More than a dozen land-related indicators are housed over five SDG goals, with data maintained by different custodian agencies. The Land Portal re-launched the SDG Land Tracker to help land stakeholders monitor developments and discussion.
Data and information on land are widely dispersed with a multitude of organizations, institutions, and governments involved in data collection and management. This dispersal has come to the fore even more so in the context of monitoring the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). More than a dozen land-related indicators are housed over five SDG goals. Apart from the obvious challenges associated with questions of interoperability, report standards, and terminology, this heterogeneity comes with many – often lesser discussed - upsides. In light of the newly relaunched SDG Land Tracker of the Land Portal, I would like to shed some light on the benefits of cross-cutting data management and the importance of collaboration.
First, despite the inaccessibility of some data, the various sources of openly available information and data nonetheless provide as thorough a picture as possible of the status of land at large and, more specifically, the achievement of the SDG land indicators. As in any sector with politically sensitive government data, open data always comes with challenges. Some countries face institutional shortcomings or capacity shortages, for example, which may result in only a number of them reporting. However, the SDG Land Tracker of the Land Portal provides an extensive overview of available data by bringing all official information and data regarding land and the SDGs together and making them easily accessible. The Tracker also sheds light on where data is lacking for numerous indicators, which provides a more complete picture of what is yet to be accomplished.
Second, I argue that the complexity of land-related SDG indicators and their heterogeneous backgrounds facilitate linkages to other cross-cutting issues such as gender or emerging issues like the effects of climate change or the Covid-19 pandemic. The SDG Land Tracker highlights more commonly referred to land indicators (e.g. indicator 1.4.2) as much as gender-related issues (5.a.1 and 5.a.2), food security (2.3.1, 2.3.2, and 2.4.1), housing and urban questions (11.1.1., 11.3.1, and 11.7.1), or forest and conservation matters (15.1.1, 15.1.2, 15.2.1, and 15.3.1). This may help researchers, governments, civil society groups, and International Organizations to analyze and unfold existing interlinkages and vulnerabilities.
Third, on the networking level a complex web of institutions and organizations collaborates on tracking the various land-related indicators. These partnerships are characterized by a strong sense of responsibility in monitoring data and information. To name but a few, this has resulted in the development of the urban-rural land linkage framework or the inter-UN agency analysis of women’s forest rights and climate change. Initiatives like the Land Portal’s SDG Land Tracker make a point of collaborating closely with custodian agencies and their partners, such as FAO, UN-Habitat, UN Women, the World Bank, UNEP, and UNCCD, as well as other key stakeholders in the field, such as the SDGs Land Momentum Group headed by the International Land Coalition (ILC). This way, the Land Portal aims to foster long-term cooperation beyond the SDG time frame.
We cannot predict whether a country’s legislation actually protects indigenous rights to forests and land. We also do not know whether women have in fact more control over land once they are legally able to access tenure. But the Land Portal can monitor the developments and discussions related to questions like these in addition to the official data. Also, you will find reflections and critical pieces on the Land Portal’s blog. In this light, the newly relaunched SDG Land Tracker provides an accessible starting point and space for an informed debate and critical analysis.
The SDG Land Tracker provides easy access to official data and information on all land-specific SDG indicators. It concisely explains the indicators, why they are important, and tracks progress.
Ratio of land consumption rate to population growth rate
Last updated on 1 February 2022
This indicator is currently classified as Tier II. The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat).
Unit of measure: The unitless indicator is measured as a ratio of the consumption rate (%) and population growth rate (%).