13.06.2013 - UNESCO Office in Brasilia

UNESCO message for the World Day to Combat Desertification

Message from Ms Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, on the occasion of World Day to Combat Desertification, 17 June 2013


Don’t let our future dry up

We estimate between 100 to 200 million people live in arid and semi-arid areas with limited freshwater resources. By 2025, two-thirds of them will experience serious water stress – facing pressure from population growth, agricultural production, as well as rising salinity and pollution. The impact of climate change will increase water scarcity, increasing also the frequency of hydrological extremes. The poorest will be hit hardest, as obstacles to sustainable development harden. On this World Day to Combat Desertification, we must renew our commitment to supporting inclusive and sustainable solutions to managing water resources in dryland areas.

Water challenges are complex, so solutions must be equally multi-faceted. This calls for innovative thinking and for cooperation across the board, to preserve our ecosystems, to eradicate poverty and to advance social equity, including gender equality.

  • Complete message

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