The Economics of Land Degradation
Land degradation and desertification threatens fertile land and the benefits human society derives from it throughout the world. The consequences are alarming: reduced availability of clean water, increased vulnerability of the affected areas to climate change, food insecurity and poverty. On a global scale, around 10 to 20% of drylands and 24% of the world´s usable lands are degraded. The annual economic losses due to deforestation and land degradation are estimated at 1.5-3.4 trillion Euro in 2008, equaling 3.3%-7.5% of the global GDP in 2008. It is appraised that 1.5 billion people in all parts of the world are already directly affected through reduced income or food security.
The Economics of Land Degradation (ELD) Initiative, is a platform for stakeholders from the private sector, science and the policy sector, aiming at a global study on the economic benefits of land and land based ecosystems. It highlights the potential benefits derived from adopting sustainable land management (SLM) practices and seeks to establish a global approach for analysis of the economics of land degradation.