Motion without notice by ANC Chief Whip on the World Day to combat desertification and drought

19 June 2008

I move without notice, that the House;

That Tuesday 17 June 2008 was the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought,

Further noting,
That the day is meant to deepen awareness amongst South Africans and the world community about the impact of Drought and Desertification,

That Desertification occurs in arid, semi-arid and sub-humid areas - where the soils are especially fragile, vegetation is sparse and the climate particularly unforgiving. These areas are inhabited by one fifth of the world’s population.

Further recalls;
That 1/3 of the earth’s land surface (4 billion hectares) is threatened by desertification, and over 250 million people are directly affected by desertification. 24 billion tons of fertile soil disappears annually. From 1991 to 2000 alone, droughts have been responsible for over 280,000 deaths; they accounted for 11% of the total water-related disasters.

That climate change is a new threat on a global scale and poses a challenge to South Africans and Africans as a whole because we are most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. The risks to the poor are greatest;

That our vision of the future includes a sustainable economy where all South Africans, including present and future generations shall realise their right to an environment not harmful to their health and well-being;

The work done by the United Nations, the environmental organisations and other individuals in their efforts to combat desertification and raise awareness amongst the people.