UNCCD LogoThe UN Convention on Combating Desertification is one of the three Rio 1992 Convention and its secretariat has shown a lot of interest in engaging young people ahead of Rio+20. The UNCCD calls for youth contributions (in videos, pictures, or written articles format) on the issue of land conservation. By submitting your views on land and soil conservation you can have your contribution featured in Rio during the World Day to Combat Desertification and on the UNCCD webpage.

Our round Earth seems so large. But if you slice it into 32 equal pieces, only one piece represents the amount of fertile land that we had available for food production when we went to Rio in 1992. Today we have continued to degrade the land and soil so much that one in about five people survives on degraded land. It is not sustainable to live off land that over time produces less and less food and supports fewer and fewer animals. In the long run, this trend increases food security globally. Also, the dirt can turn to dust that stings your eyes and makes it hard to breathe.

The upcoming United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) is about creating the Future We Want. We want to know – what do children and youth want for the future of land and soil?

The UNCDD invites children and youth to send us their views on land. We welcome contributions on why taking care of the land matters and what you are doing about it. Children and youth include those age 25 and below.

Submissions may be made in the form of:

a) short video clips (less than 3 minutes) uploaded on youtube.com

b) pictures of your field activities

c) compelling articles of no more than 700 words

The best contributions from each region will be compiled and broadcast during the World Day to Combat Desertification, which will take place in Rio on 17 June. They will also be featured prominently on the UNCCD Rio+20 website prior to that date.

Submissions may be made in any one of the UN languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian or Spanish. A jury made up of staff from the UNCCD Secretariat will determine the winners.

The theme of this year’s World Day to Combat Desertification is: Healthy soil sustains your life, LET’S GO LAND-DEGRADATION NEUTRAL.

We are asking the Rio Conference to agree on a target for halting land degradation, that is, to ensure that land degradation is avoided altogether, and that whenever an acre of land is degraded, an acre of degraded land is restored and recovered.

Learn more at http://uncsd.iisd.org/news/unccd-invites-youth-to-send-submissions-on-their-views-on-land/ and http://www.unccd.int/en/media-center/MediaNews/Pages/highlightdetail.aspx?HighlightID=80

Submissions must be sent to the UNCCD secretariat by 11:59 pm GMT on 18 May 2012, addressed to:

Ms. Wagaki Mwangi

Public Information and Media Officer

Email: press@unccd.int and use as the subject of the email: ‘’Children’s and Youth Call’’.