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The private sector is a key stakeholder in a sustainably managed world. By 2050, the world's population will have increased to over 9 billion, with twice the current demand for agricultural products. By 2030, 80 per cent of the global population is expected to become consumers.

Providing for this growing class of consumers presents an exciting business challenge. However, with current unsustainable land practices eroding our key natural capital that is soil, we are undermining our own future . Indeed, half of the world’s GDP is dependent on terrestrial ecosystems being healthy and productive. Yet, the global economy is projected to lose a whopping USD 23 trillion by 2020 through land degradation.

The conversion of land for agriculture to meet the demand of the growing world's population for food, feed, fibre and bioenergy is the leading driver of land-use change. Transforming the way we produce and consume has enormous potential to reverse land degradation and biodiversity loss, and to mitigate climate change.Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 requires accelerating transformative change and harnessing innovation in the production and consumption systems within the food, fibre and feed sectors. This ambition cannot be realized solely through public investment and official development assistance.

The engagement of the private sector in environmental stewardship is key to ensuring sustainable supply chains that do not threaten the well-being of future generations. The UNCCD is committed to engaging the private sector in support of a fundamental rethink of productive capacities in favor of nature-positive outcomes that also deliver socioeconomic benefits.

Launched at UNCCD COP15 in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, the private sector strategy aims to support the work of UNCCD country Parties, the UNCCD Secretariat and the Global Mechanism in mobilizing the private sector to achieve the SDG15 Life on Land. This goal requires private sector investment and a transition to sustainable productive practices at scale to restore 1.5 billion ha of degraded land by 2030. At the same time, achieving the SDGs presents substantial business opportunities, potentially unlocking markets worth USD 12 trillion per year.

The main focus of the strategy is to leverage private sector expertise, innovation, tools and funding in support of SDG15 and its target 15.3 on Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN): "By 2030, combat desertification, restore degraded land and soil, including land affected by desertification, drought and floods, and strive to achieve a land degradation neutral world." The strategy aims to:

  • Facilitate investments and technology for sustainable production
  • Promote the expansion of value chains for sustainable consumption

Business for Land Initiative

To implement this strategy, the UNCCD has developed the “Business for Land” Initiative. Launched at the World Economic Forum in 2024, it aims to build an enabling environment for companies to adopt sustainable land management practices. Developed with the support of the Changwon Initiative, Business for Land brings visibility to the commitments made by participating companies toward LDN within their operations and supply chains.

Private stakeholders are invited to join Business for Land  and define voluntary actions and commitments based on the following pillars:

  • Pillar 1 Environmental, social, and governance: Work toward sustainable business operations, both upstream and downstream in the supply chain
  • Pillar 2 Finance: Develop, promote and contribute to sustainable finance and philanthropic contributions for LDN
  • Pillar 3 Advocacy: Advocate for the adoption of a positive enabling environment to achieve LDN

The Business For Land Forum will be one of the highlights of the UNCCD COP16 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in December 2024.

For more information: b4latunccd [dot] int (b4l[at]unccd[dot]int)

9

billion is the expected number of the world's population by 2050

80

per cent of the global population is expected to become consumers by by 2030

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