In the climate change era, LDN can help optimize eco-restoration and achieve SDGs


Reykjavik, Iceland – The UNCCD was invited to give the opening address at SERE Europe 2018, an event that has attracted over 400 practitioners, policy makers and scientists from governments, NGOs, industry and academia. The European chapter of the Society for Ecological Restoration (SERE) asked UNCCD Lead Scientist, Dr. Barron Joseph Orr to give a presentation on Land Degradation Neutrality as a framework for optimizing restoration in the era of climate change. The organization’s mission is to advance the science, practice and policy of ecological restoration to sustain biodiversity, improve resilience in a changing climate and re-establish an ecologically healthy relationship between nature and culture.

Dr. Orr introduced the Scientific Conceptual Framework for LDN, paying particular attention to its guiding principles and the numerous entry points which can be readily leveraged by restoration experts in their efforts to develop transformative projects such as the LDN response hierarchy. He emphasized the importance of land use planning across sectors to help countries achieve LDN and ensure the success of individual ecological restoration projects. Efforts to implement LDN – including ecological restoration – must go hand in hand with efforts to navigate the inevitable tradeoffs associated with potentially competing demands for land.

In a follow-up session focused on the use of land restoration to reach the UN Sustainable Development goals, Dr. Orr joined panel members from Iceland, Lesotho, Ghana and Kirgizstan, providing a global perspective on how SDG target 15.3 can help integrate and accelerate other SDGs. Later in the week, Dr. Orr will join the SERE high-level panel to discuss the role of business in tackling land degradation in the context of climate change. He will also address the new graduates of the UNU’s Land Restoration Training Programme at the Agricultural University of Iceland.

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