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FAO validates implementation of Land Degradation Neutrality process for sustainable land management in Jordan

By JT - Jul 29,2021 - Last updated at Jul 29,2021

AMMAN — The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) and the Ministry of Agriculture on Thursday conducted a validation workshop of the project “Achieving Land Degradation Neutrality Targets through Restoration and Sustainable Management of Degraded Land in Northern Jordan”, funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

The validation workshop was attended by a group of stakeholders and government partners, according to an FAO statement. 

Despite ample knowledge and a high-level understanding of the land degradation situation, there are currently no national programmes, plans or regulations to promote the introduction and scaling up of Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) practices within a framework that would support the achievement of Jordan’s voluntary LDN targets, the statement said. 

Local communities lack the capacity to generate or adequately invest funds to move up to higher-value agricultural chains to increase livelihood opportunities. 

In addition, there is a lack of real-time data on the condition of land and the state of natural resources, according to the statement.

Moreover, the project will work to establish a contextual basis to introduce the Land Degradation Neutrality framework through a participatory assessment and monitoring systems that will reinforce and give weight to the LDN implementation and negotiation, as well as increase ownership of the issues and restoration processes and techniques. 

In addition to stakeholder consultations in the project’s design process, cross-cutting issues, such as gender equality and sustainability, will form part of the project’s early stages. 

Agriculture Minister Khaled Hneifat said that the project’s launch is in line with the other efforts to face great challenges. 

The minister commended FAO’s role to keep pace with environmental, climatic and production changes. He also commended the FAO’s “continuous cooperation with the ministry, especially in developing the national food security strategy, preparing its action plan, and supporting the launch and facilitation of national dialogues for the Food Systems Summit”. 

FAO and the Agriculture Ministry currently cooperate in the fields of forest rehabilitation, grassland development, water harvesting and small farmer support, according to the minister. 

The coordination efforts all come “to achieve the objectives of the national strategy for the agricultural sector”, the minister highlighted. 

Nabil Assaf, FAO Representative in Jordan said: “The proposed project will follow a landscape approach in line with GEF’s vision to foster sustainable integrated landscapes to achieve LDN”. 

Assaf added that work at a landscape level allows stakeholders to address issues in a multifaceted way, integrate sectors and work at different scales – “tackling the underlying causes of land degradation and challenges related to food security, not just the symptoms”. 

“In this context, the project will support the formulation of comprehensive land-use planning to rationalise land use in a way that addresses interconnectedness and trade-offs across multiple ecosystems, promotes good governance to align policy directives at the national and sub-national level and promotes innovations in sustainable land management (SLM),” Assaf added.

Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) represents “a paradigm shift” in land management policies and practices. It is “a unique approach” that counterbalances the expected loss of productive land with the recovery of degraded areas. 

It places the measures to conserve, sustainably manage and restore land in the context of land use planning. It also has strategic implications on how the country plans and manages its land resources, read the statement.

So far, 120 countries have committed to achieve LDN by 2030. LDN foundational principles are the necessary minimum requirements for successful implementation and attainment of the LDN, concluded the statement.

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