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Land Degradation Neutrality’s (LDN) conceptual framework provides scientific and practical guidance to implement LDN, and focuses on supporting the processes required to achieve it. It explains the underlying scientific principles that support LDN, and creates a common understanding by defining it in operational terms.

It is a process that spells out what LDN is intended to achieve, and provides guidance on how best to assess land degradation and identify appropriate management actions, and ultimately report on progress.

The conceptual framework is designed to be flexible, so it is applicable to all land uses, including:

  • land managed for production (agriculture, forestry)
  • land managed for conservation (protected areas)
  • land occupied by human settlements and infrastructure

The framework is applicable to all types of land degradation, which is what makes it so useful.

A key part of the LDN Conceptual Framework is the principle that prevention is better than cure. The LDN response hierarchy Avoid > Reduce > Reverse, illustrates how avoiding or reducing land degradation will maximize long-term benefits and is more cost-effective than efforts to reverse past degradation.