7 Oct 2019

Land Degradation Neutrality(LDN)Quick read

Source: UNCCD website

Who defined it?

Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) has been defined by the Parties to the Convention(UNCCD) as:

A state whereby the amount and quality of land resources, necessary to support ecosystem functions and services and enhance food security, remains stable or increases within specified temporal and spatial scales and ecosystems.

The LDN Target Setting Programme

  • Through the Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) Target Setting Programme, the Global Mechanism (GM) and the secretariat of the UNCCD, in collaboration with multiple international partners, are supporting interested countries with their national LDN target setting process, including setting national baselines, targets and associated measures to achieve LDN.
  • To date, 122 countries have committed to setting LDN targets.

LDN targets and synergies with the SDGs

  • Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 15.3 states: “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.” 
  • Agreement to endorse the vision of LDN: At the twelfth session of the Conference of Parties of the UNCCD held in October 2015 in Ankara, Turkey, country Parties reached a breakthrough agreement to endorse the vision of LDN and link the implementation of the Convention to the SDGs in general, and target 15.3 in particular.
  • Target 15.3 has, therefore, become a strong vehicle for driving UNCCD implementation, while at the same time contributing to the achievement of multiple SDGs, including those related to climate change mitigation and adaptation, biodiversity conservation, food and water security, disaster risk reduction, and poverty reduction.
  • The LDN targets address SDG target 15.3 and many other SDGs in a synergistic and cost-effective manner, and in accordance with countries’ specific national contexts and development priorities. These targets also strengthen the implementation of the countries’ UNCCD National Action Programmes.


  • LDN represents a paradigm shift in land management policies and practices. 
  • It is a unique approach that counterbalances the expected loss of productive land with the recovery of degraded areas. 
  • It strategically places the measures to conserve, sustainably manage and restore land in the context of land use planning.

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