The World Day to Combat Desertification was held last Monday, the 17th of June under the theme “Don’t let our future dry up”. This date been set aside for this purpose ever since the 17th of June 1994 when the UN launched the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification and decided to set aside a day each year on which to draw public attention to the problem.
Almost 1.2 billion people (that’s nearly 20 percent of the population of the earth) live in areas in which water is really scarce and another 500 million are relentlessly moving towards a similar situation. This year’s objective was to create public awareness of the risks inherent in drought and water scarcity in arid zones and elsewhere in the world, and to highlight how important it is to guarantee healthy soil to allow sustainable development to exist.
A hash tag was launched for this day in Twitter – #WDCD2013 and a page set up in Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/UNCCD is still active.
Given the importance and the extremely serious nature of the problem, World Tourism Day will also focus on desertification. The tourism industry’s most important day will carry the theme Tourism and water and this year’s International Day of Tourism will be held officially on the 27th of September in the Malvinas.