The President of the Government of Spain participates in the event to commemorate the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought

Sánchez stresses that the only way to combat climate change is through sustainability, ecological transition and protection of the planet

President's News - 2022.6.17

Reina Sofia National Art Museum, Madrid

The event was attended by national and international experts and political leaders who discussed different measures and solutions to tackle this global challenge from a political, scientific and social point of view.

The UN selected Spain as the host country to celebrate this event in 2022, an occasion organised by the Ministry for Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge.

During his speech, Pedro Sánchez announced 'Landscape Restoration and Water for Adaptation and Resilience', a new government initiative that will strengthen collaborative links with Africa to combat desertification on the continent. The project aims to increase the resilience of areas at high risk of land degradation, catalyse cooperation between science, the political community and social communities to address the water-landscape nexus.

"I propose that we all join this initiative, to grow even stronger to address one of the challenges of the century: the fight against desertification and drought. Because there are few things more pressing than making our planet a habitable place," said the President of the Government of Spain.

Foto: Pool Moncloa/Fernando Calvo

The President was joined by the Third Vice-President of the Government of Spain and Minister for Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge, Teresa Ribera; Minister for Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, José Manuel Albares; and the Minister for Inclusion, Social Security and Migration, José Luis Escrivá; and the Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres; and the European Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius, spoke by video.

The event, whose slogan this year is 'Rising up from drought together', aims to raise awareness of these phenomena, to demonstrate that it is possible to combat them effectively and that the way to tackle them lies in strengthening community participation and multilateral cooperation. Sánchez stressed that "there is no alternative: the only serious, responsible and possible path is sustainability, ecological transition and protection of the planet. As the youngsters say: there can be no Plan B because there is no planet B".

Spain and the fight against desertification

Foto: Pool Moncloa/Fernando Calvo

Spain is experiencing a heat wave with extreme temperatures in June. The president has therefore called on citizens to take all precautions to protect themselves and vulnerable people, and to take care of the environment. Sánchez also mentioned the work of "everyone risking their lives right now to put out fires", and will continue to do so throughout the summer. According to the sixth report of the 'Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change', the Mediterranean region, where Spain is located, is one of the most seriously affected, and with the greatest evidence of human influence on the environment. Scientific forecasts now predict that by 2050, between 4.8 and 5.7 billion people will suffer from water shortages at least once a month. This global problem also affects our country. That is why the Government of Spain, which is committed to fighting climate change, has launched numerous initiatives in this regard. One of them is the 'National Strategy to Combat Desertification', a new project that advocates sustainable land and water resource management and the restoration of degraded areas as the main effective measures to minimise the impact of drought and desertification.

The President of the Government of Spain concluded his speech by stressing that it is everyone's responsibility to make the planet habitable in the future and, saying: "let us overcome drought and fight climate change, undoubtedly the biggest challenge ahead of us, together. And today, now, it is very urgent".

Non official translation