World marks day to combat desertification, drought

World marks day to combat desertification, drought

ANKARA – Anadolu Agency

The World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought (WDCD) was observed on June 17 to raise awareness of international efforts on ways to recover and restore degraded soil.

“Every year, the world loses 24 billion tons of fertile soil. The dry-land degradation reduces national domestic product in developing countries by up to 8 percent annually,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a video message on June 16.

Guterres also called on the world to “urgently” change such tendency, saying protecting and restoring land can reduce “forced migration, improve food security and spur economic growth”.

The global observance of WDCD along with the UN Convention to Combat Desertification was adopted in 1994.

According to UN data, 1.8 billion people will experience absolute water scarcity by 2025 and some 135 million people may be displaced as a result of desertification by 2045.

Turkey has been hosting the global observance of WDCD and the 25th anniversary of the Convention themed “Let’s grow the future together” on June 17-19.