World Day to combat Desertification -17th June

Written by
Dr Ayub Macharia

This day was set aside by the United Nations (UN) on 17th June 1994 to mark the adoption of the UN Convection to Combat Drought and Desertification. It is estimated that about one third of the earth is arid or semi arid. With increased human population and pressure on the natural environment, it is feared that areas with desert climate will extend gradually causing a decline in productive arable land, forest, wetlands etc.
80% of Kenya is dry land. Kenya has been celebrating the day since 1995. The day appeals for international cooperation to promote awareness and action to address land degradation, drought and desertification.
Suggested activities
Identify elderly people to explain how the local environment used to be in the past. Look at issues like the size of the forests (if any was present), domestic animals kept, and materials used to built houses, peoples’ perception about the environment and threats to the environment.
Compare the findings above with how it is today. Explore ways of addressing the problems you identified in your research.
Plant trees in the school and surrounding areas.
Compose songs, drama, poems about causes, impacts and measures to combat desertification.
Develop posters to describe the process of desertification.
Form an Anti- desertification club to address this problem more persistently.
Write an essay or summary notes on how you celebrated the World Day to combat Desertification . Publicise your success on this blog.
For further Information ,contact:
Ministry of Environment, Water & Natural Resources
Drought monitoring centre
United Nations Environment Programme.

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