Land degradation is a growing barrier to sustainable development. It directly affects an estimated 1.5 billion people globally, impacting food and water security, increasing poverty and exacerbating vulnerability to climate change. The global response must acknowledge urban activities as a key underlying driver, drawing on local and regional governments as allies.
Systematic public sector approaches to halt land degradation are still in their infancy. Nevertheless, a number of methods and approaches are available to local and regional governments, including sustainable land management practices, compact city planning and smart growth and landscape-level approaches, which ensure productive uses, such as agriculture, are balanced with environmental and biodiversity goals. These strategies can be furthered strengthened through strong rural-urban partnerships.
You can read more about the root causes, consequences and local solutions which fight land degradation in this ICLEI briefing sheet.