Land Degradation Assessment in Drylands


Geographical coverage

Geographical scale of the assessment Global,National
Country or countries covered Cuba, China, Argentina, Senegal, Tunisia, South Africa
Any other necessary information or explanation for identifying the location of the assessment, including site or region name

Conceptual framework, methodology and scope

Assessment objectives

To develop tools and methods to assess and quantify the nature, extent, severity and impacts of land degradation on dryland ecosystems, watersheds and river basins, carbon storage and biological diversity at a range of spatial and temporal scales. It also builds the national, regional and international capacity to analyse, design, plan and implement interventions to mitigate land degradation and establish sustainable land use and management practices.

Mandate for the assessment

Conceptual framework and/or methodology used for the assessment

URL or copy of conceptual framework developed or adapted

System(s) assessed

  • Dryland

Species groups assessed

Ecosystem services/functions assessed


  • Food
  • Water


  • Erosion prevention

Supporting Services/Functions

  • Soil formation and fertility

Cultural Services

Scope of assessment includes

Drivers of change in systems and services

Impacts of change in services on human well-being

Options for responding/interventions to the trends observed

Explicit consideration of the role of biodiversity in the systems and services covered by the assessment


Timing of the assessment

Year assessment started


Year assessment finished


If ongoing, year assessment is anticipated to finish

Periodicity of assessment

One off

Assessment outputs


Communication materials (e.g. brochure, presentations, posters, audio-visual media)

Journal publications

Training materials

Other documents/outputs

Tools and processes

Tools and approaches used in the assessment

  • Modelling
  • Geospatial analysis

Process used for stakeholder engagement in the assessment process and which component

Key stakeholder groups engaged

The number of people directly involved in the assessment process

Incorporation of scientific and other types of knowledge

Supporting documentation for specific approaches, methodology or criteria developed and/or used to integrate knowledge systems into the assessment

Assessment reports peer reviewed


Accessibility of data used in assessment

Policy impact

Impacts the assessment has had on policy and/or decision making, as evidenced through policy references and actions

Independent or other review on policy impact of the assessment

Lessons learnt for future assessments from these reviews

The capacities developed and the knowledge base produced by the project, constitute a platform for policy making at national and global level. All the information is made available to interested parties through workshops, publications, web-based information systems and the increased expertise of the national organizations involved.

LADA communicates and exchanges land degradation information in order to complete the linkage between research and the policy decision-making process. It does this through policy guidance (in UN-CCD's Regional, Sub-regional and National Action Programmes), with GEF and other implementing agencies in land degradation control, and the identification of priority actions, such as policy and institutional reforms and development investments at all levels.

Capacity building

Capacity building needs identified during the assessment

At all stages of intervention within the LADA project, substantial attention is given to training, institutional and technical capacity building, with the final goal of improving policy and decision-making capability. A particular emphasis is put on multi-stakeholder involvement and participation, especially of land users and farmers at the local level and of policymakers at national and global levels.

Local professionals and extension agents are being trained in field assessment of land degradation through adopting a farmer-perspective and using a sustainable rural livelihoods approach.

The capacity building activity has a special focus at regional level, through the establishment in the LADA countries of six regional training centres on land degradation issues. The regional centres will be created with the collaboration of the national partners, trainers identified and the curricula developed.

Actions taken by the assessment to build capacity

How have gaps in capacity been communicated to the different stakeholders

Knowledge generation

Gaps in knowledge identified from the assessment

How gaps in knowledge have been communicated to the different stakeholders

Additional relevant information