Alan GRAINGER "Is zero net land degradation in dry areas a feasible operational goal?"
Is Zero Net Land Degrada0on in Dry Areas a Feasible Opera0onal Goal? Alan Grainger University of Leeds
Zero Net Land Degrada0on Reduce the rate of deser4ﬁca4on + Increase the rate of restora4on of deser4ﬁed land African Union (2012) Rio + 20 Conference A modest intermediate step to hal4ng deser4ﬁca4on: "While completely hal4ng [deser4ﬁca4on] by 2030 may be diﬃcult, seKng a target of Zero Net Land Degrada4on by 2030 is realis4c." UNCCD Secretariat (2012)
UNCCD Dra> Strategy • Adopt sustainable land management prac4ces • Avoid degrada4on on non-‐degraded lands by intensifying use of exis4ng agricultural lands • Employ community-‐based implementa4on • Introduce payments for ecosystem services • Involve governments, private sector, farmers • Possibly add a ZNLD Protocol to the UNCCD
Methods for Controlling Deser0ﬁca0on (Grainger, 1990) Alleviate pressure on rangelands by more Improve rainfed crop produc0on intensive cropping on exis4ng arable lands Develop drought-‐resistant varie4es Improve community control over boreholes Increase the use of fer4lizers Promote self-‐regula4on by nomads Improve the resilience of cropping system, Increase tree cover Use social forestry projects with mul4ple Make beYer use of rainfall purpose trees that supply local needs Promote awareness, wide support, and Improve irrigated crop produc4on trust between farmers and foresters Improve the quality of management Involve NGOs in tree plan4ng schemes Maintain equipment and canals beYer Expand tree planta4ons on farms Improve drainage and farmer involvement Mix Yrees with cropping/livestock raising Favour small-‐scale projects Give farmers beYer technical assistance Improve livestock raising Improve natural woodland management Improve animal quality Improve policies and planning Reduce stocking levels Improve land-‐use planning Restore village fallow land Give greater policy priority to rainfed crops Protect folder trees from illegal browsing Promote integrated land use schemes
Two Challenges for ZNLD • Implementa0on • Monitoring Progress
1. Poli0cal Challenges: Deser0ﬁca0on is an Ambiguous Concept • Developing countries – Development constraints – Welcome income for restoring degraded land • Developed countries – Environmental emphasis – Welcome reduc4on in deser4ﬁca4on rate
2. Complexity: ZNLD has a Compound Goal rate + • Reduce deser4ﬁca4on • Increase restora4on rate • Subtract restored area from deser4ﬁed area • Implement and monitor separately • CBD Target 2010 – single goal -‐ reduce biodiversity loss rate • REDD+ -‐ addi4ve goals -‐ cut deforesta4on & degrada4on rates
3. Societal Constraints • Lack of internal poli0cal support • Conﬂicts with tradi0onal ins0tu0ons – Conﬂicts between indigenous property rights and commercial restora4on – Poor capacity to channel interna4onal funds – Constrain endogenous ini4a4ves • Diﬃcul0es in integra0ng deser0ﬁca0on control and restora0on into na0onal land use planning – Global programmes ofen ignore scien4ﬁc knowledge about complexity of human-‐environment phenomena
Deser0ﬁca0on Processes in Dryland Development Paradigm (Reynolds, 2007) • Mul4ple links between mul4ple land uses and socio-‐economic driving and controlling forces • Reciprocal ("coupled") rela4onships with mul4ple feedbacks • Cross-‐scalar rela4onships – Driven by intensiﬁca4on – Unsustainable intensiﬁca4on would exacerbate this
1. Monitoring Restora0on • Monitoring revegeta4on of deﬁned areas is feasible • Monitoring soil improvement will be harder • Establishing baselines for deser4ﬁed areas in each country will also be more diﬃcult
Areas With At Least Moderate Deser0ﬁca0on (million ha) Dregne (1983) Mabbu] (1984) UNEP Atlas (1992) Africa 490 741 201 Asia 769 748 213 Australia 403 112 4 North America 399 208 66 South America 174 162 37 Europe 20 30 86 Total 2,255 2,001 607
Limited Land Suitability and Availability • Only some degraded land suited to revegeta4on – 0.3 billion ha of all 2 billion ha of deser4ﬁed land • Area of land suited to soil reclama4on unknown
2. Establishing Baselines for Deser0ﬁca0on Rates is Diﬃcult Too • Only one es4mate of deser4ﬁca4on rate – 20 million ha/annum in 1970s (Dregne, 1983) • LiYle progress since then • Bai et al. (2008) coarse (8 km) resolu4on images – NPP change – vegeta4on only – Assessed "degrading areas", not degraded lands – "Drylands do not feature strongly in ongoing land degrada4on, apart from in Australia."
3. Measuring Change in a Mul0ple A]ribute Phenomenon of Deser0ﬁca0on • Need coherent & compact set of indicators • Measure on severity scale 0-‐100%
Need a Coherent and Compact Set of Indicators for These Mul0ple A]ributes of Deser0ﬁca0on Vegetation degradation Soil degradation Area Water erosion Percentage vegetation/tree cover Wind erosion Biomass density Compaction Carbon density Waterlogging Ecosystem type Salinization Species density Alkalinization
Sets of Deser0ﬁca0on Indicators Dregne (1977) Dregne (1983) GLASODMabbu] (1984) Middleton & Thomas (1992) LADA (2005) Vegeta4on degrada4on Bio4c func4ons Aridity index Water erosion Soil erosion Rainfall variability Wind erosion Terrain suitability for farming Soil moisture Irrigated crop yields Farm yields Soil health Ease of restoring terrain Soil loss Ease of restoring yields Soil salinity Soil fer4lity Soil contamina4on Vegeta4on ac4vity Vegeta4on density Water availability Groundwater level Water salinity Water contamina4on
Diﬃcul0es With Poli0cal Indicator Schemes • Indicators not coherent or compact • Nine forest criteria and indicator schemes not used (Grainger, 2012) • UNCBD Target 2010 indicators not feasible (Butchart et al., 2010) • UNCCD impact indicators: only one measures status
UNCCD Impact Indicators a. Provisional indicators b. Reﬁned indicators 1 Water availability per capita Water availability per capita 2 Change in land use Change in land use 3 Propor4on of the popula4on in aﬀected Propor4on of the popula4on in aﬀected areas areas living above the poverty line living above the poverty line 4 Childhood malnutri4on and/or food Food consump4on per capita consump4on/calorie intake per capita in aﬀected areas 5 The Human Development Index Capacity of soils to sustain agro-‐pastoral use 6 Level of land degrada4on Degree of land degrada4on 7 Plant and animal biodiversity Plant and animal biodiversity 8 Aridity index Drought index 9 Land cover status Land cover status 10 Carbon stocks above and below ground Carbon stocks above and below ground 11 Land under sustainable land management Land under sustainable land management
3. Measuring Change in the Mul0ple A]ributes of Deser0ﬁca0on • only some a]ributes: Remote sensing measures – Vegeta4on degrada4on diﬃcult: sparse tree density – Water erosion: large gullies only – Wind erosion: not measurable – Sandy area expansion: feasible – Saliniza4on: saline areas but not degree of saliniza4on • Ra0o of ground data to remote sensing data higher than for other global environmental phenomena
Solu0ons: Phase 1 1. Focus on restoring degraded land 2. Develop integrated land-‐use planning tools/capaci4es. 3. Develop interna4onal/na4onal monitoring capaci4es. * Establish interna4onal scien4ﬁc network to advise the UNCCD and iden4fy a credible set of indicators * Establish Global Drylands Observing System (GDOS) for ini4al global and na4onal measurements and technology transfer and training
Solu0ons: Phase 2 1. Now reduce deser4ﬁca4on rate too 2. Begin with phased targets, e.g. reduce the deser4ﬁca4on rate by 10% by 2020. 3. Integrate na4onal land use planning systems and na4onal deser4ﬁca4on monitoring systems.
Solu0ons: Phase 3 Set Target Year for achieving Zero Net Land Degrada4on, based on the experiences of implemen4ng Phases 1 and 2.
Which Pilots? • ZNLD Workshop, 4th Interna0onal Conference on Drylands, Deserts and Deser0ﬁca0on – Local pilots – Ignore na4onal/interna4onal implementa4on challenges – Conﬂate restora4on & deser4ﬁca4on control • Need na0onal pilots too: – Test new planning and monitoring systems – Find weaknesses to correct – Provide models for many countries
Conclusions • Zero Net Land Degrada4on a good idea • Risky to aim to reduce both the deser4ﬁca4on rate and land restora4on rate immediately when the ﬁrst of these is not known and implementa4on and monitoring capacity is minimal • A phased approach would restore degraded land ﬁrst, and reduce the deser4ﬁca4on rate when planning and monitoring capaci4es are in place • Get joint commitment by developing & developed countries – all vulnerable to climate change.