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World Day to Combat Desertification

The World Day to Combat Desertification is celebrated every year on 17 June all over the world since 1995, the same year the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) was implemented, to mark the date that the Convention was adopted in Paris, France, in 1994. By 2005, 191 governments around the world had signed the UNCCD, which promotes effective action through innovative programmes and supportive international partnerships.

The aim of the United Nations in designating a day of observance is to sensitize the public and policy makers to the increasing dangers of desertification, land degradation and drought for the international community. The observance events are designed to get everyone to undertake at least one action that year to help minimize the threat highlighted. This being the International Year on Forests (, the World Day to Combat Desertification for 2011 will focus specifically on the forests in the drylands areas of the world, guided by the motto: ‘Forests Keep Drylands Working’.