Village in the Thar Desert, India. © Matyas Rehak / Shutterstock

Inclusive cooperation for achieving Land Degradation Neutrality

Desertification is the result of a cycle of land degradation, turning once fertile soils into sterile land as a consequence of over-exploitation by intensive farming, forest exploitation for fuel and timber, and overgrazing. Thus, desertification does not refer specifically to desert areas, nor to arid lands but to the consequences of over-use of the Earth’s resources.

From the food we eat, to the clothes we wear and the houses we live – it all stems from land resources.

Desertification is a global phenomenon, affecting the livelihoods of 900 million people across the five continents and representing a third of worldwide threats to biodiversity. It requires global attention.

This year’s World Day to Combat Desertification advocates for the importance of inclusive cooperation to restore and rehabilitate degraded land and contribute towards achieving the overall Sustainable Development Goals, which include a target to achieve a land degradation‐neutral world by 2030 (Target 15.3).

© UN Photo/ Even Schneider
Onion and cassava garden in Senegal.

  We are also determined (…) to strengthen cooperation on desertification, dust storms, land degradation and drought and to promote resilience and disaster risk reduction     

Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, §33