World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought

ORANJESTAD - The General Assembly of the United Nations has officially declared June 17 as World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought.

The objective of this date is to raise awareness of the challenges associated with drought. The solution is in the hands of the community, and with their active participation and cooperation, we can address this issue. The Directorate of Environment and Nature DNM collaborates with the awareness campaign on this subject. It does not matter where in the world you live, as drought and desertification will affect everyone. On a global scale, 23% of the soil is no longer productive, while 75% of the soils have changed their natural state for agricultural use.

UN Convention to Combat Desertification.In Aruba, we have a dry climate, and there is a shortage of water. We need to protect our soil, maintain it in good condition and stop removing trees or rocks which protect the soil against erosion. Degraded soil is the effect of intensive farming practice, accelerated erosion, and climate change resulting in biodiversity loss. Human activities cause this degradation, and we must reverse it. We must restore the soil to help combat climate change and create biodiversity. A more sustainable soil management is required to counter soil degradation. A decade long of degraded soil can cause irreversible damage, while a decade long of restored soil can bring plenty of benefits to the well-being of humans, nature, and the environment.

This year’s awareness objective is to show that only together we can solve the soil degradation issue to have fertile and healthy soils. Awareness helps create more action to protect and restore the natural areas and advance more to reach the 17 SDGs of the United Nations.

Where do we stand now?

In Aruba, we have a limited amount of land destined for housing and other use such as agriculture. The practice of deforestation by bulldozing entire areas is outdated and hurts the soil quality and the environment. Removing trees and the top soil or excavation accelerates erosion and degrades the soil. Think about the unauthorized removal of trees or rocks that maintain the soil sediments in natural areas.

If you care about nature and your country and want to see other generations enjoy what you have today, you would condemn any nature-destroying practice.

World Day to Combat Desertification and DroughtWhat is the solution?

To stop further soil degradation, you can:

  • help create awareness on the subject;
  • share information with others;
  • change your habits and share your actions;
  • plan to preserve water and introduce better water management:
  • introduce an agriculture model that requires less water to grow and produce
  • plant more local plants in your garden;
  • seek expert help;
  • help organizations sow and plant;
  • learn more innovative agriculture practices and learn to live in harmony with nature
  • recycle and re-use water, irrigate efficiently and reduce water evaporation
  • choose a diverse diet;
  • invest in projects that promote rainwater-harvesting and or solar-powered water pumps.

The DNM hopes that the community becomes more aware of their water consumption and the use of the soils in Aruba and aspires that people will reestablish a relationship and love for nature. They urge the global community to work together to solve the soil degradation and drought issue.

For more information, please visit www.droughtland.com.

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