Discussion Paper No. 23/001
Nearly one-fourth of the world’s land surface is subjected to some form of land degradation. It is estimated that land degradation leads to a loss of 2 trillion US dollars per year for countries, while also reducing the value of land and forests. Currently, about 2 billion hectares of forest land offers very little economic value due to degradation. There are notable social and economic benefits in restoring land. According to Ding et al (2017), every $1 invested in restoring degraded forests can yield between $7 to $30 in economic benefits. Restoring 150 million hectares of degraded agricultural land could generate $85 billion in net benefits to national and local economies, raise $30–40 billion a year in extra income for smallholder farmers, and provide additional food for close to 200 million people. Despite these potential benefits, only a small proportion of the money needed for this purpose has been allocated towards land restoration.
Ensuring more resources for land restoration requires a set of enabling factors which this paper addresses, namely: financing, policies, regulations and technology. Challenges and opportunities for accessing resources will differ for main stakeholder groups: civil society, communities, public sector, private sector, academia and partnerships. This discussion paper highlights key challenges, opportunities and recommendations for accessing resources per stakeholder group and enabling factors.