This project aims to conduct an integrated global assessment of the costs of action and inaction against land degradation. Land degradation is a global problem, affecting about a quarter of global land area. Moreover, about half of the global very poor live on degraded land. Given that the poor heavily depend on natural resources, land degradation affects their welfare and poses a daunting challenge to national and global efforts to eradicate extreme poverty and enhance food security. This research approach emphasizes the need to increase investments to combat land degradation. Increasing awareness provides an opportunity for mobilizing investments into the sustainable management of land resources at national and global levels, thus contributing to poverty reduction, food security and green, inclusive growth. However, such investments in rehabilitating land or preventing its degradation require a careful prior economic assessment of land degradation and its drivers as well as of the expected returns on investments.
ELD research is based on representative case studies around the world in Argentina, Bhutan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Niger, Senegal, Tanzania, India, and Uzbekistan. Using the Total Economic Value (TEV) framework, we seek to identify the causes of land degradation, its costs and impacts, including those manifested through the losses of valuable ecosystem services, as well as propose policy solutions for addressing land degradation.