UNCCD Announces Policy Paper on Economics of Desertification, Land Degradation and Drought

UNCCD27 June 2011: The Secretariat of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) has announced the release of a policy paper titled “The Economics of Desertification, Land Degradation, and Drought: Toward an Integrated Global Assessment.”

The paper was prepared by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), which is supported by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), and the Center for Development Research (ZEF). The study calls for translating micro-level information into global-level information in order to estimate the global costs of desertification, land degradation and drought (DLDD). The paper was prepared as part of the ongoing multi-stakeholder initiative to evaluate the socioeconomic costs of DLDD and the added value of better land management.

To conduct a global economic assessment of DLDD, the paper recommends taking into account major aspects of the complex biophysical and socioeconomic factors, and learning from past global-level studies interdisciplinary collaboration. It proposes using a redesigned process for shaping an integrated assessment, incorporating lessons from global environmental assessments such as the Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC's) work and communication on climate issues. The authors propose an institutional set-up for the implementation of a global economics of DLDD (E-DLDD) assessment, and suggest that such an assessment could be combined with existing monitoring tools, such as the geographic information system (GIS), which would lead to concise mapping of DLDD. This mapping would then allow for the identification of the focus areas for action against DLDD. [Publication: The Economics of Desertification, Land Degradation, and Drought: Toward an Integrated Global Assessment]