World Day to Combat Desertification & Drought

World Day to Combat Desertification & Drought



The World Day to Combat Desertification has been observed since 1995 to promote public awareness relating to international cooperation to combat desertification and the effects of drought. It is a United Nations observance each June 17.


In 1994, the United Nations General Assembly declared (General Assembly Resolution A/RES/49/115) June 17 the “World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought” to promote public awareness of the issue, and the implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in those countries experiencing serious drought and/or desertification, particularly in Africa.

Ever since, country Parties to the Convention, organizations of the United Nations System, international and non-governmental organizations and other interested stakeholders have celebrated this particular day with a series of outreach activities worldwide.

The World Day to Combat Desertification is a unique occasion to remind everybody that desertification can be effectively tackled, that solutions are possible, and that key tools to this aim lay in strengthened community participation and co-operation at all levels.

Country Parties and civil society organizations are invited to organize events to celebrate the World Day to Combat Desertification as an additional opportunity to increase awareness raising and participation in the process.

Its purpose is to highlight ways to prevent desertification and recover from drought. Each annual celebration has a different theme.

Annual themes

  • 2015 – Attainment of food security for all through sustainable food systems
  • 2009 – Conserving land and energy = Securing our common future
  • 2008 – Combating land degradation for sustainable agriculture
  • 2007 – Desertification and Climate Change – One Global Challenge
  • 2006 – The Beauty of Deserts – The Challenge of Desertification
  • 2005 – Women and Desertification
  • 2004 – Social Dimensions of Desertification: Migration and Poverty
  • 2003 – International Year of Deserts and Desertification (IYDD)