UN Day to Combat Desertification & Drought

Toronto, June 17th, 2015 – In recognition of the June 17th UN Day to Combat Desertification and Drought, Canadian Feed The Children’s (CFTC) Sohel Khan, Senior Advisor, Food Security and Environmental Sustainability prepared a brief reflection:

“Today is the UN Day to Combat Desertification and Drought and the focus this year is the ‘attainment of food security for all through sustainable food systems.’ This theme resonates deeply with CFTC’s mission and programs, especially with the programs we support in Ethiopia and northern Ghana where desertification and drought are significant challenges.


A farmer in northern Ghana plants yams

For example, in northern Ghana approximately 35% of the land mass is desert and desertification is proceeding at an alarming rate of 20 000 ha per year (EPA 2009) due to deforestation and unsustainable land use practice. The harmful impacts of global climate change are intensifying this environmental degradation. This has direct impacts on agricultural yields and consequently, food security and poverty. Small holder farmers and their households are the worst sufferer of these environmental challenges.

The UN Day of observance calls for a change in our land use practices through smart agriculture and adaption to changing climate, access to technology and land rights for small holder farmers, a balance in the land use for ecology and consumption, more investments in sustainable land practice, and effective action on desertification.

To address these complex challenges, CFTC has implemented CHANGE, a program supporting 17 communities and more than 400,000 women and men smallholder farmers and their children in northern Ghana. CHANGE works to improve smallholder farmers’ adaptive capacity and increase their resilience to the impacts of climate change on agriculture, food security and livelihoods. This transformational project has had incredible impact on communities in northern Ghana.

CFTC is proud to work in alignment with the UN’s vision to attain food security for all through sustainable food systems. We look forward to continuing this important work to help children and their families thrive.”

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