Data on Costs and Benefits

The ELD Initiative provides and makes accessible data on the value of land to inform decision making.

In the last 10 years, more than 30 ELD country study processes provided a vast amount of data on different sustainable land management practices in different ecosystems around the world. But ELD does not only gather data through study processes, it also supports the development of datasets and making data accessible.



ECON-WOCAT dataset: Cost and benefit data of SLM practices in the WOCAT database

Why data on costs and benefits of sutainable land management is needed

Making use of detailed information on the costs and benefits of different sustainable land management (SLM) technologies significantly contributes to the successful design and implementation of national Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) action frameworks, land-based mitigation activities under the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), as well as the conservation and restoration of high value habitats as part of National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs).  

The dataset highlights positive economic, social, and environmental impacts of adopting SLM technologies – such as improved food security and nutrition, as well as reduced poverty – and provides numerous options for its use in planning and implementation of SLM and land restoration projects from national to global levels.  

Support for project planning & design: The ECON-WOCAT dataset

The ECON-WOCAT dataset together with the accompanying dashboard provide a globally unique source of consistent and comparable information on the costs of SLM technologies recommended by the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), covering most regions and types of terrestrial ecosystems. It consists of detailed information on the costs and benefits of more than 500 SLM technologies from the World Overview of Conservation Approaches and Technologies (WOCAT) database and highlights positive economic, social, and environmental impacts.  

The ECON-WOCAT dataset was developed as a partnership between the ELD Initiative with WOCAT, UNCCD Global Mechanism and the University of Bonn.


ESVD: The Ecosystem Services Valuation Database

The Ecosystem Services Valuation Database (ESVD) is the largest publicly available database and tool with standardized monetary values for all ecosystem services and all biomes on all continents. The long-term goal of ESVD is to provide robust and easily accessible information on the economic benefits of ecosystems and biodiversity to support decision making regarding nature conservation, ecosystem restoration and sustainable land management. The focus of the ESVD is to gather information on economic welfare values related to ecosystem services measured in monetary units. By communicating such values in monetary units, information is provided that can be used to internalize the importance of nature in decision making. 

  • 9,400 value records from over 950 studies distributed across all biomes, ecosystem services and geographic regions 

  • 3,600 studies in process of review 

  • Continuously growing number

ELD's contribtution to ESVD

ELD integrated data from 27 ELD regional and country case studies in the ESVD. 678 value estimates were derived from ELD studies and included in ESVD. In the future, ELD will create conditions for a simplified and cost-efficient integration of case study data into ESVD to help grow the database, increase its robustness and coverage.