The International Resource Panel (IRP) Co-Chair Janez Potočnik and Expert Panel Member Dr. Jeff Herrick were invited by the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) to record a video for the 2020 Desertification and Drought Day global observance event, which is scheduled to be live online on 17 June 2020.

This year, the Desertification and Drought Day focuses on changing public attitudes towards the leading driver of desertification and land degradation: humanity’s relentless production and consumption.

As the world population grows and becomes wealthier and more urban, there is a significant increase in demand for land to provide food, animal feed and fibre for clothing. At the same time, we are seeing a declining trend in the health and productivity of existing arable land, exacerbated by climate change.

It is therefore important to change our lifestyles, and the way we consume and produce, to reduce our environmental impact.

The IRP video, as part of the 2020 Desertification and Drought Day global observance event, aims to raise public awareness of sustainable land use and restoration. The video presentation is structured in three parts. First, Co-Chair Janez Potočnik provides an overview of the IRP perspective on the linkages between land and resource consumption. Second, Panel member Dr. Jeff Herrick speaks about how IRP research has shown that matching land use more effectively with land potential is one of the most effective and simplest strategies for decoupling human development and economic growth from land degradation. Third, a short video describing the key findings of the IRP report about Land Restoration and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is shown. This report concludes that both the process of land restoration and the restored land itself can have significant benefits for meeting the SDGs.

The event, hosted virtually by the Korea Forest Service, is a full-day programme that includes talk shows, a Ministerial Panel, video stories on Food, Feed, Fibre, music concerts, panel discussions, and film screenings. View the event website.

View the IRP video (14:09’) and the shortened video (extract of messages from Co-Chair Janez Potočnik) (2:44’) below.​

Read IRP assessments on land: