The ELD Initiative strives to contribute to the global understanding of the true value of land for human society and to improve awareness on the economic case for sustainable land management. It is the understanding of the ELD partners that economics provide a neutral and equalising language for different stakeholders to discuss their needs, costs, and benefits, and come to optimal, mutual sustainable land management and development strategies. By increasing the political and public knowledge and visibility of the costs and benefits of land and land-based ecosystems, the Initiative aims to make a comprehensive approach on the economics of land management an integral part of policy strategies and decision-making.
Activities encompass the involvement in international events and discourses, publications, our website and social media channels. We share all our reports, movies and digital learning formats as open access sources.
On a national level, we try to accelerate the awareness by contributing to higher education through stakeholder events, trainings and curricula development.
Partners from the ELD network feed into existing networks such as National Coordinating Bodies in support of the implementation of National Action Plans (NAPs), and the outreach can be extended to the local level, allowing the provision of additional input and feedback to national platforms.
Stakeholder consultations aim to ensure that ELD research results are translated into actions that promote the effective adoption of sustainable land management and development practices on the ground. Through direct and continuous engagement with public and private stakeholders, the outputs of the ELD Initiative meet the expressed demand of political decision-makers, private sector actors or research institutions. This approach enables the inclusion of ELD data and information into planning processes.
We liaise openly and encouragingly with all stakeholders and interested parties, acting as intermediaries to provide support and expertise for those interested in undertaking cost-benefit analyses for sustainable land management at any level or in any location.
Multi-stakeholder consultations on regional, national and sub-national scales also facilitate the identification of entry points for a transition towards SLM practices, and the integration of results into ongoing and relevant policy processes, such as contributing to development plans or action plans contributing to international conventions, such as the UNCCD.
The identification of pathways to address relevant stakeholders to implement sustainable land management and rural development choices effectively and sustainably is another part of the Initiative´s capacity building activities.
Capacity building is key in creating the necessary understanding amongst stakeholders to target solutions for land degradation and sustainable land management . Thus, it builds the foundation for countries to address their national targets autonomously towards land degradation neutrality on all levels.
To support this process, the ELD Initiative has developed publications tailored to specific target groups. The set includes a User Guide, a Practitioners Guide, a Guide for Policy and Decision Makers and a Guide for the Private Sector. These reports educate on the process of ecosystem evaluation and stakeholder involvement and raise knowledge and awareness about relevant findings.
Moreover, the Initiative is engaged in the organization of trainings for researchers and all stakeholders who wish to improve their skills in one of ELD´s core fields of competencies and to enable them to create the necessary economic information. Demand driven, the ELD Secretariat facilitates exchanges between international experts and interested institutions or projects.
In order to reach out to larger groups of practitioners across countries and sectors, the Initiative offers digital learning opportunities through Massive Open Online Courses. Interactive live sessions with international experts and hands on training materials encourage an impressive high and diverse amount of participants and are being renewed on a regular basis. The contents and sessions, as all ELD materials, are open access and can still be undertaken.
In response to a high demand on materials for self-studies as well as curricula of higher education institutions, the ELD Initiative will launch its ELD Campus in 2019. The Campus will address students, researchers and lecturers alike and offer ready-made material sets and modules for different educational levels.
The Initiative is engaged in the provision, warehousing, and dissemination of knowledge through a variety of reports, briefs, and academic publications. As part of these efforts, the network and its partners have conducted a number of regional and global case studies. By doing so, ELD provides scientific information and networks to other researchers and institutions globally.
The ELD Initiative draws from existing frameworks, approaches, and methods, and adapts and combines them to include features specific to land management and rural development. The Initiative has established a structured and comprehensive economic assessment process referred to as the “6+1 step approach”, which aims to provide information relevant to policy-/ decision-makers.
Exchange and collaboration between policy-/decision-makers and researchers provide essential feedback mechanisms and are actively being pursued to ensure relevance and applicability of the economic assessments of ELD.
Researchers provide increasing evidence that SLM can simultaneously address desertification, land degradation, and drought while also contributing directly to land-based climate change mitigation and adaptation processes. Policy makers can play a crucial role in creating the necessary conditions and frameworks for a large-scale implementation of effective and sustainable land management.
To foster the translation of economic valuation approaches into policy action against land degradation, strategic alliances between field practitioners, researchers from different disciplines, and policy-/decision-makers across countries are key.
The ELD Initiative facilitates and trains for policy dialogues of different stakeholders with the goal to realize the highest possible impact of its research findings and recommendations.