LDN Transformative Projects and Programmes

Transformational change is required at all levels to achieve land degradation neutrality (LDN) as outlined by the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 15 and the target 15.3. LDN also serves as accelerator to achieve other SDGs  particular, those on poverty, food and water security, environmental protection and climate change.

Under the LDN Programme, the Global Mechanism (GM) of the UNCCD supports countries to develop LDN transformative projects and programmes that contribute to the achievement of voluntary LDN targets, deliver multiple benefits, enhance national capacities and leverage innovative finance by tapping into multiple sources of finance, both public and private.

Features of LDN transformative projects and programmes

To support country-level project developers and their partners in the design of effective LDN transformative projects and programmes, the GM  in collaboration with the UNCCD secretariat and the Science-Policy Interface of the UNCCD has developed a voluntary checklist of the following main features of LDN transformative projects and programmes that encourage innovation, ensure consistency and completeness in the implementation of LDN and support positive transformation:

  • Ensuring transformation and innovation by translating the LDN Scientific Conceptual Framework into practice, including the LDN response hierarchy (avoid, reduce and reverse land degradation) and the principle of counterbalancing (losses are balanced by gains in land-based natural capital)
  • Promoting responsible and inclusive governance, including gender equality, inclusiveness, accountability and transparency
  • Ensuring sustainability, including conducive policy environment; delivering multiple environmental, economic and social benefits and enhancing (sub)national ownership and capacity
  • Leveraging innovative finance, especially from the private sector

GM support to develop LDN transformative projects and programmes

The GM of the UNCCD assists countries committed to achieving LDN to develop, in close cooperation with implementing partners, early-stage project or programme concept notes which can be further developed into complete project proposals. 

Areas of intervention include:

  • sustainable land and andscape management
  • forest management
  • watershed management
  • renewable energy
  • agriculture
  • rangeland management
  • market access
  • trade and private sector involvement

Possible funding sources are

  • Global Environment Facility
  • Green Climate Fund
  • Adaptation Fund
  • regional development banks

and other bilateral and multilateral institutions which either focus on land degradation or seek direct synergies with climate change mitigation and adaptation, biodiversity conservation, forest and landscape restoration and disaster risk reduction.

Find the practical guide for the development of LDN Transformative Projects and Programmes here.

Checklist for LDN Transformative Projects and Programmes 

The checklist is a tool prepared to help country-level project developers and their technical and financial partners to design effective Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) Transformative Projects and Programmes. The checklist is optional, not prescriptive. It provides a pragmatic and scientifically grounded guide that encourages innovation. It aims to ensure consistency and completeness in the implementation of LDN, and to lead to a positive transformation.

Usage of the checklist will ensure that the fundamental features of LDN are given full consideration. Further refinement of the checklist through feedback during field testing, will allow it to become a living document that evolves, based on lessons learned through its use.

The checklist has been developed by the Global Mechanism of the UNCCD in collaboration with the UNCCD secretariat. Experts serving on the Science-Policy Interface (SPI) of the UNCCD have conducted a scientific review and GEF Secretariat have provided useful feedback to improve the checklist.

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