Conference - Understanding barriers to promotion & adoption of SLM practices in Southeast Asia

12 January 2017, Bangkok, Thailand

More than half of the land base in many regions, including Southeast Asia (SEA), is constrained by poor soil quality, and 12 million additional hectares of land are degraded annually, where 20 million tons of grain could have been grown instead. In SEA, the value of ecosystem services lost due to land degradation is valued at about USD118,738/km2 or USD836/person (ELD Initiative 2015). Clearly, land degradation threatens food security, the sustainability of livelihood, and the supply of ecosystem services. The Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) concept was first introduced at Rio+20 and is now reflected as SDG target 15.3. LDN activities include the “prevention and/or reduction of land degradation” through the implementation of Sustainable Land Management (SLM) practices.

This project, which covers four countries in SEA, namely Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, aims to evaluate past and on-going SLM projects in SEA and investigate how SLM practices can be widely adopted to support the LDN goal of the region’s national governments in support of their commitment to UNCCD. Each of the country teams conducted surveys of farming households and SLM project implementers to determine the facilitating and constraining factors in SLM adoption. The teams have also conducted economic analysis of SLM practices to assess their economic contribution to farmers’ livelihoods and ecosystem benefits. They have made assessments of the legal, policy, and institutional environment supporting/constraining achievement of LDN goal with focus on national- level policies and links to UN conventions. Within the framework of the project, they have also shared research findings with stakeholders and engaged them in discussions in the expectation that this will lead to generation of solutions towards the widespread adoption of SLM practices in the study areas applicable by all actors.

As the studies have progressed to the near completion stage, the purpose of this Conference organized in Bangkok on 12 January, 2017 was to provide an opportunity for the research teams to present the research findings and obtain feedbacks on policy recommendations. Altogether 75 participants attended this conference.

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