Land degradation neutrality (LDN) is increasingly recognized as an effective mechanism to address land degradation and sustain ecosystems. Although this mechanism could accelerate the achievement of SDGs, we should approach with caution many of the policy measures proposed within countries’ LDN target-setting programmes to avoid violating rights to land and resources. Analysing the case study of a participatory forest management plan (PFMP) to preserve a gazetted forest in Benin,1 this report reveals how poor implementation of well-designed policy mechanisms could inadvertently produces outcomes that run contrary to expectations. The report stressed that the acceptance and widespread implementation of LDN, especially in those countries suffering most from land degradation impacts, will depend on efforts to ensure social justice by securing communities’ legitimate rights to forest land and resources. This can only be achieved if responsible land governance structures are established, and smallholder farmers supported to actively participate in forest and resource conservation. The report summarized the findings of a collaborative research project by TMG Research and APIC NGO within the framework of Global Soil Week. It benefited from technical support and funding of by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
Authors and Publishers
Check Abdel Kader, Baba
At TMG — Töpfer, Müller, Gaßner — Think Tank for Sustainability, we work to empower sustainability transformations by building bridges between different knowledge holders and connecting various communities of practice. As an independent partner, TMG works with academia, governments, the private sector and civil society to examine entrenched sustainability challenges, identify new opportunities and initiate innovative solutions for the implementation of international sustainable development agendas.