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G20 Global Land Initiative

The G20, or Group of Twenty, is an intergovernmental forum of the world’s major developed and developing economies. It comprises 19 countries (Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Türkiye, UK, USA) and the European Union (EU). Collectively, the G20 accounts for 85% of global GDP, 75% of international trade and two-thirds of the world population, making it the premier forum for international economic cooperation.

In November 2020, at the Riyadh (Virtual) Summit of the G20 leaders, the G20 launched the Global Initiative on Reducing Land Degradation and Enhancing Conservation of Terrestrial Habitats. The ambition of this Global Initiative is to prevent, halt and reverse land degradation and reduce degraded land by 50 per cent by 2040.


  1. Conserving land and halting habitat loss, fragmentation and land degradation, notably through sharing knowledge and best practices on conservation incentives and implementation of other policies and best practices to enhance land conservation and reduce land degradation.
  2. Promoting integrated, sustainable, and resilient land and landscape management through: nature-based solutions or ecosystem-based approaches, as well as supporting sustainable land and water management policies and sustainable agricultural practices, including traditional practices, in order to maintain and enhance ecosystem functionality.
  3. Restoring degraded land through sustainable and locally or regionally appropriate reforestation, afforestation, natural regeneration/revegetation, restoration of ecosystem services, sustainable agricultural practices, and deployment of nature-based solutions or ecosystem-based approaches for biodiversity conservation, among others, in order to restore ecosystem functionality in a landscape context.


  • Land conservation, sustainable management, and restoration website: the initiative will establish a website that will serve as an information sharing hub to provide easier access to information on land degradation, conservation, sustainable management, and restoration and foster collaboration and broader engagement of various stakeholders in land conservation and restoration efforts.
  • Engagement of private sector and civil society: the Initiative will engage the private sector to encourage it to support land restoration efforts and adopt sustainable land management practices. Similarly, with strong calls from society for urgent environmental action, the Initiative will encourage direct engagement of civil society, including by mobilizing the general public.
  • Sharing knowledge and building capacity: the initiative will support the exchange of know-how and capacity building between G20 members, non-member countries, and other partners and additional stakeholders, as well as support efforts to accelerate exchange of best practices to enhance land conservation and restoration efforts.

Implementation Framework

The Initiative Coordination Office (ICO): The initiative will be implemented through the Initiative Coordination Office under oversight of the UNCCD.  The ICO will have dedicated full-time staff and an annual budget from which it will fund its core activities. The ICO will receive administrative and financial oversight from the UNCCD Secretariat.

Initiative Steering committee consisting of all interested G20 members, the Secretariats of the UNCCD, FAO, UNEP, as well as non-member countries and other institutions that contribute to the work of the ICO will provide strategic direction to the ICO.

For more information:

Dr Muralee Thummarukudy
Director, G20 Global Initiative Coordination Office
United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification
Platz der Vereinten Nationen 1
g20icoatunccd [dot] int (g20ico[at]unccd[dot]int)


Leadership ambition is to reduce degraded land globally by


by 2040