'Without healthy soil, life is unsustainable'

18 May 2012

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The Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs has organized a meeting in Ankara together with the Turkish International Cooperation and Development Agency (TIKA), UN Convention on Desertification (UNCCD) Secretariat and other partners to mark the World Day to Combat Desertification.

Ankara – The Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs, TIKA and UNCCD reiterated their commitments on combating desertification during the meeting.

National and international representatives from ministries, governmental institutions and various NGOs have participated in the meeting.

Dr. Katalin Zaim, Environment and Sustainable Development Programme Manager of UNDP, forwarded the message of UN General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon on the World Day to Combat Desertification.

In his message, Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said; “Global efforts to halt and reverse land degradation are integral to creating the future we want. Sustainable land use is a prerequisite for lifting billions from poverty, enabling food and nutrition security, and safeguarding water supplies. It is a cornerstone of sustainable development.”

The upcoming sustainable development conference, to be held between the 20th and 22nd of June in Rio de Janeiro, follows on from the Earth Summit held in the same city in 1992, during which desertification, along with climate change and the loss of biodiversity, were identified as the greatest challenges to sustainable development.

“The World Day to Combat Desertification falls this year on the eve of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development. Rio+20 is our opportunity to showcase the many smart and effective land management systems and options that exist or are in the pipeline. Twenty years on from the adoption of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, let us ensure that a commitment to sustainable land management features prominently in the official outcome at Rio and in the wider mobilization for sustainability that will also be part of Rio’s legacy. Without healthy soil, life on Earth is unsustainable”, Ban Ki-moon said.

Please click here for the message of UN Secretary General.