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The Scientific
Conceptual
Framework for
Land Degradation
Neutrality
FAO-IPCC Expert meeting on climate
change, land use and food security
Rome 23-25 January 2017
Annette Cowie,
Barron Orr and SPI
Outline
 Background to LDN and need for conceptual framework
for LDN
 Process for development of the conceptual framework
 Elements of the conceptual framework
Land Degradation Neutrality
“A state whereby the amount
and quality of land resources
necessary to support
ecosystem functions and
services and enhance food
security remain stable or
increase within specified
temporal and spatial scales
and ecosystems”
Origin of LDN
Health and productivity of land is
declining
Addressing land degradation gives
multiple benefits:
• climate change mitigation,
adaptation
• biodiversity conservation
• food security
• sustaining livelihoods
• Rio +20
“Zero net land degradation”
• SDGs (15.3)
• UNCCD COP 12
“A state whereby the amount
and quality of land resources
necessary to support
ecosystem functions and
services and enhance food
security remain stable or
increase within specified
temporal and spatial scales
and ecosystems”
UNCCD COP12 October 2015
Development of conceptual
framework
• UNCCD COP 12: SPI work program
• SPI Objective 1:
Provide scientific guidance to the
operationalization of the voluntary
land degradation neutrality (LDN)
target
• Expert workshop
• “Thought-starter” survey
• In-depth expert review
• COP Bureau review
• CRIC 15 and SPI presentations
Land Degradation Neutrality
“A state whereby the amount
and quality of land resources
necessary to support
ecosystem functions and
services and enhance food
security remain stable or
increase within specified
temporal and spatial scales
and ecosystems”
“A state whereby the amount
and quality of land resources
necessary to support
ecosystem functions and
services and enhance food
security remain stable or
increase within specified
temporal and spatial scales
and ecosystems”
UNCCD COP12 October 2015
Schematic of the
scientific
conceptual
framework for LDN
Scientific conceptual
framework for LDN
Vision of LDN
to sustain and improve the stocks
of land-based natural capital and
the associated flows of ecosystem
services, in order to support the
future prosperity and security of
humankind
Mechanism for achieving
neutrality
Neutrality = no net loss compared
to the reference state
Counterbalancing future land
degradation (anticipated losses)
through planned measures to
achieve equivalent gains elsewhere
within the same land type
“like for like”
Frame of reference: the baseline equals the target
Response Hierarchy
Avoiding degradation is the highest
priority, followed by reducing
degradation and finally reversing
past degradation
Preliminary assessments
 Enabling policies, institutions
 Land types based on land potential (capability)
– Land stratification: land type x land use
 Land degradation status (restoration potential)
 Resilience assessment
(risk, vulnerability, climate change impacts, thresholds,
adaptation/transformation needs, sustainability)
 Socio-economic analyses
RAPTA: Resilience, Adaptation Pathways and
Transformation Assessment Framework
http://www.stapgef.org/the-resilience-adaptation-and-transformation-assessment-framework/
Projecting the impacts of land use decisions
Projecting the impacts of land use decisions
The LDN logic model (“theory of change”)
Planning for LDN
LDN introduces a new approach in
which land degradation
management is coupled with land
use planning:
integrated land use planning
Keep track of cumulative impacts,
and plan measures to counteract
losses
Monitoring LDN status
Neutrality is assessed by
monitoring the LDN indicators
relative to the baseline
Selection of indicators based on ecosystem services to be monitored
Ecosystem services derived from land-based natural capital: mapping indicators
LDN Indicators
Three global indicators:
Land cover Land cover change
Productivity NPP
Carbon stocks SOC
“One out, all out”
Complemented by:
Locally-relevant indicators
Process indicators
Outcome indicators
Verified using local knowledge
False positives
Monitoring the LDN indicators: area-based approach
By 2030, combat desertification, restore
degraded land and soil, including land affected
by desertification, drought and floods, and strive
to achieve a land degradation neutral world.
SDG Target 15.3
Monitoring for SDG 15.3
Indicator: Proportion of land that is degraded over total land area
Principles (1)
1. Maintain or enhance land-based natural capital.
2. Protect the rights of land users.
3. Respect national sovereignty.
4. For neutrality, the LDN target equals (is the same as) the baseline.
5. Neutrality is the minimum objective: countries may be more ambitious.
6. Integrate planning and implementation of LDN into existing land use
planning processes.
7. Counterbalance anticipated losses in land-based natural capital with
interventions to reverse degradation, to achieve neutrality.
8. Manage counterbalancing at the same scale as land use planning.
9. Counterbalance “like for like” (within the same land type). Not between
conservation and production areas.
10. Balance economic, social and environmental sustainability.
Principles (2)
11. Base land use decisions on multi-variable assessments, considering land
potential, land condition, resilience, social, cultural and economic factors.
12. Apply the response hierarchy : Avoid > Reduce >Reverse.
13. Apply a participatory process including stakeholders in designing,
implementing and monitoring LDN.
14. Reinforce responsible governance: protect human rights, including tenure;
ensure accountability and transparency.
15. Monitor using the three UNCCD land-based global indicators: land cover,
land productivity and carbon stocks.
16. Use “one-out, all-out” to interpret the three global indicators.
17. Use national and sub-national indicators to aid interpretation and fill gaps.
18. Apply local knowledge to verify and interpret monitoring data.
19. Apply a continuous learning approach: anticipate, plan, track, interpret,
review, adjust, create the next plan
SubjectLDN Target Setting Programme
SubjectBuilding block 2: Assessing LDN
• WHAT is the
baseline?
• WHAT are the
drivers?
• WHICH indicators
to use?
• WHICH data
sources to use?
Further information
• Orr, B.J., A.L. Cowie, V.M. Castillo Sanchez, P. Chasek, N.D. Crossman,
A. Erlewein, G. Louwagie, M. Maron, G.I. Metternicht, S. Minelli, A.E.
Tengberg, S. Walter, and S. Welton (2017). Scientific Conceptual
Framework for Land Degradation Neutrality. A Report of the
Science-Policy Interface.
http://www2.unccd.int/publications/scientific-conceptual-framework-land-
degradation-neutrality
• UNCCD/Science-Policy Interface (2016). Land in Balance: Scientific
Conceptual Framework for Land Degradation Neutrality. Science-
Policy Brief 02- September 2016.
http://www.unccd.int/Lists/SiteDocumentLibrary/Publications/10_2016_sp
i_pb_multipage_eng.pdf
• UNCCD/The Global Mechanism (2016). Achieving Land Degradation
Neutrality at the country level, Building blocks for LDN target setting.
http://www2.unccd.int/sites/default/files/documents/18102016_LDN%20c
ountry%20level_ENG.pdf

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The Scientific Conceptual Framework for Land Degradation Neutrality

  • 1. The Scientific Conceptual Framework for Land Degradation Neutrality FAO-IPCC Expert meeting on climate change, land use and food security Rome 23-25 January 2017 Annette Cowie, Barron Orr and SPI
  • 2. Outline  Background to LDN and need for conceptual framework for LDN  Process for development of the conceptual framework  Elements of the conceptual framework
  • 3. Land Degradation Neutrality “A state whereby the amount and quality of land resources necessary to support ecosystem functions and services and enhance food security remain stable or increase within specified temporal and spatial scales and ecosystems” Origin of LDN Health and productivity of land is declining Addressing land degradation gives multiple benefits: • climate change mitigation, adaptation • biodiversity conservation • food security • sustaining livelihoods • Rio +20 “Zero net land degradation” • SDGs (15.3) • UNCCD COP 12 “A state whereby the amount and quality of land resources necessary to support ecosystem functions and services and enhance food security remain stable or increase within specified temporal and spatial scales and ecosystems” UNCCD COP12 October 2015
  • 4. Development of conceptual framework • UNCCD COP 12: SPI work program • SPI Objective 1: Provide scientific guidance to the operationalization of the voluntary land degradation neutrality (LDN) target • Expert workshop • “Thought-starter” survey • In-depth expert review • COP Bureau review • CRIC 15 and SPI presentations Land Degradation Neutrality “A state whereby the amount and quality of land resources necessary to support ecosystem functions and services and enhance food security remain stable or increase within specified temporal and spatial scales and ecosystems” “A state whereby the amount and quality of land resources necessary to support ecosystem functions and services and enhance food security remain stable or increase within specified temporal and spatial scales and ecosystems” UNCCD COP12 October 2015
  • 7. Vision of LDN to sustain and improve the stocks of land-based natural capital and the associated flows of ecosystem services, in order to support the future prosperity and security of humankind
  • 8.
  • 9. Mechanism for achieving neutrality Neutrality = no net loss compared to the reference state Counterbalancing future land degradation (anticipated losses) through planned measures to achieve equivalent gains elsewhere within the same land type “like for like”
  • 10. Frame of reference: the baseline equals the target
  • 11. Response Hierarchy Avoiding degradation is the highest priority, followed by reducing degradation and finally reversing past degradation
  • 12. Preliminary assessments  Enabling policies, institutions  Land types based on land potential (capability) – Land stratification: land type x land use  Land degradation status (restoration potential)  Resilience assessment (risk, vulnerability, climate change impacts, thresholds, adaptation/transformation needs, sustainability)  Socio-economic analyses
  • 13. RAPTA: Resilience, Adaptation Pathways and Transformation Assessment Framework http://www.stapgef.org/the-resilience-adaptation-and-transformation-assessment-framework/
  • 14. Projecting the impacts of land use decisions
  • 15. Projecting the impacts of land use decisions
  • 16. The LDN logic model (“theory of change”)
  • 17. Planning for LDN LDN introduces a new approach in which land degradation management is coupled with land use planning: integrated land use planning Keep track of cumulative impacts, and plan measures to counteract losses
  • 18. Monitoring LDN status Neutrality is assessed by monitoring the LDN indicators relative to the baseline
  • 19. Selection of indicators based on ecosystem services to be monitored
  • 20. Ecosystem services derived from land-based natural capital: mapping indicators
  • 21. LDN Indicators Three global indicators: Land cover Land cover change Productivity NPP Carbon stocks SOC “One out, all out” Complemented by: Locally-relevant indicators Process indicators Outcome indicators Verified using local knowledge False positives
  • 22. Monitoring the LDN indicators: area-based approach
  • 23.
  • 24.
  • 25. By 2030, combat desertification, restore degraded land and soil, including land affected by desertification, drought and floods, and strive to achieve a land degradation neutral world. SDG Target 15.3
  • 26. Monitoring for SDG 15.3 Indicator: Proportion of land that is degraded over total land area
  • 27. Principles (1) 1. Maintain or enhance land-based natural capital. 2. Protect the rights of land users. 3. Respect national sovereignty. 4. For neutrality, the LDN target equals (is the same as) the baseline. 5. Neutrality is the minimum objective: countries may be more ambitious. 6. Integrate planning and implementation of LDN into existing land use planning processes. 7. Counterbalance anticipated losses in land-based natural capital with interventions to reverse degradation, to achieve neutrality. 8. Manage counterbalancing at the same scale as land use planning. 9. Counterbalance “like for like” (within the same land type). Not between conservation and production areas. 10. Balance economic, social and environmental sustainability.
  • 28. Principles (2) 11. Base land use decisions on multi-variable assessments, considering land potential, land condition, resilience, social, cultural and economic factors. 12. Apply the response hierarchy : Avoid > Reduce >Reverse. 13. Apply a participatory process including stakeholders in designing, implementing and monitoring LDN. 14. Reinforce responsible governance: protect human rights, including tenure; ensure accountability and transparency. 15. Monitor using the three UNCCD land-based global indicators: land cover, land productivity and carbon stocks. 16. Use “one-out, all-out” to interpret the three global indicators. 17. Use national and sub-national indicators to aid interpretation and fill gaps. 18. Apply local knowledge to verify and interpret monitoring data. 19. Apply a continuous learning approach: anticipate, plan, track, interpret, review, adjust, create the next plan
  • 30. SubjectBuilding block 2: Assessing LDN • WHAT is the baseline? • WHAT are the drivers? • WHICH indicators to use? • WHICH data sources to use?
  • 31. Further information • Orr, B.J., A.L. Cowie, V.M. Castillo Sanchez, P. Chasek, N.D. Crossman, A. Erlewein, G. Louwagie, M. Maron, G.I. Metternicht, S. Minelli, A.E. Tengberg, S. Walter, and S. Welton (2017). Scientific Conceptual Framework for Land Degradation Neutrality. A Report of the Science-Policy Interface. http://www2.unccd.int/publications/scientific-conceptual-framework-land- degradation-neutrality • UNCCD/Science-Policy Interface (2016). Land in Balance: Scientific Conceptual Framework for Land Degradation Neutrality. Science- Policy Brief 02- September 2016. http://www.unccd.int/Lists/SiteDocumentLibrary/Publications/10_2016_sp i_pb_multipage_eng.pdf • UNCCD/The Global Mechanism (2016). Achieving Land Degradation Neutrality at the country level, Building blocks for LDN target setting. http://www2.unccd.int/sites/default/files/documents/18102016_LDN%20c ountry%20level_ENG.pdf