Our establishment

The ELD Initiative is a global initiative established in 2011 by the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), and the European Commission (EU). The Initiative is coordinated and supported by the ELD Secretariat, which is hosted by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.

The Economics of Land Degradation (ELD) Initiative works towards integrating the true value of land and its ecosystem services into public decision-making and direct action and investments towards sustainable land management (SLM) and ecosystem restoration. The ELD Initiative thereby contributes to a land degradation neutral and nature-positive world that secures the well-being and resilience of people and the planet. As a multidisciplinary science-policy partnership, the ELD Initiative supports policy action by demonstrating that investments in SLM, conservation, and restoration pay off – and by providing scenarios that reflect land dynamics under the influence of policy decisions.

During its first decade, the initiative developed a methodological approach to assess the economics of land management and applied it in over 30 country case studies and two continental studies covering 86 Asian and African countries. In addition to the pilot studies, national teams that include NGOs, academics, and local and national government officials have been trained to conduct further studies. This body of work was achieved through the engagement of a network of professionals from a range of institutions including university research academics, international development institutes and agencies, and consultants.

The ELD Initiative now enters its next decade; a decade of action.