Desertification, Land Degradation and Drought (DLDD) directly affect 1.5 billion people who depend on dry and degraded lands for their livelihood. 42% of the world’s very poor live in degraded areas compared to only 15% of the non-poor. Therefore, the economic and social impacts of DLDD are significant. For instance, it has been estimated that the direct economic costs of desertification for Burkina Faso and Nigeria were 9% resp. 17% of GDP in 1995. Concerning social impacts, DLDD leads to increasing poverty as poor people’s livelihoods are highly dependent on the productivity of land, and to urban migration in communities whose livelihoods lack resilience to low farm productivity. DLDD can also have secondary social impacts in malnutrition and disease that arise through poor farm productivity,
poverty and constraints on water quality and availability. The social impacts of DLDD are affecting about 870 million people who are suffering from chronic undernourishment and 1 billion with no access to safe drinking water. For efficient and effective prevention and mitigation measures against DLDD, it is essential to clearly assess the economic and social impacts of DLDD and identify the important actors such as land users, landowners, governmental authorities and industries. Further, it is necessary to analyse how institutions and policies influence those actors. However, both the implementation and effectiveness of prevention or mitigation measures of DLDD are limited by a range of barriers such as insufficient financing and resourcing, rather weak scientific basis and knowledge exchange in DLDD, insufficient advocacy and awareness as well as inadequate legal basis. Based on White Paper I, panellists in this session will assess the economic and social impacts of DLDD, consider the gaps in impact assessment, and review possible means to achieve better impact analysis.
SESSION CHAIR: Anneke TRUX; Team Leader, Convention Project to Combat Desertification (CCD Project), Division Environment and Climate Change, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, Bonn, Germany
Stefan SCHMITZ; Head of division rural development and food security, German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Bonn, Germany, Keynote: "Better evidence for better policies. A paradigm shift is needed to counter vulnerability and increase people's resilience."
Edward B. BARBIER; John S Bugas Professor of Economics, Department of Economics and Finance, University of Wyoming, Wyoming, USA, "Land degradation and the rural poor: economic and social impacts"
Joachim VON BRAUN; Director, Center for Development Research (ZEF) and Professor for Economic and Technological Change, University of Bonn, Germany, "Economic and social impacts of land degradation and drought - framework, assessment and policy implications"
Maria Laura CORSO; Technical Adviser to the Department of Land Conservation and Desertification of the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development of Argentina, Buenos Aires, Argentina, "Evaluación socioeconómica de la desertificación a escala local. Aplicación de la Metodología LADA en Argentina"
Pak Sum LOW; UKM-Yayasan Sime Darby Chair in Climate Change, Faculty of Science and Technology, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Bangi, Selangor D.E., Malaysa, "Economic and Social Impacts of Desertification, Land Degradation and Drought:Key Findings, Policy Implications and Recommendations of White Paper I"
Lindsay STRINGER; Director, Sustainability Research Institute and reader in Environment and Development, University of Leeds, UK, "Unpacking the economic and social impacts of land degradation, desertification and drought: lessons from southern Africa"
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