Economics of Land Degradation and Improvement – A Global Assessment for Sustainable Development | Land Portal

Resource information

Date of publication: 
December 2015
Resource Language: 
ISBN / Resource ID: 

Fertile soils are an essential building block for human existence on Earth. The degradation of soils and land, in this regard, poses significant challenges for the well-being and food security of all the people around the world. Moreover, soils provide not only food, fiber, and many types of biomass we use, but also a wide
range of other essential ecosystem services, such as carbon sequestration, water purification, cultural, and esthetic values. Unfortunately, in the Anthropocene, our age of mankind, the degradation of natural ecosystems, including land and soils, has rapidly increased, posing daunting challenges to achieving sustainable development and poverty reduction. Degradation of ecosystems is posing environmental challenges and is leading to the loss of land productivity—which in turn leads to conversion of high-value biomes—such as forests—to low-value biomes—especially in low-income countries, where majority of the rural poor heavily depend on natural resources. The resulting scarcities are often exacerbated by prohibiting and dispossessing people from access to land and fertile soils. Hence, sustainable soil management and responsible land governance have a great potential for being one of the corner stones of achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs).

Authors and Publishers

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

Nkonya, Ephraim
Von Braun, Joachim
Mirzabaev, A


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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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