Time: Wednesday, 10/Apr/2013: 8:30am - 9:45am

Special session organized by the European Commission

Session Abstract

To address complex global challenges, decision makers and environmental managers have to be able to rely on up to date information on the state and trends of the degradation of the land, its causes and effects, and be offered routes for solutions, such as sustainable land management options including economic valuations and trade-offs. The JRC coordinates an international activity to compile a new global reference on where land degradation and desertification (LDD) happens, the World Atlas of Desertification (WAD). This endeavor is undertaken in partnership with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and in collaboration with a vast network of the best experts worldwide. Further to the implementation of this initiative, the JRC developed an integrated concept to approach this stocktaking and also took the lead for the development of a scientific, transparent and repeatable methodology for global assessment and mapping, a complex open challenge. WAD addresses the economic aspects of LDD and offers a first global base reference to be included in econometric models. The WAD, to be made available during 2013 as digital information portal and published reference atlas, is a new foundation to better address LDD in policy strategies and an important contribution towards reaching the challenging UNCCD goal for a land degradation neutral world as endorsed at RIO+20.

The goals of the session include: (1) Inform the community on the New World Atlas of Desertification (WAD) as updated conceptual and data base reference for the state of LDD at global scale (paper and digital portal); (2) Inform on the specific findings related to the assessment and mapping and the status of LDD at global and regional scales; (3) Illustrate how in the WAD information and base reference is or can be integrated into econometric models used for the valuation of LDD. Expected Outcomes of the session are as follows: (1) Understanding of the contribution of the WAD to: (a) addressing SLM options for dealing with LDD as global problem; (b) economic assessments and valuation of LDD (spatial data layers integrated into economic models). (2) UNCCD stakeholder community informed about first results on the estimation of the actual global extend of LDD and the economic consequences.

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