Become #UNCCDLandHeroes 2020 – Call for Applications

Deadline: 15 May 2020
Open to: young people aged 15-30 years old worldwide
Benefits: USD500 cash prize


This year, Desertification and Drought Day focuses on changing public attitudes to the leading driver of desertification and land degradation: humanity’s relentless production and consumption. This year’s slogan is “Food. Feed. Fibre.”

As populations become larger, wealthier and more urban, there is far greater pressure on land to provide food, animal feed and fibre for clothing. Meanwhile, the health and productivity of existing arable land are declining, worsened by climate change. This Desertification and Drought Day we want to draw attention to consumer behaviors as the leading driver of desertification and land degradation. Everyday actions of individual consumers and producers are key to the rapid turnaround that is urgently needed to protect the land, preserve biodiversity and address climate change.


The campaign “Become #UNCCDLandHeroes” appeals to the youth (15-30 years old) worldwide. It is a social media campaign “by the youth for the youth” that will trend under #UNCCDLandHeroes and #FoodFeedFibre.

By entering the contest, you are automatically considered a UNCCD Land Hero.

Due to the current COVID-19 situation, large gatherings are no longer permitted on the streets and in public spaces. But we still have the possibility, the will and power to create a large virtual crowd standing for land.

Please read the Application Rules carefully to ensure that you are eligible to apply and that your submission follows the rules.


A USD500 cash price will be awarded to one of participating UNCCD Land Heroes for an outstanding project with significant outreach capacity, to invest in the impactful and scalable action to be implemented by the end of 2021.

The winner will be selected by the UNCCD secretariat, and the project widely promoted on social media and shared with UNCCD Land Ambassadors for them to support through their channels. The winning project will also be showcased at UNCCD major events, such as Desertification and Drought Day global observance event.

How to Apply?

Participants are invited to submit a short text with a photo or video where they propose a specific solution to limit the footprint that our production and consumption of food, feed, and fibre leave on the land.

  • Examples of individual actions can vary from swapping clothes with friends, composting or using a fabric handkerchief instead of disposable tissues
  • Example of existing projects to make a difference can include planting a community garden, a school campaign to become plastic-free or mobilizing people to ban food waste, a school club that meets to mend and repair clothes to donate to a local shelter or resell to raise school funds
  • Share your story on social media (Facebook, Twitter or Instagram), tagging UNCCD and using the official hashtags of the contest #UNCCDLandHeroes and #FoodFeedFibre

We welcome submissions in any of the six official UN languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish). If your original post is not in one of these because your followers are more likely to be reached through another language, please send us the translation, so we can consider your entry.

UNCCD will monitor daily all the posts featuring the official hashtags of the contest and share some inspiring and impactful ideas suggested by participants worldwide.

For more information and how to apply please visit the official link.