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The LDN Target-Setting Programme enables countries to receive technical guidance and specialized expertise to help define national Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) goals. Four building blocks form the basis of the LDN target-setting process. These are developed through scientific guidance provided by the UNCCD’s Science-Policy Interface and feedback received from countries and stakeholders.  

The four building blocks of the LDN Target-Setting Programme are:

Building Block 1: Leveraging LDN

This building block facilitates the engagement of decision-makers and stakeholders involved in land management and the LDN target-setting process. LDN target setting is not a stand-alone process – it provides opportunities for coordination across ministries and sectors involved in land management.  

Leveraging LDN brings target setting to the forefront of national agendas and establishes the required institutional and technical environments to facilitate stakeholder engagement. The main output is the National LDN Target-Setting leverage plan, which identifies country-level opportunities and synergies with LDN-related national, regional, and global processes.

Building Block 2: Assessing LDN

Assessing the current state of land and the drivers of land degradation as well as tracking progress using the best available data, strengthens countries' capacities for making informed decisions. The baseline assesses the current status and condition of land-based natural capital and ecosystem services.  

In September 2017, COP13 invited Parties to develop land degradation baselines and identify quantifiable and time-bound voluntary targets linked to national SDG agendas. The LDN monitoring and reporting system identifies the following three sub-indicators of land degradation:

  • trends in land cover
  • trends in land productivity
  • trends in carbon stocks above and below ground
Building Block 3: Setting LDN Targets and Associated Measures

LDN targets define a country’s ambitions in terms of combatting land degradation. LDN measures comprise a whole range of interventions to avoid, reduce or reverse land degradation. Setting LDN targets and associated measures is the cornerstone of the LDN target-setting process. It involves extensive stakeholder consultations so there can be agreement on measurable, verifiable, and time-bound targets that address land degradation drivers and trends.

Building Block 4: Achieving LDN

This building block helps countries to integrate LDN into national policies and identify investment opportunities as well as transformative LDN programmes and projects.

Achieving LDN involves identifying opportunities for transformative projects and programmes (TPPs) and promoting the integration of LDN into national development plans. The deliverables involve mainstreaming LDN in selected national policies and commitments and identifying financing opportunities to support LDN TPP implementation.

These building blocks take into account lessons learned from the LDN Target Setting Pilot Project in 2014-15 that featured 14 pioneer countries: Algeria, Armenia, Belarus, Bhutan, Chad, Chile, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Grenada, Indonesia, Italy, Namibia, Senegal, Türkiye.

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