The World Day to Combat Desertification is observed on June 17. The focus this year is “attainment of food security for all through sustainable food systems.”
According to the 2014 State of Food Insecurity report, some 805 million people—or 1 in 8—lacked sufficient nutritious food between 2012 and 2014. The vast majority live in developing countries. Although there has been significant progress towards meeting the hunger target in the Millennium Development Goals, progress across regions and countries is uneven.
With the slogan, “No such thing as a free lunch. Invest in healthy soil,” the 2015 Day calls for:
- A change in land use practices through climate-smart agriculture , especially in dry and fragile environments where water and food shortages are becoming increasingly severe
- Access to technology and land rights for smallholder farmers
- A balance in land use between ecology and consumption
- More investments in sustainable land practices
- More effective action on the invisible yet real effects of desertification on security, peace and stability for affected countries
Efforts on many levels are required to tackle hunger, including economic development, improving nutritional intake, and better management of natural disasters. A focus on land is critical. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, “More than 99.7% of our food calories come from the land.” But land for food production will become scarcer as global population rises.
Is there a problem with desertification or drought in your listening area? Could your audience benefit from a program on the World Day to Combat Desertification?
For more information on the Day—including details about events and resources—go to: http://www.un.org/en/events/desertificationday/