UNCCD Global Mechanism Brief Explores LDN Benefits for Reducing Poverty and Inequality
Photo by IISD | Lynn Wagner
story highlights

The ‘Land Degradation, Poverty, and Inequality’ briefing note was developed by the UNCCD GM in collaboration with Conservation International and the German Development Institute.

The publication recommends investing in LDN as an accelerator to achieve SDG 1 (no poverty) and SDG 10 (reduced inequalities), particularly in rural areas where 80% of the poor live.

13 September: A new briefing note by the Global Mechanism (GM) of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) explores the interlinkages between land degradation, poverty and inequality. The publication argues that investing in land degradation neutrality (LDN), and thus achieving the SDG target 15.3, will help end poverty (SDG 1) and reduce inequality (SDG 10).

The ‘Land Degradation, Poverty, and Inequality’ briefing note was developed by the GM in collaboration with Conservation International and the German Development Institute. Using evidence from more than 800 sub-national regions, the document demonstrates that land degradation generates or reinforces poverty and inequality by disproportionally impacting populations largely dependent on land resources for their livelihoods. The research finds that the places with the highest proportion of degraded land are also home to the most disadvantaged people of society in terms of poverty and inequality: 80% of the extreme poor live in rural areas and 65% work in the agricultural sector.

The research finds that 80% of the extreme poor live in rural areas and 65% work in the agricultural sector.

The text cites the ‘World Atlas of Desertification,‘ according to which approximately 20% of the earth’s vegetated land surface showed persistent declining trends in land productivity between the years 1999 and 2013. The briefing note also highlights the Trends.Earth tool report that cites a global degradation of 15% between the years 2001 and 2015.

The publication recommends:

  • Investing in LDN as an accelerator to achieve SDG 1 (no poverty) and SDG 10 (reduced inequalities), particularly in rural areas where 80% of the poor live;
  • Directing investments associated with the achievement of LDN towards regions characterized by both high land restoration potential and poor socioeconomic conditions;
  • Taking advantage of the synergies resulting from national and international development agendas, such as LDN targets and measures, Nationally Determined Contributions, the Bonn Challenge, the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, and the New York Declaration on Forests; and
  • Increasing domestic public expenditure on protecting terrestrial ecosystems to tackle the most pressing social and economic challenges facing countries today, by contributing to the creation of jobs, alleviating poverty and reducing inequality.

The GM released the briefing note in parallel to the 14th Session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNCCD. [UNCCD Press Release] [IISD RS coverage of UNCCD COP 14]


related events


related posts