Land degradation is one of the world’s most pressing environmental problems, happening at an alarming pace, and it will worsen without rapid remedial action. Globally, about 25 percent of the total land area has been degraded. When land is degraded, soil carbon and nitrous oxide are released into the atmosphere, making land degradation one of the most important contributors to climate change. It is estimated that 24 billion tons of fertile soil were being lost per year, largely due to unsustainable agriculture practices. According to the report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) if this trend continues, 95 percent of the Earth’s land areas could become degraded by 2050.
The GEF Land Degradation Focal Area provides the opportunity for eligible countries to utilize resources for implementing the Convention and its Strategic Framework 2018-2030 with a focus on production landscapes where agricultural and rangeland management practices underpin the livelihoods of poor rural farmers and pastoralists.