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SUBSIDIARY BODY ON SCIENTIFIC, TECHNICAL AND TECHNOLOGICAL ADVICE

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SUBSIDIARY BODY ON SCIENTIFIC, TECHNICAL AND TECHNOLOGICAL ADVICE ( subsidiary-body-on-scientific-technical-and-technological-ad )

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UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/20/INF/60 Page 4 1.0 Background and Purpose In the last five years, a number of global and regional targets and commitments have been agreed to by national governments to halt and reverse land degradation and restore degraded land. Starting in 2010, these include the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, one of which aims to restore at least 15% of degraded ecosystems; the Bonn Challenge and related regional initiatives (e.g., 20x20, AFR100) to restore more than 150 million hectares; and most recently the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular SDG target 15.3 where Member States agreed to restore degraded land and soil, and achieve land degradation neutrality. By 2030, combat desertification, restore degraded land and soil, including land affected by desertification, drought and floods, and strive to achieve a land-degradation-neutral world On 11 March 2016, the 47th session of the UN Statistical Commission approved a draft global indicator framework1 intended for the follow-up and review of progress towards the SDGs at the global level. The indicator, proposed by the Inter-Agency and Expert Group on SDG indicators (IAEG-SDGs) for SDG target 15.3, is the “Proportion of land that is degraded over total land area” (referred to as SDG indicator 15.3.1). This initial global indicator framework will next be submitted to the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and the UN General Assembly for adoption. However, many countries currently lack the necessary methods, data and expertise to monitor and report on land degradation. Building capacity in this regard would help decision-makers identify the significant opportunities for the conservation, rehabilitation, restoration and the sustainable management of land resources. The purpose of this document, Framework and Guiding Principles for a Land Degradation Indicator (hereto referred to as the “Framework”), is to provide consistent definitions and the best available methodologies as well as global/regional data options for the three sub-indicators2 i) land cover and land cover change, ii) land productivity, and iii) carbon stocks above and below ground that could be used to derive the indicator for monitoring and reporting progress towards SDG target 15.3 as well as other relevant targets and commitments. 1 http://unstats.un.org/unsd/statcom/47th-session/documents/2016-2-IAEG-SDGs-Rev1-E.pdf 2 Progress indicators adopted by the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) at their 11th Conference of the Parties in 2013 http://www.unccd.int/Lists/OfficialDocuments/cop11/23add1eng.pdf

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