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Science Day Session 3

Foundation for a healthy planet: The Enabling Environment for LDN

Facilitator: Nichole Barger
Brief statements:


  • How can LDN lead to transformative change?
  • How do we make this happen: who needs to act, and how?
  • How can we ensure that LDN benefits everyone, no one is left behind? 

The intention of this session: 

The overarching objective in this session was to have the audience actively engage in discussion on how to enhance the enabling environment to achieve LDN. 

The structure of this session: 

In this session, seven presenters delivered 3-minute overview talks on a wide range of topics related to enhancing the enabling environment for LDN (see below). The presenters delivered key messages and then posed a key question to the audience. The audience was then asked to form groups of 5-6 members. These groups then received one key question on a note card and were asked to discuss and report back on their question. The small groups were so engaged in their discussions and reporting back their results that we allocated additional time to this session. We were able to give small groups the opportunity to report on their discussion to the broader audience.

SLM for LDN – Jean-Luc Chotte

  • Key message: i) SLM, when deployed appropriately for given location and situation can be used to avoid, reverse land degradation and restore degraded land, ii) Choosing suitable SLM approaches for specific area is supported by information on soil organic carbon stock
  • Key question: How could the assessment of multiple benefits of SLM guide innovation in agriculture? 

Food security and LDN – Eduardo Mansur

  • Key Message: The key challenge is to reverse declining productivity, degradation, poverty, food insecurity, poor health, and rural migration, which will require attention to driving forces of degradation and vulnerability, and the identification of opportunities and incentives to mobilize the adoption of SLM practices. 
  • Key Questions: (1) Considering that agriculture is a major land and water user is food security for all (SDG2) compatible with land degradation neutrality (SDG 15.3)?  
  • (2) To supply food for all, and achieve SDG 2 (Zero hunger), do we need more land to enter into agriculture production worldwide? 

Human dimensions of LDN – Lindsay Stringer, University of Leeds

  • Key Message: Striving towards LDN is not about managing the environment, it’s about managing people and moving towards good governance to open up options.
  • Key Question: How can scientists and policymakers support the development of good governance? 

Making LDN inclusive – Marioldy Sanchez Santivanez

  • Key Message: Inclusive LDN is not only about opening up access to participation, but respect and recognition of the broad needs and perspectives of the land stakeholders. 
  • Key Question: How do we further engage land stakeholders at the local level, in the LDN process under principles of good governance such as legitimacy and public confidence? 

The role of CSOs in achieving LDN – Youssef Brahimi

  • Key Message: CSOs are one of the key actors for promoting a social-ecological approach to achieve LDN.
  • Key Question: Does building partnerships, notably through networks, strengthen the role of CSOs as drivers of change in environmental governance and for a transformative action on the society?

The Rural-Urban Nexus and LDN I - Graham von Maltitz 

  • Key Message: The dramatic shift to more urban living, especially in Africa with the emergence of mega-cities across the continent will require significant land resources to support these increasing populations. 
  • Key Question: How can urban dwellers modify consumption patterns so as to enhance rural sustainable land use practices?

The Rural-Urban Nexus and LDN II - Poonam Dabas

  • Key Message: If urban societies become aware of the implications of their activities and daily choices on rural lands, this may then support awareness raising and ultimately changes in regulations, consumption, and production patterns. 
  • Key Question: How can non-state actors play an active role in bringing about desired results in LDN? 

Governance and policy for LDN – André Francisco Pilon

  • Key Message: Paradigms of growth, power, wealth, work and freedom embedded into the political, technological, economic, social, cultural and educational institutions are significant barriers to change and achieving LDN.
  • Key Questions: 1) How do we advance transnational civil society in view of the engagement of political, economic and institutional actors in regulation and governance of natural resources? 2) How can societal needs be provided, controlled and owned, and forests and soils act as ‘loci of hope’ for achieving an equitable future?

Major aspects emerging from this session: 

The most important aspect to emerge from this session was the value of giving the opportunity for participants to actively engage in small group discussions with participants who have different viewpoints. These interactions allowed participants in the Science Day to more deeply engage in the topic and to network with other meeting participants. It was especially heartening to see youth participants in active discussion with scientists, observers, and CSOs. This provided a unique professional development opportunity for the youth participants. 

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