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Updated on July 2, 2017

A Global Security Concern by unitednations

The United Nations

December, 1994: The United Nations General Assembly declared June 17th as 'World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought. It is a day of observance, not a holiday.

Why is it Observed: The United Nations has acknowledged that desertification and drought effects world regions, not just Africa.

Activities for this Observance Day:

*Educational Activities: Related to countering the problem of desertification. Such as: the presentation of case studies, and discussions on how desertification affects us globally.

*Promotional Activities: Distributing handouts to raise awareness of the problem.

*Who Participates: The United Nations, non-governmental agencies, stakeholders, research and engineering firms (who come up with plans to protect the land that is good and fertile to use) and villagers/citizens also participate in raising awareness of this issue as well as participating in the hands-on work when necessary and applicable.

The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification

The Logo: A tree, which represents the roof. The sun, representing warmth and life and the dunes, the earth.  Other agencies or groups involved in the process may use their own logo.  Usually the colors are earthy.

What is Desertification: The wasting away of land such that it is no longer fit for agricultural purposes. It is naturally influenced in climates that are extremely dry. However, it is also a man-made effect.

The Aral Sea shrinking

Disappearing Waters:

Lakes and seas that were once good for fishing are now vanishing, literally, into thin air. Extremely dry climates cause increased evaporation of the water contained in the lakes and seas. Mans influence is due to wars and the overuse of farmland. When farmland is not receiving the proper care for the continual turnover of crops, the land wastes away.

It is said that the violation of the land by man has a greater degrading effect.

Poor land development, where measures are not taken to prevent its wasting away increases proverty and populations. Resources are depleted and people reside closer together in the hope of working closely to aid one another in their time of need. However the depletion of resources also result in a people who are malnourished and easily afflicted by other issues of ill health. The wasting away of fertile land gives rise to greater natural disasters such as immense dust storms, which cause major health problems, especially in overpopulated areas.

Can desertification and drought affect where you live?  The United Nations seems to believe so.


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    • Support Med. profile imageAUTHOR

      Support Med. 

      7 years ago from Michigan

      Must be an awesome experience to live in the desert. Thanks for your visit and comments.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Each one of us has a responsibility to protect Mother Earth, including her beautiful deserts. It is so sad, for me, to see lakes and rivers drying up. Yes, some areas that suffer drought may not directly affect us, however indirectly in certainly does. My sister has lived in the desert for many years and loves it so much.

      Excellent hub, Support Med. :) vocalcoach

    • Support Med. profile imageAUTHOR

      Support Med. 

      7 years ago from Michigan

      Thanks Jellybird for your visit and comments. Never actually been to a desert, but have driven through some dry land, cacti and all. Your words in regards to the desert, 'give it a boundary...' has more meaning than meets the eye. Hope you have a good day!!!

    • Jellybird profile image


      7 years ago

      I absolutely love deserts, the silences and long slow distances and the heat and the cold and the emptiness. It's a good place to replenish - I am glad they exist. I grew up in The Karoo and saw a lot of creeping desert. I am not sure it is stoppable, but it would be nice to just be able to give it a boundary and say - 'til here, no further. Enjoyed your hub, thanks.

    • Support Med. profile imageAUTHOR

      Support Med. 

      8 years ago from Michigan

      Hoping wise decisions will be made to our benefit. Thanks for reading/commenting. Have a good one!

    • Coolmon2009 profile image


      8 years ago from Texas, USA

      This is disturbing water is the basis of life on this planet. Thanks for this information. Good article!

    • Support Med. profile imageAUTHOR

      Support Med. 

      8 years ago from Michigan

      Thank you for visiting/commenting and for the Rainwater Harvesting; In Dry Lands & Beyond tip. I will def read your hub once published. Have a great day!

    • LillyGrillzit profile image

      Lori J Latimer 

      8 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas

      Thank you for writing on this topic. Water supplies are vital to survival of all species. I will be writing more about it, but there is a wonderful process called Rainwater Harvesting;In Dry Lands & Beyond, a work started by Brad Lancaster and small group of people who care about our habitat. It is a solution to consider for the very bad news we are facing...

    • Support Med. profile imageAUTHOR

      Support Med. 

      8 years ago from Michigan

      Hope we are all respected as human beings. Thanks for reading/commenting.

    • Eileen Hughes profile image

      Eileen Hughes 

      8 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      Very important issue, governments need to protect our waterways. Without water there is no life at all human or otherwise. Rated up

    • Support Med. profile imageAUTHOR

      Support Med. 

      8 years ago from Michigan

      I am only hoping that the situation will be observed in the right way. Lady_E, I get the feeling that I am of a concern to you. This is an important issue, elder abuse is an important issue; it just seems to be what has caught my interest for now. It does appear that what I write about has changed from when I first started on HP. Who knows, tomorrow I may write about snowflakes and fireflies, LOL! All is well; thanks for reading and commenting. Peace!

    • Lady_E profile image


      8 years ago from London, UK

      What a scary situation. It's good that the day is observed and the situation should be observed all year too (There's not a lot we can do in one day)

      Thanks for bringing this to our awareness. You write on very important issues.

      Ps. Hope all is well with you. Warmest Wishes. :)

    • Support Med. profile imageAUTHOR

      Support Med. 

      8 years ago from Michigan

      Since I first wrote this hub I found out that there is so much more to 'the story' than I ever thought possible.You will NOT get any flak from me. I too believe that we should 'think together on these issues, not one sided." It is really a sad day when butterflies are placed before the human race. It is also a sad day when an animals belch or its passing gas is being blamed for global warming. It is sad that the fertile land of farms in your area have had to close down; and the question becomes 'what will now happen with that land?' If it is ignored, it will contribute to the problem of much land being desert. And it's sad that the drought of that land is caused by denial of conservation groups to allow the water to be utilized. My findings all point to the greed and love of money, Water as a 'precious commodity' will cost more money and limit persons to afford it--and blaming the livestock means meat prices will go up and only the rich will be able to consume beef and bacon. Let us pray. Thanks for your knowledgeable input, much appreciated Just A Voice. Peace!

    • profile image

      Just A Voice 

      8 years ago

      The thing that drives me crazy is that sometimes political run agendas also take an idea too far.

      I live in an agriculture area. We supply a lot of food for our country. However, water is a huge issue here. Not for agricultural purposes, but for wild life purposes.

      I am a big fan of wild life. I love animals of all kinds and am for conservation of their survival.

      HOWEVER...when politics decide that a salamador, a tiny fish, a butterfly, an owl...or (fill in the wildlife name) becomes more important than providing food for the people...and at an extreme thought level, not a sane one...then something is wrong.

      I have seen, in our area, farms close down...actual working farms that provide food for not just the local area, but for America, close down because they couldn't get the water they needed because some wildlife could POSSIBLY be in jeopardy...this is wrong.

      I think that conservation and working the land can live harmoniously. Call me crazy...but if they would work together it would be a win-win. Besides, are we really going to say that animals trump people, just so some extreme conservation group gets to say they saved a butterfly? Meanwhile we lose a source of food for our families?

      I'm not talking hysterically. We are actually in an area that water has become a precious commodity. The reason...conservationalists won't let us build dams to add to our water reservoirs. The last reason I heard was because in the place they wanted to build the dam some butterfly lived there. And if we built a dam, the butterfly would become extinct. Okay...

      A.) The world has been changing it's geography since the beginning of time. If water starts rising...wouldn't the butterfly move up out of it's way and adapt to the new area? It's not like they are being moved out of state...just a bit further up the hill. It seems to me that life has been adjusting to changes and doing just fine. It's not as if their particular place would be catastrophically flooded instantly with no chance of escape and wipe out the whole butterfly community like a B-rate action movie.

      B.) Don't humans count more than wildlife? I mean, I love animals, I have a big heart for them. But seriously, are they more important then the survival of the human race? Are we really okay with saying it's okay that families have had to shut down and lose their generational farms due to lack of water...because we saved some butterflies?

      I don't think we're giving the animal kingdom enough credit to be able to survive change especially when you think about all the changes they've gone through to survive to this point!

      I don't know...I will probably get some flak over this point of view...but I just think that we need to think together on these issues, not so one sided.

      Good thought provoking hub :)

    • Support Med. profile imageAUTHOR

      Support Med. 

      8 years ago from Michigan

      hynodude,prasetio30 and tom hellert: Thank you for reading and commenting. The more I find out, the more unreal this all sounds. Whether it happens by climate or is man-made, man must step in to help repair the problem. Hope we can love our planet enough to do so, without limiting our food sources. Peace.

    • tom hellert profile image

      tom hellert 

      8 years ago from home

      As i understand it Lake Chads disappearance was due to over removal of water and the arial sea is due to istostacy- rebound from the former ice sheet retreat- but I might be thinking of the Caspian Sea/Black Sea

    • prasetio30 profile image


      8 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Thanks Support Med, this was so informative. I never saw the desert directly. These earth getting old, my friend. It always change by the time. Thanks for share this valuable information. I learn much from this hub. Two thumbs up for you.


    • hypnodude profile image


      8 years ago from Italy

      Very interesting Support Med, water shortage will be a big issue in the future, much more than today. Rated up and useful of course. :)

    • Support Med. profile imageAUTHOR

      Support Med. 

      8 years ago from Michigan

      katiem2: Thank you for visiting/commenting. I have found that this pertains to more than just our water. I only hope that the greed of 'man' will not consume his reasoning to do what is right for our land. Peace.

      Skye: Thank you for stopping by! And, yes, I did spend much time exploring and researching and refer back to this topic every now and then and find that it is a very in-depth study indeed. I have found that I have not even begun. But, that's what happens when you research/explore. What you know is improved upon and then there are new discoveries as well. Peace.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Thank you for sharing amazing infomation. You must have spent much time exploring and researching. I am Blessed to be at the recieving end. I am thankful for your hard work and fabulous writing. I will be back. You were referred by hypnotude on one of her hubs. That is how I got here. Many Blessings on your hub journey.

      Do come over for a read when you have a minute. I would be honored. Sending a virtual hug. Keep on sister.

      voted up and asesome!!!

    • katiem2 profile image


      8 years ago from I'm outta here

      This is very interesting, water is such a precious natural resource, this is intriguing and vital to learn more about how our planet will react. WOW! :)

    • Support Med. profile imageAUTHOR

      Support Med. 

      8 years ago from Michigan

      Yes, it is a serious issue. More than even I thought, as we sometimes think that certain things cannot happen in our neck of the woods. Thanks for commenting and reading.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      8 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Support Med, I think this is a very serious issue and I am glad you wrote this interesting hub. I didn't know a lot of that information. Definitely rated up!


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