UN Declares July 12 Int’l Day of Combating Dust Storms

UN Declares July 12 Int’l Day of Combating Dust Storms
UN Declares July 12 Int’l Day of Combating Dust Storms

The United Nations General Assembly named July 12 as the International Day of Combating Sand and Dust Storms in an effort to raise public awareness about the growing global problem. 
The General Assembly on Thursday adopted the resolution which established July 12 as the International Day for member states to perform activities and increase awareness about sand and dust storms (SDS) and how they influence human health and well-being, ISNA reported. 
Campaigns on July 12 will also draw attention to the link between SDS and sustainable land use, food security, climate change and sustainable livelihoods. 
Sandstorms can engulf an entire region in a matter of minutes and cause breathing difficulties, destruct powerlines, cancel flights, damage crop plants and exacerbate land degradation. 
The phenomena has been widely attributed to lack of rainfall and human activity, which cuts off water supply from many areas, causing ecosystems and vegetation to die and making soil mobile, ready to be transferred to other regions by strong winds. 
Storms of dust have particularly increased in frequency and number in the Middle East and North Africa over the past century. Last year, Iran and other countries in the region were troubled by an unprecedented number of sandstorms, prompting them to take collective action against the hazardous events. 
Iran’s efforts at mobilizing regional countries to take action against SDS did not go unnoticed by the UN. Following Iran’s regional meeting on sandstorms, which brought together ministers of environment from 11 countries for the first time last summer, the UN appointed Tehran as the host to an international conference on SDS in 2023. 
The conference is set to be held on September 10-11 this year in Tehran. The Department of Environment is coordinating with the Foreign Ministry to prepare for the momentous two-day event. 
Over the past year, Iran has also signed memorandums of understanding with Iraq and Syria to tackle the problem. Both nations have become a source of sandstorms as strong winds carry the dangerous particles from their arid lands into the country, especially to western and southern provinces of Iran. 
The government also sent teams to both nations last autumn to evaluate deserted lands and negotiate ways that can reduce the intensity of sandstorms. 
Iran has maintained that it is pointless to fight against SDS without global collective action.

Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints