Actions Around The World
This page reports on events and activities from around the world that promote action against desertification, land degradation and mitigation of drought. Your report is welcome (see contribution guidelines on the right).
Azerbaijan Presents Long-Term Integrated Research and Educational Program for Biodiversity Conservation
16.11.2016 – Scientists from the Azerbaijan Institute of Botany and the National Academy of Sciences together with local experts in geographic information systems and remote sensing have undertaken a joint project in rare vegetation research. The project has been developed as a long-term integrated research and educational program to build local capacity for biodiversity conservation.
Large-scale Long-term Landscape Restoration Projects Showcased
01.11.2016 – Amsterdam, Netherlands – Commonland Foundation presented a video update on one of its partner projects that engages local farmers, land users and experts to transform highly degraded landscapes of the Western Australian Wheatbelt into productive farms and healthy eco-systems connected by biodiversity and cultural corridors.
Another project is underway in the South Africa’s Baviaanskloof Hartland, where decades of overgrazing and unsustainable land management have accelerated effects of droughts and floods, leading to the loss of carbon capture, biodiversity and soil fertility. A switch from traditional goat farming to sustainable agriculture combined with reforestation with native plants is implemented to restore the land’s potential.
Regenerative farming practices that include composting, erosion control and water harvesting are the founding principle of the demo farm that is being set up by Commonland in the Los Veléz-Altiplano area of Spain. The farm will support the capacity building in the region and demonstrate the potential of innovative agricultural alternatives in the semi-arid area of Europe that suffers most from large-scale land degradation.
Save the Earth, Green Corps
27.09. 2016 – 06.10.2016 – New York, USA – “Save the Earth, Green Corps” cartoon exhibition took place at UN Headquarters in New York, showcasing artwork that addresses the threat of desertification and its effects on the environment.
Alongside paintings, caricatures and cartoons by such well-known artists as Marcin Bondarowicz of Poland and Lee Won-soo of Korea, the exhibition also presented heart-felt artwork by young students and informational videos on desertification and desert-restoration activities.
The Save the Earth Green Corps exhibition was organized by Future Forest Initiative, the World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA), the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and the Korea Foundation. The Future Forest Initiative, founded by a UNCCD Dryland Ambassador Byong Hyon Kwon, brings together youth volunteers though its Green Corps program with the goal to plant one billion trees in China’s Kubuchu Desert and prove that degraded lands can be successfully reclaimed.
The Green Handkerchief Campaign
15.09. 2016 – Beijing, China – UNCCD Dryland Ambassador and TV personality Liu Fang Fei introduced the “Green Handkerchief Initiative” at the event organized by the China Green Foundation. The initiative promotes use of fabric handkerchiefs instead of paper tissues. Reducing the need for paper products means less demand for tree cutting – this prevents deforestation, protects wildlife habitats, reduces pollution and other negative effects of paper industry, the third-largest industrial emitter of greenhouse gasses. The campaign symbol, a green handkerchief which represents the idea of bringing more green into our world by combating desertification and land degradation, has been prominently featured in online campaigns and at live events.
SEKEM Presents a Series of Articles on Sustainable Development to Celebrate WDCD
17.06. 2016 – Cairo, Egypt – As part of the World Day to Combat Desertification, the 2015 Land for Life Award winner SEKEM published a series of articles covering the role of sustainable development approaches in combating desertification. The articles call attention to the pressing need for environmental education and research in the country where rapidly growing population makes the problem of land degradation and its effects on availability of natural resources particularly urgent.
The SEKEM initiative has received the Land for Life Award for its outstanding commitment to combating soil erosion and protecting soil fertility by advancing sustainable agriculture practices in Egypt.
Belarus Has Restored 10 Percent of the Degraded Peatlands
17.06.2016 – Minsk, Belarus – Approximately 10 percent of degraded peatlands have been restored in Belarus to date, reflecting the results of the country’s strategy to combat land degradation, as well as to advance conservation and the sustainable use of peatlands. A the press-conference in honor of the World Day to Combat Desertification, the Head of Biological and Landscape Diversity of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of the Republic of Belarus Ms. Natalia Minchenko noted that the experience of Belarus with rewetting as a one of the elements of ecological rehabilitation of degraded peatlands is being picked up by other countries of Central and Eastern Europe. Belarus has become one of the pilot countries to implement projects in land restoration in order to achieve Land Degradation Neutrality by 2030, reversing the processes of land degradation and raising soil fertility and productivity.
In Ghana, Thousands Celebrate WDCD by Working to Restore Degraded Land
17.06.2016 – Bongo District, Ghana – 20,000 people in the Upper East Region of Ghana celebrated the World Day to Combat Desertification by taking part in various activities to restore and rehabilitate 2,000 hectares of degraded land – building and reinforcement of structures, composting, tree planting and creation of protected areas. Under the theme “Inclusive Cooperation for Achieving Land Degradation Neutrality, ” the event organizers worked to promote public awareness of the issue that affects dryland regions of Northern, Upper East and Upper West Ghana in particular, calling attention to human activities that contribute to land degradation, such as unsustainable farming practices, bush burning, uncontrolled tree felling and clear-cutting, mining and overgrazing.
Desertification, Cities and Me
16.06.2016 – Beijing, China – About 250 people have attended a special event organized by the World Future Council, SEE Foundation, State Forestry Administration and Beijing Forestry University to celebrate the World Day to Combat Desertification. The UNCCD Executive Secretary Monique Barbut addressed the audience, explaining how city residents are affected by desertification and what city dwellers can do to reduce the negative impacts of land degradation. “Restoring land enhances the capacity of cities to cope with urbanization, climate change, pollution and many other problems that are directly relevant to cities and their people,” Ms. Barbut emphasized. The dialog on the role of cities in the global fight against desertification and China’s part in these efforts continued during a panel discussion that included experts from academia, the private sector, government structures and UNCCD.
Sustainable Development Through Cooperation and Land Restoration
16.06.2016 – Wallerfield, Trinidad and Tabago – As part of the country's activities to celebrate the World Day to Combat Desertification, the University of Trinidad and Tobago hosted a lecture on sustainable development, given by UNCCD Secretariat's Capacity-Building Officer Dr. Richard Byron-Cox. He also facilitated the following discussion for students from around the country on issues of land degradation, climate change and biodiversity protection
While primarily known for the rainforests, the landcover of Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) is about one-fourth desert and drylands. In the Caribbean, unsustainable land management practices are causing soil degradation and damage of natural habitats, contributing to the loss of biodiversity and reduction of natural buffers to droughts and floods. This year’s World Day to Combat Desertification, held under the slogan “Protect Earth. Restore Land. Engage People,” advocated for the importance of inclusive cooperation to restore and rehabilitate degraded lands as a means of achieving sustainable development goals.
Lanzhou Marathon Celebrates World Day to Combat Desertification
11.06.2016 – Lanzhou, China – 40, 000 people participated in the Lanzhou International Marathon in the northwest dryland region of China to celebrate the World Day to Combat Desertification and promote its message “Protect Earth. Restore Land. Engage People.” Marathon was a part of series of events organized by China as the host of this year’s global WDCD observance. The celebrations also included public education events organized by the China Green Foundation to raise awareness on sustainable land management practices, land restoration and conservation. To commemorate WDCD, China has announced the “One Belt and One Road Joint Action to Combating Desertification” in cooperation with the neighboring countries connected by the historic Silk Road to promote Land Degradation Neutrality as a crucial element in achieving sustainable development goals.