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Science Day Session 4

Tools and practices to achieve multiple benefits through LDN

Facilitator: Jim Skea, Co-Chair, IPCC Working Group III

Brief statements on:

Discussion:

  • What new knowledge and tools are available to land managers and policy-makers?
  • What technologies and approaches can support transformation to sustainable land use?
  • What is required to enable these to be applied?

The intention of this session:

The purpose of Session 4 was to present some technical aids, including tools and guides, that can support countries to plan and achieve LDN.  The session emphasised new tools and policy approaches developed and recently published by the SPI.

The structure of this session:

Professor Jim Skea (Co-Chair, IPCC Working Group III) chaired the session that comprised a series of short presentations, followed by a panel discussion to allow audience interaction with the presenters. The majority of the presenters were SPI members, except where another affiliation is indicated. 

Major aspects emerging from this session:

Ermias Betemariam described the importance of soil carbon as an indicator for LDN. Eleanor Campbell (University of New Hampshire; consultant to SPI) summarized the guidance on estimation of soil carbon recently published by the SPI, including decision trees to guide policy-makers and land managers on the most suitable tools and approaches for their purpose. Follow this link.

Peter Verburg provided a recorded presentation on the use of integrated land use planning to reconcile sustainable use and conservation. His presentation covered land use planning concepts presented in the SPI report on creating an enabling environment for land degradation neutrality.

Marijana Kapović Solomun summarised her practical experience in planning for LDN, specifically focused on identifying measures to avoid, reduce and reverse land degradation. 

Mark Svoboda presented on “The land-drought nexus and drought-smart solutions,” introducing the concept of drought-smart land management and summarizing the recent SPI report on this topic, available here.

Nichole Barger discussed technological developments that can assist in connecting consumption and production to create sustainable supply chains. 

During the panel session, the presenters responded to comments and questions from the audience and the following questions were considered:

  • What new knowledge and tools are available to land managers and policy-makers?
  • What technologies and approaches can support transformation to sustainable land use?
  • What is required to enable these to be applied?

Key conclusions:

Soil carbon is a key measure of soil health, responsive to land degradation and SLM, and it also reflects the land’s contribution to climate change mitigation. Guidance produced by the SPI will support countries to utilise available tools for estimating soil carbon, and to allocate scarce resources for measuring soil carbon to build knowledge and improve soil carbon models. Local landholders should be involved in identifying effective SLM practices suited to local conditions and likely to be broadly adopted. Engaging all stakeholders across the supply chain, through to consumers, will improve sustainability of land use. Technological developments, new governance advances and new finance approaches can be brought together to improve our capacity to plan, implement and monitor sustainable land management, in support of LDN targets. As climate change is expected to exacerbate drought in many dryland regions, it is critical to integrate drought planning into LDN planning, to achieve LDN targets.

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