Terra Incognita:Land degradation as underestimated threat amplifier. Clingendael Report | Land Portal

Resource information

Date of publication: 
December 2014
Resource Language: 
ISBN / Resource ID: 

Land degradation is increasingly recognised as global challenge and is even pushed for as candidate for a (post-2015) Sustainable Development Goal (SDG). The ‘quality of soil’ has been linked to the emergence of conflict, inter alia since it aggravates food and water scarcity. It is an underestimated, but essential element in the nexus of global challenges related to food, water and energy. This Clingendael Report, finds, amongst others, that accurate assessments on land degradation and efforts to restore lands are still lacking to date.

On the basis of a literature review and 4 small case studies, the study concludes that it is nevertheless likely that land degradation can operate as threat amplifier, particularly when it is combined with rapid population growth, poverty, little opportunity to migrate and bad governance. From this perspective, efforts to get a more accurate insight into the scope of the land degradation problem and its implications for human security are long overdue.

The Netherlands Institute of International Relations ‘Clingendael’ is the leading Dutch think tank and diplomatic academy on international affairs. The institute provides public and private sector organisations with in-depth analysis of global developments in the fields of international security, conflict management, European integration, Asia’s rise and global issues and diplomacy. This report was carried out for the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL) and assists them in their assessments for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and others.

Authors and Publishers

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

Schaik, Louise van
Dinnissen, Rosa

Data provider

The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa (UNCCD) is a Convention to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought through national action programs that incorporate long-term strategies supported by international cooperation and partnership arrangements.


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