Awareness of land degradation is growing

However, attention has been growing over the last few years. A number of international initiatives (such as the Global Soil Week, the Food and Agriculture Organization’s Global Soil Partnership or the Economics of Land Degradation Initiative) as well as several high-ranking scientific assessments have raised the awareness of decision-makers. A particularly important step was the integration of land and soil degradation into Agenda 2030. SDG target 15.3 stipulates to “combat desertification, restore degraded land and soil, including land affected by desertification, drought and floods, and strive to achieve a land degradation-neutral world by 2030”. This target started to gain significant political momentum when the 12th Conference of the Parties to the UNCCD decided to make LDN the central objective for the convention in 2015.

What is land degradation neutrality?

Land degradation neutrality (LDN) is first of all an aspirational target. Similar to the role of the two degree target in global climate policy, LDN serves as a common overarching goal to address a global environmental problem, giving orientation to the UNCCD process and providing a joint vision for the often fragmented strategies to address land degradation.