Land Degradation Neutrality Transformative Projects and Programmes: Operational Guidance for Country Support

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UNCCD Publications

This guide represents the first effort to gather, in a practical and pragmatic manner, all relevant information related to the development and implementation of Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) Transformative Projects and Programmes. Countries can use this document for the identification and design of interventions to address land degradation, as well as to guide their dialogue with funding agencies and implementing partners. The guide  is intended for stakeholders involved in the design of LDN Transformative Projects and Programmes, particularly policy-makers, technical experts, international organizations, civil society organizations (CSOs) and the private sector.

The “neutrality” of land degradation is about keeping healthy and productive land in balance. It is a new dimension not previously tackled in land degradation management policy and land use planning, and is grounded in the Scientific Conceptual Framework for LDN endorsed by the UNCCD Conference of the Parties (COP) at its thirteenth session.  As an innovative approach to managing land degradation, LDN aims to avoid or reduce land degradation while also reversing past land degradation in order to achieve the goal of no net loss of healthy, productive land at national level. LDN encompasses approaches such as sustainable land management and sustainable forest management for avoiding or reducing the risk of degradation, and restoration and rehabilitation for reversing past degradation.
• Parties to the Convention recognized LDN as a strong vehicle for driving UNCCD implementation (decision 3/COP.12). Achieving LDN requires an enabling environment that also acts as a catalyst for the implementation of the UNCCD, including: • Clear LDN targets and strong political commitment; • Appropriate LDN policies and strategies; • A strong legal and institutional framework governing land management; • Integrated land use planning at national and subnational levels; and • Use of the three LDN indicators (land cover, land productivity and carbon stocks) that are used to monitor progress, particularly when reporting on Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 15.3, as these same indicators are used for monitoring SDG indicator 15.3.1: “Proportion of land that is degraded over total land area.”