World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought

17 June 2020

In 2020, the theme of World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought is “Food. Feed. Fiber.” Today 70% of all lands in the world have already been taken out of their natural state, which creates an excessive load on productivity and on irreplaceable land resources condition.

Land conservation and restoration is an integral part of achieving Sustainable Development Goals (1, 2, 13, 15) and has many associated benefits.

In today's globalized world, our food and clothing affect the soil thousands of kilometres away. But everyone can protect land resources if they change their lives a little, which helps maintain local well-being and sustainable ecosystem services. For this purpose, you can buy food and clothing without excess so that the amount of food waste and unnecessary clothing becomes minimal.

The Republic of Belarus also pays attention to preventing land degradation. The relevant National Action Plan is being implemented: it includes environmental rehabilitation of disturbed peatlands, reforestation after forest fires and reforestation on spreading sands, slopes and ravines. The use of minimum tillage and precision farming technologies in the application of mineral fertilizers and plant protection products is expanding, which allows to minimize the inflow of chemicals into the soil. Scientific institutions, such as Institute of Soil Science and Agrochemistry, Belarusian State University and Institute of Forestry work with the issue of land degradation prevention. An agreement on cooperation on peatland restoration in the Gomel region was signed with the support of the Government of the Republic of Korea and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification under the phase 2 of the project “Rehabilitation of drained peatlands in Belarus”. A National Action Plan for the Prevention of Land Degradation 2021-2025 is being developed. It will contribute to water retention and groundwater level rise, recreating field protection plantations and other measures to prevent land degradation.

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