GEF Land Degradation Strategy
Agriculture covers 38% of the planet’s land area. Just over half of this production area is moderately or severely affected by land degradation. Each year 5 to 10 million hectares of land completely lose their production capacity, due largely to the impact of unsustainable land management on soil productivity and health. More than 2 billion people, including some of the world’s poorest smallholders and pastoralists, are affected globally. Land degradation, if not brought under control, threatens the livelihoods of rural populations in many regions and contributes to undermining the planet's life support systems.
The goal of the land degradation focal area is to arrest and reverse current global trends in land degradation, specifically desertification and deforestation, by promoting good practices conducive to Sustainable Land Management (SLM). Such practices generate global environmental benefits while creating local and national socio-economic benefits.
The primary approach for GEF-6 will be to address priorities that represent the best opportunity for supporting agriculture, livestock management, and forest landscape restoration to underpin rural livelihoods. This will directly address the need to:
- Reinforce SLM for enhancing resilience in agro-ecosystems;
- Harness and maintain ecosystem services for agro-ecological intensification;
- Promote integrated management of production landscapes; and
- Mainstream SLM in sustainable development.
As a result, the LD focal area will contribute to sustainable management of land, soil, water, and vegetative cover to generate multiple global environment benefits. The focal area approach will also create opportunities for scaling-up successful interventions to benefit millions of land users.