The LEDDRA Policy Conference aimed to present selected and policy-related project findings and to discuss associated policy recommendations, as well as to develop new critical thinking to support future initiatives addressing Land and Ecosystem Degradation and Desertification (LEDD). The conference brought together LEDDRA researchers, policy makers from international, EU organizations, and Member States, as well as stakeholder groups and NGOs. The discussion and questions raised by the presentations and dialogue at the conference will contribute to ongoing efforts to combat land degradation and desertification at the international, European, and national levels. The online registration form can be accessed on the conference website.
More than 20% of land at the global level has been affected by land degradation, negatively impacting soil productivity, the provision of ecosystem services, and people's livelihoods. The most common land degradation problems include soil erosion, water stress, ecosystem fragmentation, biodiversity decline, and land desertification. Land degradation caused by unsustainable land use practices may be influenced by socio-economic factors, leading land users to make land management decisions which contribute to rather than alleviate desertification. The increasing effects of climate change and the need to cope with global challenges, such as the mounting demand for food production, are accelerating these trends. Various types of actions are being taken to respond to land and ecosystem degradation and desertification, seeking to address both land and ecosystem-related problems and a range of socio-economic concerns.