Minister Bibeau issues statement on World Day to Combat Desertification


June 17, 2017 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, today issued the following statement on World Day to Combat Desertification:

“Today, on World Day to Combat Desertification, Canada and the global community recognize the serious issues of desertification, drought, and land degradation. Climate change, one of the greatest challenges facing the world, is making these issues more acute. Canada recently re-established its support for the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) by rejoining the Convention, which is key to our commitment to the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

“Every year, the cumulative effects of overgrazing, over-cultivation, deforestation, poor irrigation combined with increasing extreme weather events have serious implications worldwide for poverty eradication, stability and sustainable development.

“Canada is committed to improving the living conditions of the world's most vulnerable people, including women and girls, and to addressing the serious implications of desertification.

“Canada will continue to seek opportunities for constructive progress on the environment, to bring a positive approach to global conversations about climate change and to work with others to find workable solutions.”

Quick Facts

  • Like poverty, desertification affects women and girls disproportionately.
  • According to the UNCCD, in sub-Saharan Africa, an estimated 75 percent of the land is degraded and 10 million hectares becomes so every year. For farmers, this represents lost income of more than $4 billion annually. For woman farmers it’s even worse, because women often have access only to less fertile land.
  • In the next few decades, desertification could create as many as 135 million climate refugees.


Marie-Emmanuelle Cadieux
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of International Development and La Francophonie

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada

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