World Desertification and Drought Day

DD-Day 2023 – Press release

Towards World Desertification and Drought Day
Sassari, 16 June 2023

The Desertification and Drought Day (DD-day 2023), established in 1994 by the United Nations every 17 June, aims to promote public awareness of international efforts to combat desertification, loss of soil fertility and the resulting degradation of natural resources caused by human activities (pollution, excessive land use, overgrazing, deforestation, fires, irrigation with saline waters). The day is a unique opportunity to remind that the involvement and cooperation of communities at all levels is essential to combat soil degradation. The Secretariat of the UNCCD (the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification), the signatory countries of the convention and the stakeholders mark the day by organizing awareness-raising events around the world.

Under the theme “Her Land. Her rights” the focus of this year’s Desertification and Drought Day, marked worldwide on 17 June, is on women’s land rights as a key element of achieving the connected global goals of gender equality and land degradation neutrality by 2030. While land is the most critical economic resource for most rural poor, women around the world are less likely to own or control land than men, which exposes them to poverty, hunger, gender-based violence and displacement.

Investing in women’s equal access to land and associated assets is a direct investment in their future and the future of humanity. UNCCD will reaffirm its commitment to gender equality with these Desertification and Drought Day 2023 objectives:

  • Raise awareness of the disproportionate impact of desertification, land degradation and drought on women and girls and the barriers they face in decision-making on land issues.
  • Highlight women’s contributions to sustainable land management and broader SDGs.
  • Mobilize global support to advance land rights for women and girls around the world.

The Department of Agricultural Sciences and the Desertification Research Centre NRD at the University of Sassari (Italy), in collaboration with the National Research Council of Italy (IPSP-CNR), DesertNet International (DNI), and the Global Network of Dryland Research Institutes (GNDRI), will celebrate the DD-day 2023 under the patronage of UNCCD with an international event involving academic research and civil society representatives committed to the safeguarding of water resources and the fight against desertification and land degradation.

The first part of the event, which will take place in the Aula Magna “Barbieri” at the Department of Agricultural Sciences (Sassari) from 9:30 to 13:00, will be aimed at students, researchers, agronomists and citizens, and will concern issues related to the projects “I CARE SOIL (Citizen Science experience on soil protection), E.WA.S. (Environment and Water Solutions), VARCOR (Vermitechnology application for valorization and reuse of cocoa residues), TERRA (Employment of eco-sustainable technologies for the re-use of organic residues in the agricultural chain), FLUOROSI (Application of innovative methods and socio-economic analysis zione di metodi innovativi e analisi socio-economiche for the putification of natural water in East Africa).

The second part (virtual meeting), which will start at 2.00 pm, will host the international webinar: “Her Land. Her rights: a science-civil society dialogue on women’s efforts for drought and desertification challenges”, coordinated by Mauro Centritto (IPSP-CNR Director and member of the Civil Society Organizations Panel of the UNCCD), followed by a round table, coordinated by Anna Luise (ISPRA – UNCCD Scientific-technical Correspondent). Various PhD students, researchers and representatives of civil society will take part in the event.

The event will take place in hybrid mode via YouTube at the link:

The event leaflet can be downloaded from here.

Prof. Quirico Migheli
+39 320 922 55 48 /