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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGIES FOR ARID RANGELANDS Title: Experiences in monitoring and assessment of sustainable land management

Authors
item Schwlich, Gudrun -
item Bestelmeyer, Brandon
item Bunning, Sally -
item Critchley, William -
item Herrick, Jeffrey
item Kellner, Klaus -
item Lininger, Hanspeter -
item Nachtergaele, Freddy -
item Ritsema, C -
item Schuster, Brigitte -

Submitted to: Land Degradation and Development
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: August 10, 2010
Publication Date: April 1, 2011
Repository URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/57499
Citation: Schwlich, G., Bestelmeyer, B.T., Bunning, S., Critchley, W., Herrick, J.E., Kellner, K., Lininger, H., Nachtergaele, F., Ritsema, C.J., Schuster, B. 2011. Experiences in monitoring and assessment of sustainable land management. Land Degradation and Development. 22:214-225.

Interpretive Summary: Although sustainable land management (SLM) is widely promoted to prevent and mitigate land degradation and desertification, its monitoring and assessment has received much less attention. This paper compiles methodological approaches which to date have been little reported in literature. It draws lessons from these experiences and identifies common elements and future pathways as a basis for a global approach to SLM.

Technical Abstract: Although sustainable land management (SLM) is widely promoted to prevent and mitigate land degradation and desertification, its monitoring and assessment has received much less attention. This paper compiles methodological approaches which to date have been little reported in literature. It draws lessons from these experiences and identifies common elements and future pathways as a basis for a global approach. The paper starts with local level methods where the WOCAT (World Overview of Conservation Approaches and Technologies) framework catalogues SLM case studies. This tool has been included in the local level assessment of LADA (Land Degradation Assessment in Drylands) and in the EU-DESIRE project. Complementary site-based approaches can enhance an ecological process-based understanding of SLM variation. At national and sub-national level, a joint WOCAT/LADA/DESIRE spatial assessment based on land use systems identifies the status and trends of degradation and SLM, including causes, drivers, and impacts on ecosystem services. Expert consultation is combined with scientific evidence and enhanced where necessary with secondary data and indicator databases. At the global level, the Global Environment Facility KM: Land initiative uses indicators to demonstrate impacts of SLM investments. Key lessons learnt include the need for a multi-scale approach, making use of common indicators and a variety of information sources, including scientific data and local knowledge through participatory methods. Methodological consistencies allow cross-scale analyses, and findings are analyzed and documented for use by decision makers at various levels. Effective monitoring and assessment of SLM (e.g. for UNCCD) requires a comprehensive methodological framework agreed by the major players.

Last Modified: 12/21/2014
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