Publications

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UNCCD Publications

Protecting mountain ecosystems, promoting the sustainable use of natural resources and ensuring food security are all global priorities. To this end, Sustainable Development Goal 15 aims to promote actions that ensure the sound and sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems by promoting actions to control land degradation and maintain healthy vegetation cover.

In 2018, action was taken by the Global Mechanism and the Mountain Partnership Secretariat (MPS) to expand knowledge on vulnerability in mountain regions, by undertaking a study to evaluate the actual and potential impacts of its

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UNCCD Publications

National policies should take a proactive approach to direct and coordinate drought vulnerability assessments with vulnerable groups. This rapid review explores the application of available approaches and methods for assessing drought impacts and vulnerability. It is based on a series of interviews with expert practitioners from different drought-affected regions of the world. This was complemented by a brief review of the relevant published literature and a summary appraisal of the strengths and weaknesses of the range of assessment approaches available. At the present time, most of the

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UNCCD Publications

This policy brief summarizes findings from a rapid preliminary review of available approaches to drought impact and vulnerability assessment. The review draws on experiences from different parts of the world. Recommendations focus on the policy needs to enable proactive assessment approaches that can include vulnerable people and work across sectors, scales and timeframes.

Why assess vulnerability to droughts before they happen?To manage drought risks effectively, it is important to understand the likely impacts, who will be at risk, and why. Assessing risks and vulnerability before droughts

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UNCCD Publications

These technical guidelines present practical information for supporting the development and implementation of national drought resilience, adaptation and management plans. The accompanying Drought Resilience, Adaptation and Management Policy (DRAMP) Framework documents the recent evolution of drought viewed in the context of disaster risk reduction and proposes a framework that integrates six goals for nations to reduce exposure and vulnerability to drought, increase resilience, transform their economies and political and cultural institutions, develop comprehensive drought management plans,

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UNCCD Publications

The 2019 edition of the Land for Life Award puts the spotlight on individuals and organizations that made outstanding contributions to achieve land degradation neutrality on a large scale, with long-term changes and dedicated actions for 25 years or longer. Those remarkable projects involve local people, communities and the society, raising the level of their ambition. Meanwhile, recent assessments remind us that two billion hectares of land are now degraded worldwide. This represents an area larger than the territory of the Russian Federation, the biggest country in the world.

The Land for

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UNCCD Publications

Land degradation threatens the livelihoods of billions of people around the world . This is particularly the case for populations living in rural areas where most of the poor people reside: estimates report that 80% of the extreme poor live in rural areas and 65% work in the agricultural sector. Land represents a key asset for the livelihoods of the rural poor, as it provides key resources such as food, energy, shelter, and fodder, among others. Land degradation, however, constrains the supply of these ecosystem services and negatively impacts household income and consumption in many parts of

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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,

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Other publications

Climate- and human-induced land degradation endangers the future survival of our planet. A new focus on achieving Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) seeks to spark and grow transformative efforts to avoid, reduce and reverse land degradation through gender- and socially-equitable means. As of July 2019, 122 countries of the 169 countries directly affected by desertification, land degradation or drought pledged to achieve land degradation neutrality at the national or sub-national level. More than 82 countries have already set LDN targets towards halting land degradation by 2030, and 44 of the

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UNCCD Publications

The extensive arable land and great biodiversity present in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) have the potential to ensure sustenance and a good quality of life for its more than 600 million inhabitants. LAC has experienced important changes in land use. When the Europeans arrived in the 15th century, the forest cover of LAC accounted for approximately 75 per cent of the territory. At present, forests cover less than 50 per cent of the territory, 90 per cent of which is due to the expansion of agriculture and livestock, especially during the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st

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UNCCD Publications

Located in the arid and semi-arid areas of West Africa, the Sahel has undergone profound changes over the past 50 years. Known for the prevalence of land degradation processes, the Sahel is suffering from the combined negative effects of population growth, human activities and climate variability, resulting in recurrent droughts and the continued decline of natural resources and land productivity. While agriculture, livestock and forestry provide income and employment for more than 80% of the population, overexploitation of natural resources and unsustainable water and agro- and silvo-pastoral

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UNCCD Publications

Land Degradation Neutrality is a new way of approaching land degradation that acknowledges that land and land-based ecosystems are affected by global environmental change as well as by local land use practices. Achieving the target of a land degradation neutral world encourages adaptive management during planning, implementation, and monitoring of LDN-related activities and follows the LDN response hierarchy of avoiding, reducing, and reversing land degradation.

This thematic report highlights case studies from East Africa that illustrate the critical role of land governance in achieving LDN,

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UNCCD Publications

Deforestation, land degradation, and unsustainable land management threaten our lives and are responsible, both directly and indirectly, for many economic, social and environmental issues. In particular, countries in Northeast Asia face the growing threats of desertification, land degradation and drought (DLDD). In China, it is estimated that “more than 40 per cent of Chinese arable land is degraded” (China Daily 2014). “The annual cost of land degradation in Mongolia is estimated at 2.1 billion United States dollars (USD)” (UNCCD, 2018). Sand and Dust Storms (SDS) hit the region each year,

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UNCCD Publications

Widespread land degradation threatens food production, water availability, biodiversity and energy security. When land is degraded and usable land becomes scarce, women are uniquely and differentially affected due to their substantial role in agriculture and food production, their reliance on forests, their greater vulnerability to poverty, and their typically weaker legal protections and social status. Across the world, rural women typically work longer hours than men when accounting for paid productive and unpaid reproductive, domestic or care responsibilities. They continue to shoulder most

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UNCCD Publications

In 2015, governments identified their priorities and objectives to achieve LDN, and then backed them with strong political statements. Reflecting that demand for urgent action, within a year, the Global Mechanism and the secretariat of the UNCCD and its international partners had established the LDN Target Setting Programme, which takes countries through a structured process to help leverage, assess, measure and achieve their commitments to LDN. Already, countries’ efforts to identify shared visions, achievable solutions, priority hot-spots and monitoring baselines have shaped a new data

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Science Briefs series

Drought is one of the major drivers of global food and water insecurity, affecting agricultural production and access to food and water. Drought can, in extreme cases, force people to abandon their land, resorting to migration as their last livelihood strategy, making the prospect of ending hunger and malnutrition by 2030 more difficult. Land management practices offer opportunities for mitigating the effects of drought and, more generally, refocusing actions on “proactive drought risk management”. It also increases the resilience of people and ecosystems to drought. An improved understanding

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Science Briefs series

Shaping an enabling environment for Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) calls for integrated land use planning, inclusive and environmentally sound land access and governance, major reconfigurations of current institutional settings, financial backing, and ongoing dialogue between policy-makers, practitioners, and the scientific community. This science-policy brief provides – in a nutshell – guidance for policy-makers, to support countries in their efforts to create an enabling environment for LDN planning and implementation.LDN measures that are designed based on the response hierarchy (avoid >

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Science Briefs series

Land degradation neutrality (LDN) is achieved if land degradation is avoided or reduced, and new degradation is balanced by reversing degradation elsewhere in the same land type through restoration or rehabilitation. The primary instrument for avoiding and reducing degradation is the application of sustainable land management (SLM) approaches and technologies. Because of its multifunctional roles and its sensitivity to land management, soil organic carbon (SOC) is one of the three global indicators for LDN, so predicting and monitoring change in SOC is vital to achieving LDN targets.

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UNCCD Publications

Forest and land degradation undermines the foundation of human prosperity and well-being. It threatens our food and water supplies, our climate, and the biodiversity that underpins the ecosystems that sustain us. Land degradation is one of the critical elements in the gathering environmental crisis that humanity must address. Only human agency can trigger landscape regeneration by working in harmony with natural systems, shifting from an extractive to a regenerative mindset. Instead of just taking from the land, we can take and give back in equal measure. Forests and trees are central to both

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UNCCD Publications

This UNCCD-SPI technical report provides well-established scientific evidence for understanding the strong linkages between land use and drought and how management of both is connected through water use. It introduces a new concept of Drought-Smart Land Management (D-SLM) and organizes relevant approaches and practices in fourteen groups across four major classes of land use.

The objective is to guide decision makers and land managers working on “proactive drought risk management” towards interventions designed to improve community and ecosystem resilience to drought, ideally leading to

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UNCCD Publications

The UNCCD-SPI technical report “Creating an Enabling Environment for LDN and its Potential Contribution to Enhancing Well-being, Livelihoods and the Environment” provides science-based evidence on the potential contribution of LDN to enhancing the well-being and livelihoods as well as the environmental conditions of people affected by desertification/land degradation and drought. This is done by capturing evidence on the configuration of an enabling environment for LDN drawn from the scientific literature, the outcomes of the LDN target setting programme, and the experiences of individual