Sustainable Development: The Parties to the Convention have defined Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) as follows:
Within specific temporal and spatial dimensions and ecosystems, a state in which the amount and quality of land resources required to maintain ecosystem functions and services and improve food security remain stable or rise.
Over 120 nations have participated in the LDN Target Setting Programme to date, and significant progress has been made since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda in 2015. The Land Development Network (LDN) symbolises a paradigm shift in land management policies and practices. It’s a one-of-a-kind strategy that balances the loss of productive land with the restoration of degraded areas. It strategically positions land conservation, sustainable management, and restoration actions in the land use planning framework.
Because land is limited in supply, there is an ever-increasing race to control land resources and profit from the land’s flows of products and services. This could lead to social and political unrest, as well as poverty, conflict, and migration. As a result, LDN implementation necessitates multi-stakeholder participation and planning at all scales and sectors and national-scale coordination that takes advantage of existing local and regional government institutions.
UNCCD and the United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment) joined forces to commemorate the adoption of the “2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” by the United Nations General Assembly by releasing a short video that emphasises the importance of achieving LDN to achieve multiple Sustainable Development Goals.
The Global Mechanism (GM) and the UNCCD secretariat, in collaboration with multiple international partners, are assisting interested countries with their national LDN target setting process, including setting national baselines, targets, and associated measures to achieve LDN, through the Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) Target Setting Programme.
Over 120 countries have committed to setting LDN goals so far. Over 80 nations, or more than two-thirds, have already stated their goals, and many have obtained high-level government support to achieving LDN.
LDN targets and synergies with the Sustainable Development goals
“By 2030, combat desertification, rehabilitate degraded land and soil, particularly territory affected by desertification, drought, and floods, and strive to establish a land degradation-neutral world,” says Sustainable Development goal target 15.3.
At the UNCCD’s twelfth session, held in Ankara, Turkey, in October 2015, nation Parties made a ground-breaking agreement to accept LDN’s vision and link the Convention’s implementation to the Sustainable Development goals in general, and goal 15.3 in particular.
As a result, Target 15.3 has emerged as a powerful vehicle for driving UNCCD implementation while also contributing to the achievement of several Sustainable Development goals, including those related to climate change mitigation and adaptation, biodiversity conservation, food and water security, disaster risk reduction, and poverty reduction.
Synergistically and cost-effectively, the LDN objectives address Sustainable Development goal target 15.3 and many other Sustainable Development goals by nations’ distinct national circumstances and development priorities. These goals also help countries to implement their UNCCD National Action Plans better.
GM support to countries setting LDN targets
- Leveraging LDN: enabling decision-makers and stakeholders’ participation in land management and the LDN target-setting process
- Assessing LDN: Increasing governments’ capacity to make educated decisions about what action to take by examining the existing state of land and the drivers of land degradation using the best available data.
- Setting LDN targets and associated measures: aiding countries in developing their land degradation aspirations by defining LDN targets and measures, and
- Achieving LDN: assisting countries in establishing an enabling environment through the integration of LDN into national policy and the identification of investment possibilities, as well as transformative LDN programmes and projects
Large quantities of financial resources must be deployed to meet the goal of a world free of land degradation by 2030 ( Sustainable Development goal objective 15.3). However, as the Addis Ababa Action Agenda recognises, public and philanthropic resources alone will not be enough. To catalyse private capital to achieve land degradation neutrality, new financial tools and intermediaries, as well as enabling conditions, are required (LDN). As a result, Decision 3/COP.12 proposed that the Global Mechanism (GM) explore possibilities for raising funding to fully implement LDN programmes, including the “establishment of an independent Land Degradation Neutrality Fund (LDN Fund).”
What is the LDN Fund?
The LDN Fund is an impact investment fund that brings together resources from the public, private, and charitable sectors to help achieve LDN through private-sector land management and restoration projects. With support from France, Luxembourg, Norway, and the Rockefeller Foundation, GM spearheaded the creation of the LDN Fund and oversaw its initial design with the help of an advisory group that included representatives from public financial institutions, international NGOs, and academia.
Mirova will manage the LDN Fund, a private sector investment management firm focused on responsible investing and a Natixis Investment Managers subsidiary. The LDN Fund, which was officially formed at the UNCCD COP 13 in Ordos, China, is a first-of-its-kind investment vehicle that uses public funds to acquire private capital for long-term land projects.
Institutional investors join anchor investors – the European Investment Bank and the French Development Agency – including the first north-American private investor Fondaction, the Fondation de France foundation, and insurance companies BNP Paribas Cardiff and Garance. In addition, the Government of Luxembourg, IDB Invest, and the Global Environment Facility are among the de-risking partners for the effort.
Investors have pledged more than USD 100 million, out of a total aim of USD 300 million. The LDN Fund will invest in commercially feasible private land rehabilitation and sustainable land management projects worldwide, including sustainable agriculture, sustainable livestock management, agro-forestry, and sustainable forestry, by leveraging long-term non-grant funding. Environmental and socio-economic benefits, as well as financial returns, are generated by eligible initiatives.
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