Implementing SDG Target 15.3 on "Land Degradation Neutrality"
Development of an Indicator Based on Land Use Changes and Soil Values
Wunder, Stephanie, Timo Kaphengst, Ana Frelih-Larsen, Keighley McFarland, Stefanie Albrecht (2018): Implementing SDG target 15.3 on "Land Degradation Neutrality": Development of an indicator based on Land Use Changes and soil values. Report number UBA-FB 00.
In September 2015, the UN General Assembly adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including target 15.3 which contains the objective to strive towards Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) by 2030. This has opened a "window of opportunity" for many countries to strengthen policies for sustainable use of land and soils and can be seen as a chance to revive EU land and soil policies, which have seen little momentum after the withdrawal of the Soil Framework Directive proposal in 2014.
This report serves as a contribution to inform and prepare the implementation of LDN in the EU. It was developed as part of the research project "Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals on Soils", carried out by Ecologic Institute on behalf of the German Environment Agency.
This report covers five focuses:
- (i) It gives an overview of the definitions and concepts behind LDN,
- (ii) It provides a suggestion of necessary steps and guiding questions towards the implementation of LDN at the national level,
- (iii) It gives an overview of land and soil degradation in Europe, existing monitoring schemes and policy processes that are relevant for the implementation of LDN in Europe,
- (iv) It summarizes the ongoing process of conceptualizing and implementing LDN in Germany and, finally, the report
- (v) It introduces an approach for a new indicator which uses land use categories as a possible proxy indicator for LDN in Germany. Each category is assigned a certain soil value that considers the exposure to soil threats, building on the hemeroby (naturalness) concept.
With regards to (iv) and (v), a report in German ("Land Degradation Neutrality - Handlungsempfehlungen zur Implementierung des SDG-Ziels 15.3 und Entwicklung eines bodenbezogenen Indikators") has been developed within the same project. It provides more detail on the German implementation process and the concept of the developed indicator. These two reports are complementary.