Land is the foundation of our life; stopping the critical loss of land and turning this trend around is critical for the future prosperity and security of humankind. The Sustainable Development Goal 15 “Life on land” commits world leaders to work together to achieve land degradation neutrality (LDN) for safeguarding life on land. One of the objectives that comprises LDN is to reinforce responsible governance of land tenure. Land rights is indeed a key factor for achieving LDN and delivering food, water and livelihoods security for future generations, particularly the poor people, on the path to real sustainability. However, how much do key stakeholders understand the vital connection between land rights and land degradation? This publication by the UNCCD CSO Panel aims to analyze and highlight the linkages between land rights and land degradation with the objective of offering policy recommendations to enhance land rights for both the prevention of land degradation and the recovery of degraded lands.
Securing land rights is a challenge that demands multi-actor collaboration. Local communities and organizations that work very close to the land are a primary resource for the innovation, experimentation and adaptation that are needed to find new pathways and solutions around the world. The establishment of partnerships across government, civil society, investors and donors to overcome constraints related to land rights and to get advantage of the related opportunities will be important to achieve the LDN goals. We invite Parties, CSOs, local communities and other interested stakeholders who share this vision to work together as partners and mobilize our abilities and efforts to secure land rights for sustainable life. We hope that you will find this CSO Panel publication useful and inspiring.