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Guide to the scientific conceptual framework for land degradation neutrality


Land in Balance, a science-policy brief prepared by the UNCCD Science-Policy Interface

Scientific Conceptual Framework for Land Degradation Neutrality, a report of the UNCCD Science-Policy Interface

Land degradation neutrality (LDN) aims to halt the ongoing loss of healthy land through degradation. LDN creates a target to manage land degradation, through a dual-pronged approach of measures to avoid or reduce degradation of land, combined with measures to reverse past degradation.

The UNCCD defines LDN as “a state whereby the amount and quality of land resources necessary to support ecosystem functions and services and enhance food security remain stable or increase within specified temporal and spatial scales and ecosystems” (decision 3/COP.12). Within the UNCCD this definition is intended to apply to affected areas as defined in the text of the Convention.

The scientific conceptual framework for LDN was developed to guide countries in operationalising this definition through the implementation of strategies to address land degradation and achieve LDN.

About the guide to the scientific conceptual framework for LDN

This guide provides an in-depth exploration of the scientific basis for LDN. It enables readers to better understand the key attributes of the conceptual framework, and can be used as a reference point for knowledge on LDN to support effective implementation among countries pursuing LDN targets.

The guide is intended for a wide audience, including land use planners and policy makers; land users and managers working on land management and restoration; researchers interested in LDN, and other stakeholders with an interest in the sustainable use and management of land.

The guide consists of three components that show how LDN can be a useful policy tool to improve land management and land use planning at the national level:

  1. The principles for LDN implementation: the LDN principles guide the implementation of LDN towards positive outcomes and help countries avoid negative outcomes. They are essential requirements that must be adhered to in order to achieve LDN.
  2. Key elements of the scientific conceptual framework for LDN: a presentation and detailed exploration of the key elements that make up the scientific conceptual framework for LDN, including the five modules (A-E) of the framework.
  3. Tools and resources for LDN implementation: examples of useful tools and resources that could help countries pursuing LDN, including tools for the key assessments required for LDN implementation and monitoring.