Land Degradation

Land degradation focal area of the GEF SGP is informed by the previous activities of the millennium ecosystems assessments and specifically targets directly the realization of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). Indirectly, this focal area also helps in the realization of the Non legal binding instrument of the convention on all forests types of the United Nations forum on forests (UNFF). Desertification and deforestation remains the main priority of the GEF SGP in this focal area and it aims at improving agro-ecosystems and forest landscapes where deterioration of ecosystems services and goods undermines the livelihoods of many people. A majority of these people are the very poor. This problem manifests itself prominently in the dryland ecosystems where climate change impacts further exacerbates the predicaments of the rural poor.

The key strategic priorities of the focal area are three of which the GEF SGP aims at supporting the realization of the two. These are: i) maintaining and improving services coming out of ecosystems that help in sustaining local communities livelihoods, and ii) support in the reduction of pressures on natural resources that are contributed by natural or manmade actors in the areas where degradation impacts their daily needs. The third strategic priority, which by default is also addressed, although much more specifically in the drylands zones, includes sustaining the livelihoods of forest dependent peoples who eke their living from goods and services provided by the forests themselves and other animals therein.

 Types of projects supported by SGP

The types of projects that GEF SGP typically supports within the strategic priority on improving and maintaining ecosystem functions aims at capacity development of the local communities to improve their rational use and to make better decisions on the management of such landscapes so that ultimately, the community's livelihoods can be improved. Further, the programme aims at implementing integrated approaches to enhance soil fertility, management of water resources, crops and livestock within a farm household. In rangeland ecosystems, the projects that are targeted will aim at regulating livestock pressure on rangeland resources and encouraging rotational grazing systems. Conversely, for the sustainable priority on reduction of pressures from landscapes, the projects encouraged will include: improvement of agricultural activities near protected areas systems, management of watershed lands, working with communities to avoid deforestation and degradation of forest lands while generally building capacity of communities to maintain continual provision of services and goods from their local environment.

Main achievements of the portfolio since 1992

Overall, the Land degradation focal area has grown rapidly since 1992. The LD portfolio comprised only a few (15) projects in 1995 but has grown to 1,979 projects to date (2012). This portfolio is funded by up to total grant amounts of $52 million with almost a similar amount of $59 million of co-financing from both cash and in kind contributions. These investments have contributed to about over 520,000 hectares of land being sustainably managed by the communities themselves.

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Land Degradation Snapshot (Since 1992)

4682 # of Projects

US$ 134,417,812 Total Grant Amount

US$ 63,257,146 Total cash Co-Financing

US$ 90,608,487 Total In-Kind Co-Financing

Portfolio By Region

Asia & the Pacific
Arab States
Europe & the CIS
Latin America & the Caribbean
Global Publications
The GEF Small Grants Programme: Local Action, Global Impact
Small Grants Programme: 25 Years of Engagement with Indigenous Peoples
The GEF Small Grants Programme Result Report 2018 - 2019
Toolkit for the Indicators of Resilience in Socio-Ecological Production Landscapes and Seascapes
The GEF Small Grants Programme Results Report 2018 - 2019
The GEF Small Grants Programme in Least Development Countries (LDCs): Fact-sheet 2017 - 2018
The GEF Small Grants Programme in Small Island Developing States (SIDS): Fact-sheet 2017 - 2018
The GEF Small Grants Programme in Pacific: Fact-sheet 2017 - 2018
The GEF Small Grants Programme in Arab States: Fact-sheet 2017 - 2018
The GEF Small Grants Programme in Latin America and Caribbean: Fact-sheet 2017 - 2018
The GEF Small Grants Programme in Europe and CIS : Fact-sheet 2017 - 2018
The GEF Small Grants Programme in Asia: Fact-sheet 2017 - 2018
The GEF Small Grants Programme in Africa: Fact-sheet 2017 - 2018
Women as Environmental Stewards: The Experience of the Small Grants Programme
The GEF Small Grants Programme Results Report 2017 - 2018
SGP Annual Monitoring Report 2016 - 2017
SGP 25th anniversary: Local action, global impact
COMDEKS: Developing and promoting agro-ecological innovations to address agroecological resilience in production landscapes
SGP corporate brochure, 2017
Community Approaches to Sustainable Land Management and Agroecology Practices
Small Grants Programme Annual Monitoring Report 2015 - 2016
Small Grants Programme Corporate Brochure - 2015
SGP Community Action Global Impact
Hands-on Action for Sustainable Development 1192-2002
Compact - Engaging Local Communities in Stewardship of Globally Significant Protected Areas
Case Studies
Kazakhstan: Green Practices of Kazakhstan
SGP Uzbekistan: Improving Irrigation Efficiency and Lowering Energy Consumption
Peru: Cultivating Tara to reforest degradeded riverbanks
Adopting EE Cook Stoves to Address Deforestation
Ntankah Women in Environmental Protection and Poverty Alleviation
Addressing Land Degradation in Nauro-Gor
Ecuador IP and Forests
Community Gardens as an Alternative to Land Degradation
Clean Energy, Forests, and Indigenous People
Address Land Encroachment and Over Exploitation