"The management, conservation and sustainable development of dry forests are central to combating desertification. The ongoing greening of the Sahel and other success stories around the world show that degraded lands can be reclaimed by agroforestry and other sustainable practices. We need to scale up these interventions and disseminate their results widely."
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moonMessage on World Day to Combat Desertification17 June 2011
This year is the International Year of Forests and forests of the drylands cover 18% of the land in arid zones. Forests are critical to the eradication of poverty in the drylands and they are also the first step towards healing the drylands and protecting them from desertification and drought. Dryland forests are important biodiversity sanctuaries and provide ecosystem goods such as food, fuel, wood for construction, medicines and herbs. Dry forests are a buffer against drought and desertification and a safety net for the poor.
In 1994, the United Nations General Assembly declared June 17 the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought to promote public awareness of the issue, and the implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) in those countries experiencing serious drought and/or desertification.
UN launches decade-long drive
United Nations, World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought