the event (in French) 

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Groupe de Travail Desertification (GTD) is mobilizing on the occasion of the World Day. During the days leading up to 17 June GTD will launch a website and conduct an online campaign using videos and Facebook/ Twitter posts to raise awareness regarding drylands’ and rural population’s vulnerability to worsening land degradation. (View GTD postcard)

Georgia

Regional Environmental for the Caucasus (RECC) organized a series of activities in Dedophlistkaro to draw attention to the central role that productive land can play in turning unproductive and abandoned spaces into places that are stable, secure and sustainable, into the future. Also as part of action against Desertification, the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Protection of Georgia together with the representatives of Kakheti and Shida Kartli Municipalities, the Ministries of Agriculture and Regional Development and Infrastructure, local farmers and SCOs organized joint tree planting in degraded windbreaks area. (Link to event report on Facebook)
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Germany

As part of the WDCD observance, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH organized a high-level panel event on 21 June in conjunction with the opening of a special exhibition, “Planet Desert – Our land. Our home. Our future.” by renowned photographer Michael Martin. The event and the exhibition was held at the Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig (ZFMK).

 

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Hungary

The General Directorate for Water Management (GDWM) organized a conference to celebrate the World Day. About 65 people among scientists, decision makers and other interested participants attended the conference. The focus of this year’s event was the importance of productive land in reversing the constant flow of migrants, forced to move due to their territory’s degradation, giving them a chance to go back to their land and have a promising future. Following the slogan ‘Our Land. Our Home. Our Future’, a number of speakers gave speeches regarding water management, national and worldwide soil degradation and international projects for sustainable agriculture. (Read report on the GDWM site)

Italy

The Engineering Society of Messina is organizing two events to celebrate the Day: (1) On 16 June, a round table, "Strategies for the Reversibility of Desertification in Sicily" will be organized at Giardini Naxos; and (2) On 17 June, a technical seminar will be held in Floresta for "Desertification Hazardous Landscapes in Sicily" (see Brochure). 

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Desertification Research Centre (University of Sassari), the Municipality of Sassari and Cinearena organized, "Rasgioni: the drought court" on 16 June in the courtyard of Palazzo Ducale, Sassari in the region of Sardinia. Traditionally, "La Rasgioni" was used in Sardinia as a public mediation process for reconciling two parties whenever a conflict, often regarding property or livestock, could not be solved in other ways. The event organizers used this model of the reconciliation process to promote a public debate on drought and draw attention to issues such as climate change, consumption and degradation of the land and to the hidden connections between daily practices and the deterioration of resources. 

For further information, visit:
https://www.facebook.com/desertificazione/
https://www.facebook.com/rasgioni/
http://www.mdpi.com/2073-4441/9/4/297

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Slovenia

On the 14 June, Slovenian Environment Agency, hosting the Drought Management Center for South-eastern Europe, will organize the national seminar titled,“Prepare for drought” (see BrochureProgramme, and #2017 WDCD logo in Slovene). 

Several representatives of ministries, hydrological and meteorological service, water agencies, institutes, faculties, agricultural chamber, water companies, NGOs and SMEs are invited to participate in a discussion about drought risk and impacts assessment. They are also invited to provide ideas on how to improve drought management. The event will combine knowledge gained from previous and on-going projects on drought in South-eastern Europe. Special emphasis will be given to stakeholders’ involvement in the recently launched DriDanube project, focusing on pro-active preparedness for drought and increased drought resilience in Slovenia and all other affected areas.

Spain

Danyadara, a not-for-profit permaculture project focused on land regeneration, celebrated the World Day by organizing a number of awareness raising activities. On Tuesday evening, they gave a guided tour visiting their edible permaculture gardens. They also held a presentation showing some videos produced by them, to stress and educate participants about the importance of replenishing soil fertility through sustainable agricultural practices. On Wednesday evening, they carried out a volunteer watering session on the organization’s premises, to further inspire and engage the public regarding the importance of water and land resources in Andalusia and the rest of the World. Danyadara will also be launching a crowdfunding campaign for creating a food forest in their 18acre dry wheat field. 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/danyadarapermaculture/?fref=ts

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An NGO "RSF" plans the World Day celebration by holding an event which studies the impacts of land degradation/erosion and promotes a traditional land restoration method using wild grass from grasslands. The method does not use any chemicals and instead uses natural control by sheep.

Turkey

Each year, General Directorate of Combating Desertification and Erosion organizes various activities in celebrating “World Day to Combat Desertification” on each June 17. This year, the Directorate held the official observance ceremony in the Conference Hall of the General Directorate of Forestry under the theme, “Our Land. Our Home Our Future.” Among the high-level participants were Minister of Forestry and Water Affairs Dr. Veysel Eroğlu, Minister of Forestry and Water Affairs Harun Tüfekçi, Parliamentary Environmental Commissioner Cihan Pektaş, TBMM Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Affairs Commissioner Recep Konuk, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs Akif Özkaldı and General Managers of the Ministry's Affiliated Institutions as well as representatives from non-governmental organizations. Following the speeches of the high-level participants, awards were given to the students who won the painting, composition and poster contests. (Read report)

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Also this year, the General Directorate of Forestry’s Istanbul Regional Office and UNCCD’s Northern Mediterranean Regional Coordination Unit have collaborated to arrange an organization in one of the most popular shopping malls in Turkey, Istinye Park AVM. Thanks to the great interest Turkish people have shown, 1,500 stone pine seedlings as well as handouts, flyers and other related materials were successfully distributed during the event. The General Directorate  also organized the “Ankara Contemporary General High School Student Banner Competition" under the theme “Desertification and Future,” along with a painting competition in two secondary schools near Ankara, aiming to increase people’s interest in the fight against desertification and build knowledge on desertification among the young generations. 

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The Turkish Foundation for Combating Soil Erosion, for Reforestation and the Protection of Natural Habitats (TEMA) plans to carry out a social media awareness activity and other various events with grassroots communities to observe the Day.

First, on 15 June a panel on Combating Desertification will take place at the TEMA headquarters in Istanbul.  The UNCCD Regional Unit Head Erdogan Ozevren and Dr. Ulas Sunata (Academic at Bahceshir University) will be speaking at the event and Dr. Hikmet Ozturk (TEMA Head of Department, Forestry and Rural Development) will act as moderator. Second, awareness raising action throughout Turkey will be promoted: TEMA volunteers and Youth TEMA members are invited to take photos and share with these hashtags:  #2017WDCD # OurLandOurFuture. Third, participation in UNCCD's social media campaign.

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LAC

Argentina

Fundacion Agreste will launch the first set of UNCCD capacity building courses in Spanish on 17 June. It is an important step that gives the Spanish-speaking countries complete access to all the training courses developed by the UNCCD secretariat. (Read press release)

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La Fundación Argentina a las Naciones Camino a la Verdad – FANCV, in the framework of the FANCV / ODS-UN CAMPAIGN: "POR AMOR A LA VIDA... TAMBIÉN SON MI PRIORIDAD", it conducted multiple awareness-raising  activities from 5 June to 20 June for the  "World Environment Day / Oceans / Combating Desertification and Drought / Refugees " . The events focused on relationship between FANCV and the UN sustainable development objectives, through various modalities and in different fields of participation.
Read activity report
FANCV blog on the observance
View events on YouTube  

Barbados

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In the spirit of the theme for the year, activities were chosen to highlight the importance of sustainable land management and conservation. Students from primary schools visited a plant nursery at the headquarters of the Soil Conservation Unit. The nursery houses 100 000 potted plants and works to maintain biodiversity through multiplication of endangered plants and rare species.  

Read full report

Colombia

The Ministry of the Environment and Sustainable Development, together with other organizations, organized a week of activities to sensitize participants about land degradation and how to counteract it. On 12 June, in the morning, there were interventions and discussions on the UNCCD’s work and then about ‘Soils and Perspectives’ during the afternoon session. On Tuesday 13 June, an excursion took place at the Entrenubes Mountain Ecological Park. Young people, students and interested citizens took part in the event to learn about land degradation and its causes. On 14 June, a tree planting day was held in the Las Mercedes Forest. The forest reforestation actions were carried out together with citizens including the youth. Finally, an open seminar was organized on 15 June on the subject, "Processes, Impacts and Challenges of Colombian Soils." (Read report, Watch video)

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Equador

The Pasochoa Wildlife Refuge is organizing the event, “I Plant my Future: Responsible Reforestation to Fight Desertification” on 17 June. The objective of the event is to inform young people about reforestation practices and engage them with nature, building environmental awareness. (See programme)

Grenada

Grenada will celebrate the World Day to Combat Desertification by hosting a number of activities. First, the Minister of Agriculture, Lands Forestry and Fisheries, H.E. Mrs. Yolande Bain Horsford, will make a national address on the need to combat desertification. Secondly, WDCD videos will be circulated on all national media. Furthermore, the Happy Hill Secondary School and Ministry of Agriculture will sign a MOU to establish a fruit tree orchard in the school’s farm to promote sustainable land management.

Jamaica

Understanding that unproductive and abandoned spaces can be turned into productive places that are stable, secure and sustainable in the future; Observance of world day to combat desertification and drought will seek to educate Jamaica’s population about the effects of unsustainable land management practices on water and land resources and will highlight the fact that each citizen has a role to play. Desertification and drought is a composite hazard that impacts food security. Also, the local sustainable development planning process will be used to mainstream sustainable land management practices locally as well as land neutrality degradation targets.  An integrated approach is envisioned. As such observance plans will be geared at:

  1. Information bites on national radio stations: June 14 – 17, 2017
  1. Newspaper Supplement – Saturday, June 17, 2017
  1. Interagency Workshop and Presentations (including Local Authorities and Rural Agricultural Development Agency) – Friday, June 16, 2017

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Mexico

CONAFOR will organize a workshop on the launch of a national process to establish development targets for Earth Degradation Neutrality (NDT). The event will take place in the morning of 16 June in Mexico City (see Programme).  The event will start with an opening speech, presenting the relevant element that will initiate an informed discussion regarding the components that should be included in a national strategy to implement concrete measures aimed at neutralizing land degradation in Mexico.


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In Puebla, the Department of Agricultural Sciences Research of the Instituto de Ciencias-BUAP together with the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fishing and Food and the Ministry of Social Development is organizing a state workshop under the theme, “Sustainable land management and Soil reclamation, water collection methods, soil recovery, water basins’ approach and participatory diagnosis as a tool for soil recovery. (see Flyer and Programme).  The workshop will take place from 12 - 16 June at the Botanical Garden in Puebla.

Venezuela

The General Directorate of Watershed Conservation and the Ministry of Popular Empowerment for Ecosocialism and Water will be carrying out a great number of activities across 24 states. The initiative is comprised of 23 days of reforestation and the planting of more than 9000 plants. (See activity plans)

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For the World Day to Combat Desertification, CIARA Foundation is organizing the 3rd annual Ecological Walk and a workshop, PROSALAFA III: Sustainable Rural Development Project for Food Security of the semiarid zones of the Lara and Falcón states, III”. The Ecological Walk will take place in the National Park Cerro Saroche, State of Lara. (See event invitation workshop programme)

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Other

Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA)

ESCWA organized an event on the 15 June at the UN House in Beirut in collaboration with the Issam Fares Institute (IFI) at the American University of Beirut (AUB), under the auspices of the Lebanese Ministry of Agriculture. During the event the speakers addressed environmental issues and how they are  negatively effecting many across the Arab region, causing uneven population distribution and  jeopardizing economic and social development. (Read report on the ESCWA site)

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Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

As part of the World Day observance, FAO in cooperation with Iran and the Netherlands will organize the International Seminar on Drought and Agriculture on 19 June at the FAO Headquarters in Rome. The seminar aims at increasing agricultural resilience to drought, and reducing risk by advocating an integrated, proactive approach to drought planning, adaptation and management. For more information, visit: http://www.fao.org/land-water/events/events-detail/en/c/470286/

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World Bank

The World Bank will organize a panel discussion, “Land Degradation Neutrality and Landscape Restoration Opportunities” on 13 June at its headquarters in Washington DC. The event will try to answer the questions on: how to translate the SDG 15.3 target into action; how land degradation neutrality is related to restoration; and how we can take advantage of the LDN Fund. The exhibition and photo show of “Great Green Wall of Africa: Exhibit and Photoshow” will take place at the same time. 

UN Environment

To commemorate the Day, the UN Environment contributed a series of articles on land degradation and desertification. Read the articles.

  1. Addressing land degradation is good for your health (13 June)
  2. High and dry: Degraded lands are driving people from their homes (15 June)
     

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

IUCN set up a special page, "Living earth: Conserving healthy soils for resilient drylands" to celebrate the 2017WDCD. Visit the page.

World Overview of Conservation Approaches and Technologies (WOCAT)

WOCAT, a global network of practitioners, researchers and policymakers dealing with agriculture and natural resources, held a meeting in Cali, Colombia in advance of the WDCD, to discuss ways to facilitate wider use of available tools and methods and enable sustainable land management successes to be widely adopted. (Read press release)

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