Document / Publication
Economics of Land Degradation, the (ELD)
The 2015 ELD study quantifies the costs of land degradation and sets out a universal approach for quantifying the economic benefits of sustainable land management. It aims to enable decision makers to better understand the overall costs and benefits when implementing policies and actions dealing with land.
According to the study, land degradation is costing the world as much as US$10.6tn every year, equivalent to 17% of global gross domestic product. It notes that ensuring the implementation of more sustainable land management is of critical importance considering the vast environmental and socio-economic challenges the world is facing – from food, water, and energy security and malnutrition, to climate change, a burgeoning global population, and reduction in biodiversity, ecosystems, and ecosystem services. Effective land management will be critical in meeting sustainable development goals of alleviating poverty and ensuring long-term food security.
The report is the culmination of four years’ research by 30 research and policy institutions led by the UN University’s Institute for Water, Environment and Health and the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research’s (CGIAR) Research Programme on Dryland Systems. The research was funded by Germany’s Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, the European Commission and the Korean Forest Service.