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Land Degradation Neutrality in the World’s Rangelands: Contemporary Approaches to Old Problems Using New Solutions



It is very easy to view land degradation and desertification as purely biophysical phenomena for which there are neat technological solutions. Yet millions of real people live in the affected lands, and they both cause land degradation and are impacted by it, so scientists and land managers need to find a good balance between reductionist rigor and societal applicability. The concept of Land Degradation Neutral World (LDN) offered great promise to meet the commitments made in the various National Action Plans as a road map for achieving goals for the affected country reports to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). The operationalization of LDN is more challenging. We must recognize the consequences of past inaction on land degradation, climate change and biodiversity loss. Land degradation plays a key role in this ‘vicious triangle’ of threats to our sustainability. The LDN agenda provides a framework, and commitment to it by all nations affected by land degradation, is the key to successful outcomes by 2030. Adoption of the idea and implementation of measures could lead to reaching LDN, one of the UN’s sustainable development goals that was agreed in 2015, but it won’t be easy and there is an obligation for the richer nations to provide financial and technical support to affected party countries.

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