• English
  • Deutsch
Facebook icon
LinkedIn icon
Twitter icon
YouTube icon
Header image Ecologic

Resource-Efficient Land Use – Towards a Global Sustainable Land Use Standard (GLOBALANDS)

Resource-Efficient Land Use – Towards a Global Sustainable Land Use Standard (GLOBALANDS)

The German Federal Agency of Environment (UBA) published a synthesis report in October 2015. The report summarises major findings of the research and discussions undertaken in the project "Global Land Use and Sustainability (GLOBALANDS)", in which the Ecologic Institute played a major role. The synthesis report describes future pathways towards global sustainable land use and presents recommendations for German policy. The report ends with remaining questions, which need further investigation and discussion. It is available for download.

The aim of the GLOBALANDS project was to identify promising existing land use policies and to develop possible governance tools towards a more resource efficient and sustainable global land use. Different approaches were discussed in workshops with selected German, European and inter-national stakeholders, and respective research partners.

The Synthesis Report particularly highlights current "windows of opportunity" to strengthen sustainable land use through international policies, for example:

  • The proposed UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in which land is covered partially,
  • Mainstreaming of sustainable land use in existing UN and international governance systems such as UN conventions to allow for more coherence,
  • Better safeguarding of sustainable land use in project-level financing of bi- and multilateral development agencies and bodies.


Fritsche, Uwe R.; Ulrike Eppler, Leire Iriarte et al. 2015: Resource-Efficient Land Use – Towards a Global Sustainable Land Use Standard (GLOBALANDS).

Uwe R. Fritsche (IINAS)
Ulrike Eppler (IINAS)
Leire Iriarte (IINAS)
Sabine Laaks (IINAS)
Franziska Wolff (Oeko-Institut)
Dirk Heyen (Oeko-Institut)
Alexa Lutzenberger (Leuphana University)
Published In
99 pp.
Project ID
2367, 2393
Table of Contents

Table of Content
List of Figures
List of Tables
List of Boxes
1 Objectives and Approach of the GLOBALANDS Project
2 Global Land Use in Context
2.1 Global Land Use Change: Drivers, Patterns and Trends
2.1.1 Agriculture
2.1.2 Deforestation
2.1.3 Human settlements, Infrastructure, Mining and other Land Use
2.2 Future Global Land Use
2.3 What is Sustainable Land Use?
3 Global Governance for Sustainable Land Use
3.1 Approach and Classification of Policies
3.2 Conclusions from the Global Governance Screening
3.3 Conclusions from 10 Country Case Studies
3.4 Role of the Private Sector
3.5 Windows of Opportunity for Sustainable Land Use
3.5.1 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)
3.5.2 UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)
3.5.3 UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
3.5.4 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
3.5.5 Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure (VGGT)
3.5.6 Principles for Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems (RAI)
3.5.7 Urban Policies
4 Focus on EU Policies and Sustainable Land Use
4.1 EU Agricultural Policy
4.2 EU Soil Policy
4.3 EU Resource Policy and Land
4.4 EU Bioenergy Policy
5 A New Kid on the Block: Systemic Indicators
5.1 The Role of Indicators for Sustainability Governance
5.1.1 Indicators for the SDGs
5.1.2 Summary of Current Indicator Processes
5.2 Introducing Systemic Indicators
5.3 Top-down versus bottom-up
5.4 The Normative Base for Systemic Indicator Approach
5.5 Implementing Systemic Indicators
6 Pathways towards Global Sustainable Land Use
6.1 Agenda-setting
6.2 Promoting Institutional Co-ordination and Actor Cooperation
6.3 Mainstreaming Sustainable Land Use Concerns into Existing Policies and Institutions
6.4 Creating New Policies and Institutions
6.5 Conclusions on Policy Pathways
7 Recommendations for German Policy
7.1 A Global Land Convention, a Protocol or a Standard?
7.2 Maintain Land in the SDGs and Improve Indicators, and Monitoring
7.3 UN Rio Conventions
7.3.1 UNCCD: Scope and Indicators
7.3.2 CBD: Strengthening Implementation and Integration
7.3.3 UNFCCC: Sustainable Land Use in Global Climate Policy
7.4 VGGT and RAI: Implementation and Monitoring
7.5 Standards for Project Finance
7.6 Moving Beyond Blind Spots
8 Open Questions and Further Research
8.1 Mainstreaming Sustainable Land Use in Global Governance
8.2 Indicators for Sustainable Land Use
8.3 Monitoring of Global Land Use Governance
8.4 Moving towards a Global Land Use Standard
8.5 A New Focus on Urban-Rural Linkages
Annex 1: GLOBALANDS Workshops
Annex 2: GLOBALANDS Papers
Annex 3: GLOBALANDS Contributions to Conferences and Workshops