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Land Degradation Neutrality Fund : An Innovative Investment Fund Project


Two billion hectares of productive land are degraded worldwide. This is an area larger than South America or twice the size of China, and 500 million hectares of this is abandoned agricultural land. We continue to degrade another 12 million hectares of productive land every year. We need to break this destructive cycle because the benefits of preventing land degradation and reversing it are far greater than the gains from degrading new land year after year. Just by shifting to sustainable land management practices, for instance, we could gain up to US$1.4 trillion in increased production value.1 For the next 15 years, all nations will work together to achieve 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). One of the targets is to reach a Land Degradation Neutral World by the year 2030. This means ensuring that the amount of healthy and productive land resources that every family, region or country depends on for ecosystems services (water, food, rainfall, etc) remains at least stable.2 Two joint actions need to be taken to make land degradation neutrality happen: • Avoid further land degradation • Recover already degraded land We can fight land degradation by both rehabilitating already degraded and abandoned lands and promoting sustainable land management to avoid it and halt ongoing degradation. To achieve LDN by 2030, large amounts of financial resources need to be mobilized. Public resources alone will not suffice. Thus, it is crucial to attract long term term private investors, as stated in the Addis Abeba Action Agenda.3 This can be achieved by creating a sound framework for, and aligning private investor incentives with, the LDN target. The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), through its operational arm, Global Mechanism, is taking up this challenge by promoting the creation of an independent fund that will support initiatives that aim to reach LDN. 4 Investing in Land Degradation Neutrality generates multiple benefits and facilitates the achievement of several SDGs.

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