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Daily News Analysis

World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought 2024

19th June, 2024 Environment

World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought 2024

Source: Down to Earth

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  • The United Nations urges support from all generations for sustainable land stewardship, marking the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).
  • The upcoming 16th Conference of Parties (COP16) to the UNCCD in Riyadh aims to accelerate global efforts to combat land degradation and promote environmental sustainability.


Key Points

  • World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought:
    • Observed annually on June 17, this day promotes awareness and action to combat land degradation and highlights the importance of sustainable land management.
  • Youth Engagement:
    • The UN emphasizes the role of young people in land restoration, citing their potential to contribute to economic growth and environmental sustainability by creating millions of jobs in the coming years.
  • Current Challenges:
    • Up to 40% of the world's land is affected by degradation, impacting nearly half the global population, with the most severe effects on indigenous communities, rural households, smallholder farmers, youth, and women.
  • Soil Health:
    • Healthy soils are crucial for addressing global challenges such as climate change, biodiversity loss and food security, as they retain water and support plant growth.

COP15 Outcome:

  • UNCCD COP15 adopts 38 decisions, including on tenure, migration and gender, that highlight the role of land in addressing multiple crises.
    • Robust monitoring and data to track progress against land restoration commitments.
    • New political and financial impetus to help nations deal with devastating impacts of drought and build resilience.
    • US $2.5 billion Abidjan Legacy Programme will help future-proof supply chains while tackling deforestation and climate change.
    • Regional initiatives launched in support of the Africa-led Great Green Wall.
    • Nearly 7,000 participants at two-week meeting included delegations from 196 countries and the European Union.
    • Future UNCCD meetings to be held in Saudi Arabia, Mongolia, Uzbekistan.



  • 1994

Legally Binding Agreement:

  • UNCCD is the only international agreement linking environment, development and sustainable land management (arid, semi-arid, dryland focus).

Combating Desertification & Drought:

  • Focuses on desertification, land degradation and drought, especially in severely affected countries (Africa).

Supporting SDGs:

  • Aims to achieve goals of the 2030 Agenda, particularly SDG 15 (Life on Land).

Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN):

  • Pushes for restoration of 1.5 billion hectares of degraded land by 2030 (SDG target).

Conference of Parties (COP):

  • Bi-annual decision-making body for UNCCD policy and progress review.


Down to Earth


Q. With reference to the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought, consider the following statements:

1. It commemorates the adoption of the UNCCD.

2.The 2024 event was held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

3.The theme for 2024 emphasizes the role of youth in land restoration.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

A) 1 and 2 only

B) 1 and 3 only

C) 2 and 3 only

D) 1, 2, and 3

Answer: B)