Scaling up land degradation neutrality (LDN) target setting - from lessons to actions

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LDN Target Setting Lessons

(source: "Scaling up land degradation neutrality target setting," a publication prepared by the The Global Mechanism of the UNCCD)

In 2014/15, 14 country Parties supported by the UNCCD embarked in a land degradation neutrality (LDN) pilot project to implement the LDN target setting approach. The lessons from the pilot project are presented here, offering practical solutions for decision makers, country stakeholders and development partners interested in engaging in the LDN target setting process.

  1. Lesson 1: Fostering LDN country ownership and stakeholder involvement: Setting LDN targets provided direction for ensuring high-level Government leadership. LDN targets made the objectives of halting and reversing land degradation more tangible and easier to communicate to key national and international players.
  2. Lesson 2: Defining the LDN baseline, trends and drivers of land degradation: All countries were able to establish LDN baselines based on a small set of indicators, using their national data and/or the global default data provided by the project. Upfront technical assistance and country-tailored advisory services proved relevant for overcoming data analysis challenges and barriers.
  3. Lesson 3: Setting LDN targets and associated measures: Understanding the importance and value of setting a target was pivotal to making this happen. Most pilot countries were able to set preliminary targets, which were endorsed by the government and to communicate and disseminate them openly and transparently at the national and international levels.
  4. Lesson 4: Integrating LDN into national development priorities and commitments: The LDN target setting pilot project made the case for the cross-sectoral benefits of LDN as an accelerator of the Sustainable Development Goals. Whenever possible, countries integrated LDN into their UNCCD National Action Programmes, and in some cases were able to integrate LDN into other relevant policies such as the Nationally Determined Contributions and land-related legislation.
  5. Lesson 5: Leveraging LDN: The target setting exercise, including the identification of measures, provided a clear snapshot of the substantial opportunities that the LDN target setting process brings. Some of the pilot countries identified legal instruments that will enable LDN targets to be achieved. Some went further and have established legal mandates enabling the implementation of LDN. Others focused on tapping into the growing financing opportunities by pre-identifying potential financial resources for achieving LDN.

Learn more about the LDN target setting lessons:

Lesson 1Lesson 2Lesson 3Lesson 4Lesson 5

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