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Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) Target Setting Building Block One – Leveraging LDN


Achieving land degradation neutrality at the global level, a publication produced by the Global Mechanism of the UNCCD

LDN Leverage Plan

The Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) concept works to better communicate multiple cross-sectoral benefits of LDN related measures, in order to ensure that key decision makers understand the ground-breaking opportunities presented by setting an LDN target.

Why does LDN matter to the country?

By answering this question, countries will be able to showcase and effectively communicate the multiple benefits that LDN offers to address national development priorities such as food security, poverty reduction and climate action.

LDN is a “lens” that helps focus on the multiple services that land provides, creating coherence among sustainable development policies. Setting a LDN target provides clear direction for action.

While the LDN target-setting process is consistent with international guidelines (e.g. SDGs and the Rio Conventions), to be successful it must be aligned with national development priorities and build on national sustainable development processes.

LDN target setting is linked to a variety of global and regional sustainable land management, land restoration and rehabilitation initiatives. Among these are the Bonn Challenge on Forest and Landscape Restoration (FLR), the New York Declaration on Forests and the 4 per 1000 Initiative, as well as related regional initiatives such as the Initiative 20x20 for Latin America and the Caribbean, the African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative (AFR100) and TerrAfrica.

While LDN falls under the thematic scope of the UNCCD, developing cross-cutting actions that encompass the interests of the other Rio Conventions is vital for its success. Actions to achieve LDN can also help reach the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and the National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans established under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and become a core element of the Nationally Determined Contributions in the context of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Who to engage in this process?

Taking into account the variety of functions of land, a wide range of stakeholders and sectors must be actively involved in LDN target setting and implementation:

  • Governmental agencies: Those in charge of developing and implementing policies and plans on land-related issues at the national and sub-national levels. Key line ministries in agriculture, environment/forestry, water, mining, energy, trade, economic development and statistics can become entry points for pursuing the LDN agenda through the national focal points of the Rio Conventions and associated funds, e.g. the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the Green Climate Fund (GCF).
  • Land users: Those who make direct decisions on land management based on the type of land ownership rights they hold. This diverse group includes small and large-scale farmers/pastoralists, forest harvesters and private companies. Many land users are also active outside the agricultural sector in the mining, urbanization, energy, roads and infrastructure industries.
  • Private service providers: Those who support land users and are involved indirectly in land management. This diverse group includes banks; suppliers of seed, fertilizer and machinery; energy and communication service providers; traders, manufacturers and chambers of commerce.
  • Civil society organizations (CSOs): Those who connect other stakeholders on land-related issues at every level, cooperating with local land users, their associations and governmental agencies.
  • Development partners: The multilateral and bilateral stakeholders who provide financial and technical support to those involved in land management.
  • National and international research institutes: Those who offer scientific advice on good land use practices and related policy options, such as national agriculture research institutes, universities and institutes.

LDN national working groups

LDN national working groups should bring these stakeholders together and serve as platforms for information exchange among representatives of all interested parties directly connected to land degradation processes and able to contribute to the achievement of LDN.

While countries may establish new forums dedicated to LDN target setting, the LDN process favours the use of established ones. National level coordination mechanisms should be screened in order to identify suitable platforms to serve as LDN working groups.

What are the expected outputs/outcomes?

  • A ’National LDN Target Setting Leverage Plan’ is established to identify and tap into country specific opportunities for LDN leverage
  • Senior government and major international partners are mobilized to endorse and actively support the LDN target setting process
  • Multi-stakeholder engagement is secured to ensure full participation of key stakeholders throughout the LDN target setting process

What support does the Global Mechanism LDN TSP provide to participating countries?

  • Support in identifying country-specific opportunities for creating LDN leverage, including the preparation and implementation of the ‘National LDN Target Setting Leverage Plan’
  • Support in facilitating and fostering the engagement of key senior government and international partners in the LDN target setting process
  • Support in facilitating full stakeholder participation by establishing or mobilizing national LDN working groups and organizing national consultation workshops

Read more:

Learn more about the LDN Target-setting Building Blocks:

Building Block 2

Building Block 3

Building Block 4