Today is World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought. The day is observed every year to promote public awareness of international efforts to combat desertification. It is an occasion to remind everyone that land degradation neutrality is achievable through problem-solving, strong community involvement and co-operation at all levels. The theme for this year is Let's grow the future together.
In his message, United Nations Secretary General António Guterres said, desertification, land degradation and drought are major threats affecting millions of people worldwide, particularly women and children. He said, every year, the world loses 24 billion tons of fertile soil and dryland degradation reduces national domestic product in developing countries by up to 8 per cent annually. Mr Guterres said, there is a need to urgently change such trends.
He said, protecting and restoring land and better using it can reduce forced migration, improve food security and spur economic growth. He added that it can also help to address the global climate emergency. The UN Secretary General called upon people to recognize the imperative of combating desertification as part of the efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar will deliver a keynote address at an event in New Delhi today to mark the occasion. (AIR NEWS)