World marks day to combat desertification, drought

to () is being observed on Monday to raise awareness of international efforts on ways to recover and restore degraded soil.

"Every year, the world loses 24 billion tons of fertile soil. The dry-land degradation reduces national domestic product in developing countries by up to 8% annually," UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a video message on Sunday.

Guterres also called on the world to "urgently" change such tendency, saying protecting and restoring land can reduce "forced migration, improve food security and spur economic growth".

The global observance of WDCD along with the UN Convention to Combat Desertification was adopted in 1994.

According to UN data, 1.8 billion people will experience absolute water scarcity by 2025 and some 135 million people may be displaced as a result of desertification by 2045.

Turkey will host the global observance of WDCD and the 25th anniversary of the Convention themed "Let's grow the future together" on June 17-19.

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