Land and Sustainable Development Goals
The conclusion of the preamble to “Transforming Our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” stresses the importance of the linkages and integrated nature of the global Goals in realizing the 2030 Agenda. To meet the SDGs, it will be vital to manage these linkages, to harness synergies and minimize potential conflicts and trade-offs within and between the Sustainable Development Goals and targets.
Healthy and productive land is the natural fix to a number of pressing problems. By safeguarding life on land, we deliver for all life on Earth. We establish the basis for communities – all citizens - everywhere to not just survive but thrive by building a future on a healthy and productive foundation. The UNCCD consistently promotes a joint approach to environmental decision making globally and full implementation of the UNCCD to deliver the greatest impact and multiple benefits to stakeholders.
Below we have identified just some of the global goals for sustainable development, where investing in healthy and productive landscapes would be a highly cost-effective intervention with the most immediate and tangible benefits, but delivering land degradation neutrality would be an accelerator of SDG implementation across the board.
Opportunities for All:
Our future economic growth, prosperity and human wellbeing depend upon whether we are able to protect and restore our working landscapes. Two billon hectares of degraded land and terrestrial ecosystems are available to kick-start a real green economy creating enormous multiplier effects for employment, learning and poverty reduction. For even greater impact, gender-neutral resource access and use as well as equitable land tenure systems could be mainstreamed within national Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) approaches.
Doing more and better with less:
795 million people are estimated to be chronically undernourished, often as a direct consequence of land degradation, declining soil fertility, unsustainable water use, drought and loss of biodiversity. The sustainable management and the restoration of our terrestrial resources are vital to enhance agricultural productivity especially for small scale food producers. It ensures sustainable food production and resilient agricultural practices, as well as the efficient use of natural resource thereby contributing to human wellbeing.
Water scarcity affects more than 40 per cent of the global population and this is projected to rise. Sustainable land use practices that improve water efficiency and quality in a cost-effective way, as well as the restoration of water-related ecosystems, are essential to mitigate water scarcity. This is an important precondition to achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all.
Fuel for Life:
Climate change requires a rethink and a bold move towards renewable energy sources. Nearly three billion people will rely on biomass for cooking and heating in 2030. The sustainable management of land and water is pivotal to ensure a reliable, affordable and sustainable energy supply for all.
Working with Nature:
By 2030, almost 60 per cent of the world’s population will live in urban areas. It is critical to promote integrated spatial development planning approaches to optimize the allocation of resources human settlements in urban and peri-urban areas rely upon. Health benefits and disaster prevention are additional advantages sustainable land use planning are able to provide.
Land matters for climate:
Without the proper consideration of the land sector we cannot get to a 2° C stabilization pathway and deliver climate change resilient landscapes. Improved land use and management, such as low-emissions agriculture, agro-forestry and ecosystem conservation and restoration could close the remaining emissions gap by up to 25 per cent, while simultaneously reducing the risks posed by climate change and enhancing the resilience of key sectors.
We believe that by achieving land degradation neutrality, we can make the biggest and most inclusive contribution to securing life on earth. We extend a warm invitation to all of those who are like-minded to join us in achieving land degradation neutrality by 2030.