Every year on 17 June, the global community celebrates the World Day to Combat Desertification (WDCD). The theme of this year's WDCD is “Land Belongs to the Future - Let’s Climate Proof It” and focuses on ecosystem-based adaptation.    

The objective is to increase the attention given to land and soil within climate change adaptation; mobilize support for sustainable land management (SLM); and call for the inclusion of land and soil and their significance to food security into national climate change adaptation policies.

The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is the sole legally binding agreement linking environment and development to SLM. Land and soil play a crucial role in mitigating and adapting to climate change. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the UNCCD institutions, as well as the other Rome-based UN Agencies and their host, the Government of Italy, are fully committed to supporting the implementation of the UNCCD in order to increase resilience to climate change and drought through the promotion of SLM practices as a means to improve people’s livelihoods.

Taking into account the implications of dwindling natural resources and increasing competition for water and land, including forests and agrosilvopastoral systems, on national and global security, FAO, UNCCD and the Government of Italy  joined forces by establishing an Office of the Global Mechanism (GM) of the UNCCD at FAO, which is in charge of implementing the GM Programme on “Liaison – Land, Security and Resilience”. The office has been functional since 1 April 2014 and aims to improve people’s livelihoods and resilience to food insecurity, climate change and drought through increased investments in sustainable land-based practices.

On the occasion of the 2014 WDCD and in the context of the 149th session of the FAO Council, the Government of Italy, FAO and the GM are celebrating the inauguration of the GM’s Office at FAO with a side event on “Land for Life – How Sustainable Land Management can Improve People’s Livelihood and Resilience”. The side event will highlight activities of FAO, UNCCD and the Governments of Italy and Kuwait to combat desertification, land degradation and drought and present the priorities of the newly established GM office at FAO.

For more information:

Mr Sven Walter, Programme Officer
Liaison - Land, Security and Resilience
Tel. +39 06 5705 54276
swalter (at)





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