A report prepared for the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel of the Global Environment Facility
Through its seventh replenishment, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) aims to support countries in their pursuit of LDN, particularly within the Land Degradation Focal Area; the Food Systems, Land Use, and Restoration Impact Program; and the Sustainable Forest Management Impact Program on Dryland Sustainable Landscapes. Therefore, within the GEF-7 programme, LDN interventions could be included in projects within the Land Degradation Focal Area portfolio, the Food Systems Impact Program and its affiliated projects, and the Dryland Sustainable Landscapes Impact Program and its affiliated projects. Furthermore, projects in these programmes should be compatible with LDN, if not targeting it explicitly.
To facilitate programme implementation, and in response to the request of the UNCCD parties for support of capacity-building, reporting, and voluntary LDN target setting and implementation, the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP) committed to develop guidelines to assist project developers in the preparation of GEF-funded projects that advance the LDN ambitions of countries. These guidelines are intended to be applied during the project development phase and at the problem definition and intervention design stages; they are also relevant to monitoring the achievement of LDN goals.
The Scientific Conceptual Framework for Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN-SCF) that underpins these guidelines comprises five modules, which describe the overall approach to LDN:
- Module A: articulate the vision, goal and objectives of LDN for the specific context of intervention
- Module B: determine the baseline against which achievement of LDN is to be measured
- Module C: estimate the area of expected losses that must be counterbalanced to achieve neutrality
- Module D: create an enabling environment for LDN, including establishing required policies and undertaking preparatory assessments
- Module E: monitor the achievement of LDN
The GEF-STAP guidelines briefly outline the key concepts, state the principles and present practical steps for applying each of these modules; they also provide a list of suggested resources (data, tools, explanatory documents).
Achieving LDN requires concerted and coordinated efforts to integrate LDN objectives into land-use planning and land management, underpinned by sound understanding of the human-environment system and effective governance mechanisms. Therefore, these guidelines focus particularly on laying the foundation to achieve LDN by (i) establishing enabling policies and (ii) applying integrated land-use planning, informed by preparatory assessments, as described in the LDN-SCF.