Achieving Land Degradation Neutrality

Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) has been defined by the Parties to the Convention as:

A state whereby the amount and quality of land resources, necessary to support ecosystem functions and services and enhance food security, remains stable or increases within specified temporal and spatial scales and ecosystems.

To date, over 110 countries have engaged with the LDN target setting programme and considerable progress has been made since the 2030 Agenda was adopted in 2015. LDN represents a paradigm shift in land management policies and practices. It is a unique approach that counterbalances the expected loss of productive land with the recovery of degraded areas. It squarely places the measures to conserve, sustainably manage and restore land in the context of land use planning.

Because land is fixed in quantity, there is ever-increasing competition to control land resources and harness the flows of goods and services from the land, which has the potential to cause social and political instability, exacerbating poverty, conflict and migration. Thus, the implementation of LDN requires multi-stakeholder engagement and planning across scales and sectors, supported by national-scale coordination that should work with and incorporate existing local and regional governance structures.

The UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and the UN Environment Programme (UN Environment) came together in celebration of the United Nations General Assembly adoption of the ‘2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’ and launched a short video to highlight the importance of achieving LDN in order to make progress towards multiple Sustainable Development Goals.