What is Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN)?
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.
Indian initiatives to fight land degradation
Following are various schemes have been launched by the Government of India which are helping to reduce land degradation:
- Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY)
- Soil Health Card Scheme
- Soil Health Management Scheme
- Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojna (PKSY)
- Per Drop More Crop
The Bonn Challenge is a global effort to bring 150 million hectares of the world’s deforested and degraded land into restoration by 2020, and 350 million hectares by 2030.At the UNFCC Conference of the Parties (COP) 2015 in Paris, India also joined the voluntary Bonn Challenge pledge to bring into restoration 13 million hectares of degraded and deforested land by the year 2020, and additional 8 million hectares by 2030. India’s pledge is one of the largest in Asia.
India’s pledge to Bonn Challenge
India joined the Bonn Challenge in 2015 with a pledge to restore 21 mha of degraded and deforested land. This was raised to a target of 26 mha by 2030 during the United Nations Convention on Combating Desertification Conference held in Delhi in September 2019.
Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR) and Bonn Challenge in India
In 2019, the Union Minister launched a flagship project on enhancing capacity on forest landscape restoration (FLR) and Bonn Challenge in India, through a pilot phase of 3.5 years implemented in the States of Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Nagaland and Karnataka. Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) in partnership with The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), through this flagship project aims to develop and adapt best practices and monitoring protocols for the Indian states and build capacity within the five pilot states on FLR and Bonn Challenge. This will be eventually scaled up across the country through subsequent phases of the project