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Governance Screening of Global Land Use

Governance Screening of Global Land Use

Discussion Paper prepared by GLOBALANDS Project
Current international policies do not address some of the most significant drivers of unsustainable land use such as population growth, increasing consumption and (western) diets.

Researchers of the project "GLOBALANDS – Global Land Use and Sustainability" have published a comprehensive governance screening analyzing the most relevant international policies with a high impact on global sustainable land use. The report further identifies current "windows of opportunity" to strengthen sustainable land use through international policies. The work was carried out by Ecologic Institute and the Öko-Institut, led by Stephanie Wunder, Senior Fellow at Ecologic Institute.

In the paper "Governance screening of global land use", the project partners in GLOBALANDS screen and analyze international policies, which have the potential to generate high sustainability impacts on global land use. For each international policy field, the most relevant policies are analyzed in relation to their objectives, mechanisms, and (estimated) relevance for sustainable land use. The analysis provides an overview as to how the specific policy influences land use and thereby provides insights into opportunities and barriers for a more sustainable land use worldwide.

The screening goes beyond the main land use related sectors, such as agriculture and forestry, and includes policies from diverse sectors and subjects that have an important impact on large areas of land, even if the impacts are indirect and not intended by the specific policies (e.g., trade and investment policies). "Windows of Opportunity" for future action on the international policy level are identified (e.g., implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, development of Sustainable Development Goals, further development of climate policies/ REDD+, etc.).

The screening also finds that current international policies do not address some of the most significant drivers of unsustainable land use (either not effectively or not at all), such as population growth, increasing consumption and (western) diets.

In total, more than 120 international policies are analyzed. The analysis provides a thorough overview of policies at the international/global level as well as the EU level. In addition, ten national case studies provide further insights into different land-related policies (Brazil, Bolivia, Argentina, Cuba, Kenya, Niger/Burkina Faso, India, Australia, Belgium, and Germany).

The report (PDF, 2.8 MB, English) is available for download and can also be found at the project website.


Wunder et al (2013): "Governance screening of global land use", discussion paper produced within the research project "GLOBALANDS – Global Land Use and Sustainability", authors: Wunder, Stephanie; Hermann, Andreas, Heyen, Dirk Arne; Kaphengst, Timo, Smith, Lucy, von der Weppen, Johanna, Wolff, Franziska; Berlin, Ecologic Institute and Öko- Institute, October 2013

Franziska Wolff (Oeko-Institut)
Andreas Hermann (Oeko-Institut)
Dirk Arne Heyen (Oeko-Institut)
221 pp.
Project ID
2367, 2393
Table of Contents

1 Objectives and methodological approach
1.1 Background and objectives
1.2 Selection of relevant policies
1.3 Classification and presentation of policies
1.4 Limits of the governance screening
1.5 Structure of the report
2 Results of the international governance screening
2.1 Land use policies per sector
2.1.1 Agriculture
2.1.2 Forestry
2.1.3 Built up land
2.2 Cross Cutting Policies – for specific environmental media/environmental goods
2.2.1 Climate
2.2.2 Biodiversity
2.2.3 Soil
2.2.4 Water 78
2.3 Integrated Policies (addressing different sectors/ environmental media/ policies)
2.3.1 Sustainability
2.3.2 Resource policies
2.3.3 Spatial and Land Use Planning (including SEA and EIA)
2.4 Cross cutting policies (non-sectoral)
2.4.1 Energy 95
2.4.2 Trade 101
2.4.3 Investment
2.4.4 Land Tenure
2.4.5 Development & Cohesion Policy
2.4.6 Corruption / Transparency
2.5 Cross Cutting issues with a lack of (effective) policies
2.5.1 Dietary change
2.5.2 Food losses and food waste
2.5.3 Global population growth
2.5.4 Gender equality
2.5.5 Public goods and the internalization of externalities
2.5.6 Environmental liability
3 National case studies
3.1 Introduction
3.2 Selection of case studies
3.3 General overview
3.4  Latin America
3.4.1 Brazil: Policies for reducing deforestation – ambitious, though not always
3.4.2 Mother Earth Law: A solution for deforestation in Bolivia?
3.4.3 Argentina: Beef production decline, soy expansion and their interrelationship
3.4.1 Cuba: Necessity the Mother of Invention?
3.5 Africa 168
3.5.1 Pastoralism and land governance in Kenya
3.5.2 Recultivating the desert in Niger and Burkina Faso
3.6 Asia 175
3.6.1 India: Afforestation and reforestation
3.7 Ozeanien
3.7.1 Mining Agreements in Australia
3.8 Europe 184
3.8.1 Germany - Landscape Planning
3.8.2 Veggie Day- Ghent Belgium
3.9 Summary 196
4 Conclusions, outlook and open questions
5 Windows of Opportunity for international Policies
6 References 203
6.1 Background and objectives
6.2 Agriculture
6.3 Forestry 204
6.4 Built up land
6.5 Climate 208
6.6 Biodiversity
6.7 Soil 210
6.8 Water 211
6.9 Sustainability
6.10 Resource Policies
6.11 Spatial and Land Use Planning
6.12 Energy 213
6.13 Trade 214
6.14 Investment
6.15 Land Tenure
6.16 Development and Cohesion Policy
6.17 Corruption and Transparency
6.18 Dietary Change
6.19 Food Losses and Food Waste
6.20 Global Population Growth
6.21 Gender Equality
6.22 Public Goods
6.23 Environmental Liability

sustainable land use, soil, land, land use planning, UNCCD, Voluntary Guidelines, Sustainable Development Goals, land use policy, agriculture, Latin America, Africa, Asia, Ocania, Europe, Brazil, Argentina, Cuba, Kenya, Burkina Faso, India, Australia, Germany, Belgium