Bold targets need to be translated into policies and projects that actually improve the way land is managed on the ground. There are two main approaches for countries to implement LDN targets. One is policy-oriented and aims to mainstream LDN into existing land use regulation. In this respect, the LDN mitigation hierarchy (avoid, reduce, reverse) can serve as a guiding principle for land use planning. The other implementation pathway is more project-oriented aiming at the roll-out of additional programmes for sustainable land management and rehabilitation in degradation hotspots. Such strategies are more concrete and help to achieve tangible results, although they are also more limited in scope and may not address the need for policy reform. A combination of policy and project-oriented approaches is clearly best suited to successfully implement LDN targets.

Obviously, many existing programmes and projects already contribute to achieving national LDN targets, particularly those working on landscape restoration, agroforestry, watershed management, soil rehabilitation or erosion control.