Using Land Use (Change) for the Valuation of Soil Protection
Despite extensive discussions, thus far no agreement has been found regarding a common soil indicator for measuring Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) in Germany. Major obstacles include low data availability and the effort needed to measure physical soil conditions regularly. During an expert workshop on 27 March 2017 in Berlin, a new and simpler approach, developed by Ecologic Institute in cooperation with the German Federal Environment Agency (UBA), was discussed to determine its suitability for LDN. The core idea of the approach is to measure land use and land use change, directly referring to soil quality in the sense of LDN.
Timo Kaphengst, Associate at Ecologic Institute, presented a working paper, which was developed prior to the workshop. The main issues of discussion included the categories presented for land use and land use change as well as their value for soil protection. The presentation and the minutes of the workshop including the main results are available for download.
At the end of the workshop, all 22 participants from research, policy and civil society were positive about the presented approach and noted the high potential for its implementation. However, further refinement of the categories and their values is needed, should the indicator find its way into the German Sustainability Strategy.
In July 2017, after revising the concept, a final conversation will clarify the potential of its political implementation. Following this the final report of the project will be published.