Since its start in 2015, 115 countries have joined the programme with the objective to formulate voluntary national targets on reducing land degradation and rehabilitating degraded land. So far, 60 countries have set LDN targets, some with rather general goals for achieving a state of no net loss in 2030 or at an earlier or later date and others with specific quantitative targets. For example, Senegal aims to annually improve 5 per cent of the land under degradation until 2030, while Namibia has committed to reduce bush encroachment on 1.9 million hectares by 2040 (see also article "Measuring and degradation needs to be done from the ground up").

Such ambitions may overlap with other already existing ones for forest and landscape restoration (AFR 100, 20x20 etc.) or climate action (Nationally Determined Contributions). The LDN target-setting programme explicitly encourages such linkages as they provide leverage for political and financial support.

Different pathways for implementing LDN

With a growing number of countries having set LDN targets, the challenge increasingly becomes one of implementation.