Water conservation in Niger: A farmer uses a laid-out water reservoir to irrigate his vegetable patch.
Photo: J. Boethling


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ELD is a joint initiative of Germany, the European Commission and the United Nations Convention
to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). ELD offers a strong platform for raising public awareness of land degradation and advocating sustainable land-use strategies.

Rapidly increasing agricultural land prices and large-scale investments by local and foreign companies in land in developing countries reflect the risks of land degradation and perceived land scarcity. Yet despite the rising value of land and the growth in business interest, land degradation continues apace. This is due to a failure to investment in measures to prevent degradation in response to the rising demands for land-related products and services.

The Economics of Land degradation initiative (ELD) seeks to raise awareness of the often neglected issue of the loss of fertile soil and to establish a global approach to analysing the economics of land degradation. There is a growing recognition that the failure to invest in soil protection often results from limited knowledge of the actual costs of land degradation and the possible benefits of preventing and combating it. This is why the ELD initiative focuses on building of awareness of the risks of land degradation and providing government and private sector decision-makers with sound economic arguments for taking action to manage land sustainably.

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