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Hot off the press: Restoring Life to the Land – The Role of Sustainable Land Management in Ecosystem Restoration

The UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (UNDER) 2021-2030 aims to massively scale up the restoration of degraded ecosystems as a proven measure to fight climate change, enhance food security, water supply and biodiversity, and manage associated risks of conflict and migration. Sustainable land management (SLM) is key to restoration of terrestrial ecosystems: it is at the core of maintaining, or re-establishing, life in the land.

SLM has a central role to play in all the eight UNDER ecosystems – Farmlands, Grasslands, Forests, Mountains, Freshwaters, Urban Areas, Peatlands, Oceans & Coasts – through combatting land degradation at farm and landscape levels. It enhances production and improves livelihoods while simultaneously generating multiple environmental co-benefits.

This new WOCAT-UNCCD publication demonstrates in what ways SLM experience can help to provide solutions to problems that the UNDER seeks to address – and this is illustrated by presenting a series of on-the-ground “good practices” as evidence for each ecosystem.

Through SLM, land degradation can be avoided, reduced and/or reversed. It helps land degradation neutrality targets to be met. SLM can only have a significant impact on ecosystem restoration, however, when it spreads widely, covering a critical mass of land and people, and when maintained and adapted over time. A combination of SLM practices is required to benefit ecosystems as a whole.

People – young and old, women and men, rural and urban – have directly contributed to ecosystem degradation. But equally, they constitute the primary agents of restoration. Humankind suffers, and benefits, according to the state of ecosystems. Harnessing people’s efforts and arming them with knowledge and support is the way to upscale SLM to the ecosystem level.

The WOCAT Global SLM Database ( contains, in standardized and consistent detail, a growing set of over 2,000 SLM good practices from more than 130 countries, and offers a wealth of knowledge for stakeholders from around the globe to learn from each other. It provides proven lessons that directly support the Generation Restoration global movement of the UNDER to put restoration into action.

Read the new publication Restoring Life to the Land – The Role of Sustainable Land Management in Ecosystem Restoration

Further reading from UNCCD library on: 📚   sustainable land management (SLM) ; 📚   land degradation neutrality ; 📚   land restoration