Ouagadougou, June 15, 2017 - When land is productive, everything else follows; jobs, opportunities and life. The NEPAD Agency and its partners commemorated the 2017 World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought under the theme, ‘Our Land, Our Home, Our Future’ on June 15 in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.
Observed every year on June 17, the celebration aims to remind everyone that winning the battle against degraded land is achievable through problem-solving, strong community involvement and co-operation at all levels. This is because desertification and drought are a challenge facing the environment and a serious environmental phenomenon that threatens the wellbeing of communities. This year, the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought examined the important link between land degradation and migration.
Speaking at the event on behalf of the NEPAD Agency’s CEO, Sustainable Land and Water Management Team Leader, Mamadou Diakhite said, “Today, NEPAD has spared no effort to combat desertification and drought by addressing their root causes - whether man-made or natural. We present important lessons from some of our initiatives (TerrAfrica and Africa Forest Landscape Restoration 100) that promote sustainable development across the continent and fight the effects of desertification. In fact, not so long ago we met here in Ouagadougou to finalise a publication on the ‘State of Land Degradation and Restoration in Africa.’ The document will be published soon.”
Amongst the delegates at the event were the President of Burkina Faso, H.E Roch Marc Christian Kabore, who gave the official remark. The event was also attended by the United Nation Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) Executive Secretary, Monique Barbut, the President of Niger, H.E Mahamadou Issoufou and the President of Mali, H.E Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta. Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger, together with nine other countries are part of the Sahel and West Africa Programme (SAWP), in support of the Great Green Wall. SAWP is a tier two programme of TerrAfrica Partnership.
Desertification is the degradation of land in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas. It is caused primarily by human activities and natural phenomena such as global warming. According to the UNCCD, over 250 million people are directly affected by desertification, and about one billion people in over one hundred countries are at risk. These people include many of the world’s disadvantaged and marginalised communities.
On June 16, NEPAD Agency and its partners AU-SAFGRAD, Comité Inter-Etats de Lutte contre la Sécheresse dans le Sahel (CILSS) and Institut de recherche pour le Développement (IRD) concluded the commemoration with a workshop on Land Degradation Neutrality targets for Sahelian and West Africa member states.
To view Mamadou’s interview with Le Faso.Net visit http://lefaso.net/spip.php?article77847