Happy World Day to Combat Desertification (and Drought) 2014! Phew, that’s a long one – but it’s an important one.
This year’s theme of the day, coordinated by the United Nations, is “Land Belongs to the Future: Let’s Climate Proof It.”
Approximately 1.5 billion people globally depend on degrading areas for their livelihoods, and nearly half of the world’s very poor (42%) live in degraded areas, making them some of the most insecure places in the world, and in some cases their instability can destabilize entire political regions. (UN)
Basically, with climate change comes drought and desertification, which affects already climate change-stricken areas of the world.
The theme of this year was chosen to increase awareness about the potential of ecosystem-based adaptation as a strategy for coping with the impacts of climate change, especially in the drylands. Ecosystem-based adaptation means the strengthening of natural systems to cushion the worst impacts of climate change. When ecosystems are healthy, they are less vulnerable to the impacts and hazards of climate change.
This theme is so important, and it doesn’t just affect third-world countries. Look at the drought that happened in California last year (and is still plaguing the area).
This year, there are events on almost every continent to celebrate the day and provide educational materials to the whole world. Although we may seem helpless in the face of drought, we can LEARN MORE ABOUT IT to help spread information. Information is how we will help steward the land for our future generations.