The outcome from the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20) called for international efforts to strive to achieve a land-degradation neutral world (LDNW). Land degradation neutrality (LDN) is a new initiative intended to achieve no net loss of healthy and productive land for the benefit of human well-being and to protect land and the ecosystem services that land provides. LDN could help the international community respond to the challenge of sustainably intensifying the production of food, fuel and fiber to meet future demand without further degrading the finite land resource base.

LDN has been defined by the Parties to the Convention as:

A state whereby the amount and quality of land resources, necessary to support ecosystem functions and services and enhance food security, remains stable or increases within specified temporal and spatial scales and ecosystems.

The goal of LDN would be to maintain or even improve the amount of healthy and productive land resources over time and in line with national sustainable development priorities. This is a target that can be implemented at local, national and even regional scales. The LDN objective could be achieved through sustainable land management (SLM) and ecosystem restoration.

The objectives of LDN are to:

  1. Maintain or improve ecosystem services;
  2. Maintain or improve productivity, in order to enhance food security;
  3. Increase resilience of the land and populations dependent on the land;
  4. Seek synergies with other environmental objectives;
  5. Reinforce responsible governance of land tenure.

Scientific Conceptual Framework for Land Degradation Neutrality can be found here.