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Learning from the land degradation neutrality implementation process


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

Knowledge and information generated from the land degradation neutrality (LDN) monitoring process contributes to the learning process. Such knowledge can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions in maintaining land-based natural capital (e.g. the outcomes of counterbalancing), to consider the effectiveness of safeguards (e.g. protecting the rights of local people), and to inform future land management.

By monitoring LDN regularly (at least three times during implementation), opportunities are created to revisit and to re-adjust the initial assumptions underlying the LDN implementation process and to modify the enabling environment, such as policies, governance and participation, needed to achieve LDN.

Adaptive management is encouraged as part of the LDN learning process, whereby learning from interim monitoring provides the opportunity to adjust LDN interventions during the implementation process, to enhance the prospects of meeting the LDN target and to maintain achievements into the future.

LDN implementation requires a strategic, iterative approach to learning, and for this the scientific conceptual framework for LDN encourages “triple-loop learning”, where the first learning loop should lead to refinements in integrated land use planning decisions and associated LDN interventions, the second loop leads to revisiting underlying assumptions drawn from the preliminary assessments, and the third loop may influence underlying values that frame the context and enable an environment conducive to achieving LDN.

Stakeholder engagement in the learning process

An important attribute of the LDN learning process is participation of stakeholders, which is a key aspect of good governance that ensures a gender-sensitive and inclusive, transparent approach to LDN. Regular consultative and feedback processes on the design of the national LDN strategy ensure that the concerns of relevant stakeholders are properly addressed, which ultimately promotes local acceptance and sustainability of LDN achievements.

Multi-stakeholder platforms, developed at the appropriate local, national or regional scale, can bring together local knowledge and ensure that stakeholders are involved in the decision-making process. The platforms promote the co-production of knowledge and mutual learning, and can support the re-alignment of LDN actions and policies.

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