Parallel Session 7.4: Synergy between the UNFCCC and UNCCD: Achieving the Co-Benefits of Climate Change Adaptation and Land Degradation Neutrality (UNCCD)


Both the UNCCD National Action Programmes and UNFCCC National Adaptation Plans are largely dependent on healthy productive land. Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) under the UNCCD, the new global paradigm for keeping land in balance, is defined as “a state whereby the amount and quality of land resources necessary to support ecosystem functions and services and enhance food security remain stable or increase within specified temporal and spatial scales and ecosystems”. The goal of LDN is to maintain or enhance land-based natural capital, and its associated ecosystem services such as provision of food and regulation of water and climate, while enhancing the resilience of the land-dependent communities.

LDN encourages a dual-pronged approach promoting sustainable land management (SLM) to avoid or reduce land degradation, combined with strategic effort in land restoration and rehabilitation to reverse degradation on degraded lands and thereby deliver the target of “no net loss” of productive land. LDN has generated tremendous positive momentum towards transformation at the country level, with 120 (mostly affected developing) countries formally committed to set LDN targets.

One of the guiding principles of LDN is that planning and implementation should be aligned with and incorporated into existing planning processes, including both UNCCD and UNFCCC NAPs. For National Adaptation Plans, there is also a guiding principle that promotes consideration of vulnerable ecosystems as well as the integration of National Adaptation Plans in various national developing plans and strategies. As countries are still in the early stages of formulating their National Adaptation Plans, there are many opportunities for promoting synergy between the two processes, including during implementation to fully deliver co-benefits of SLM and climate change adaptation.

Against this background the session will focus on overcoming the challenges and accelerating the opportunities of working towards climate change adaptation and achieving land degradation neutrality simultaneously in an integrated manner. The first half of the session will include an introduction to LDN as a framework which can help countries optimize interventions and navigate the inevitable trade-offs entailed by competing demands for land. This will be followed by presentations from experts who are working at the country and project levels who will share their experiences in pursuing climate change adaptation and LDN in an integrated manner. The second half of the session will be dedicated to a participatory exercise designed to collaboratively identifying barriers and incentives to working in a more synergistic way across the two issues. The challenges and opportunities will ultimately be contributed to the UNCCD Science-Policy Interface (SPI) which is working on developing policy-oriented recommendations for consideration at UNCCD COP 14 in October 2019 (New Delhi, India).


  • To introduce Land Degradation Neutrality and explore entry points in the LDN framework for climate change adaptation community initiatives.
  • To learn about country and project-level experience of pursuing climate change adaptation and LDN targets in an integrated manner.
  • To facilitate an effective exchange between different regions on leverage points for integrating climate change adaptation and LDN targets.
  • To foster an interactive forum for synergies in UNCCD and UNFCCC NAPs, so that LDN and climate change adaptation co-benefits can be achieved.
  • To capture and map opportunities and challenges in realizing LDN and climate change adaptation co-benefits.

Expected outcomes

At the end of the session, participants will have gained an understanding of how to:

  • Raise awareness of how it is possible to design transformative projects and programmes which can achieve climate change adaptation ambitions and
    LDN targets simultaneously, ultimately advancing the implementation of both UNCCD and UNFCCC NAPs;
  • Contribute the outcomes of the interactive session to the Science-Policy Interface (SPI) of the UNCCD for consideration in their reports and policy oriented recommendations that will be considered at UNCCD COP 14 in October 2019;
  • Continue to work synergistically on climate change adaptation and LDN through appropriate mechanisms.

Link for presentations


Sectoral issues
Location: Room 205 Date: April 11, 2019 Time: 9:00 am - 10:30 am