The Global Land Outlook (GLO) is a strategic communications platform and publication that demonstrates the central importance of land quality to human well-being, assesses current trends in land conversion, degradation and loss, identifies the driving factors and analyzes the impacts, provides scenarios for future challenges and opportunities, and presents a new and transformative vision for land management policy, planning and practice at global and national scales.
The premise is that land, and its associated resources, comprise a stock of natural capital. The increasing demand for land-based goods and services, and the manner in which they are today produced is adversely impacting the health and future productivity of the planet.
The misuse and over-exploitation of land resources are threatening human security on multiple fronts: diminishing food and water security as well as reduced soil health and ecosystem resilience make us more vulnerable to extreme weather events and the impacts of climate change, and even threaten stability and security within and between nations.
One of the UNCCD’s main aims is to help countries overcome the barriers to the adoption and scaling up of sustainable land management (SLM) policies and practices needed to reduce poverty, and increase food, water, and energy security for all. The first edition of the GLO supports the mandate of the UNCCD secretariat to continually seek innovative approaches and products that increase awareness of desertification, land degradation, and drought while advocating for proven and cost-effective solutions to advance numerous targets contained in the Sustainable Development Goals.
The GLO is presented in such a manner as to be accessible to civil society and decision-makers in both the private and public sectors. It is part of a broader effort to facilitate discussion on land use policy and practice by illustrating the fundamental importance of good land management.
Part One of the Outlook takes a broad brush in painting the big picture, while Part Two discusses some of the most pressing global issues that impact land use, demand, and condition as well as the responses needed to achieve the target of land degradation neutrality (LDN), and the related objectives of poverty reduction, food and water security, biodiversity and soil conservation, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and sustainable livelihoods. Part Three highlights six response pathways that producers and consumers, governments and corporations can follow to stabilize and reduce pressure on land resources as well as illustrative case studies and key tools to help achieve success.
Land is an essential building block of civilization yet its contribution to our quality of life is perceived and valued in starkly different and often incompatible ways. Conflicts about land use are intensifying in many countries. The world has reached a point where we must reconcile these differences and rethink the way in which we use and manage the land.
The evidence presented in this first edition of the Global Land Outlook demonstrates that informed and responsible decision-making, along with simple changes in our everyday lives, can if widely adopted help to reverse the current worrying trends in the state of our land resources.
The pressures on global land resources are greater than at any other time in human history. A rapidly increasing population, coupled with rising levels of consumption, is placing ever-larger demands on our land-based natural capital. This results in growing competition among land uses and its provisioning of goods and services.
While we are at a critical juncture, fast approaching and in some cases surpassing planetary boundaries, the evidence presented in this first edition of the Global Land Outlook demonstrates that informed and responsible decision-making, improved land management policies and practices, and simple changes in our everyday lives, can, if widely adopted, help to reverse the current worrying trends in the state of our land resources.
The current pressures on land are huge and expected to continue growing: there is rapidly escalating competition between the demand for land functions that provide food, water, and energy, and those services that support and regulate all life cycles on Earth.
The numerous approaches, technologies, and practices highlighted in this Outlook serve as a timely reminder of proven, cost-effective pathways that will shape a prosperous and more secure future based on rights, rewards, and respect for our precious land resources.