Desertification, land degradation and drought

A John Deere tractor pulling a direct drill through a field of stubble
Direct drilling - where the ground is not ploughed before a new crop is established - helps conserve soil moisture and structure and prevents wind erosion. Switching to direct drilling, or "no-till", can therefore bring big savings in labour and machinery costs. However does this translate to better gross margins? A benchmarking study, which compared no-till with more conventional approach, suggest there are savings to be made despite dips in yield. This supports SDG12: Responsible Consumption and Production.
Linking to Goals 2, 6, 12, 15, and 17, this website catalogues and facilitates water stewardship projects in river basins and regions around the world.
Linking to Goals 2, 6, 15, 17, this toolbox connects your business to the latest tools, guidance, case studies, datasets, and more most relevant to you based on your circumstances and interests.
Living in a harsh, desert climate, Omani rural communities have developed locally-appropriate knowledge to deal with water scarcity. The aflaj taps into the natural water table and uses a gravity system to channel water through underground channels to villages. Traditional techniques of water management, represents a way of adapting to and coping with difficult climates but modernisation harms these traditional systems. This review finds ways for the aflaj system to respond to pressures of modernity and adapt to a multiple institutional framework to ‘transform’ collective water management, contributing to SDG 6.

Science Bulletin, Volume 61, Issue 23, December 2016, Pages 1833-1838

Future climate change is usually projected by coupled earth system models under specific emission scenarios designed by integrated assessment models (IAMs): this offline approach means there is no interaction between the coupled earth system models and the IAMs. This paper introduces a new method to design possible future emission scenarios and corresponding climate change, in which a simple economic and climate damage component is added to the coupled earth system model of Beijing Normal University (BNU-ESMs. Measuring future climate change is critical for reporting on progress on SDG 13 Climate action.

Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, Volumes 26–27, June 2017, Pages 77-83

Spatial distribution of deforestation observed in 1988–2004 and 2005–2014, including the main territorial units (agrarian settlements) created prior to 2004 and subsequently, along with key transportation infrastructure (paved roads and ports).
In the Brazilian Amazon, environmental considerations have not been adequately incorporated into long-term land use planning and this failure has partly been due to the complexities of the country’s existing inter-sectorial institutional arrangements. The authors point out the major challenges for the balance between of use of natural resources under a capital-driven agenda and the needs and aspirations of large and widely distributed populations throughout the Amazon region, which could have an important role in sustainability. This article demonstrates the multidiscilpinary nature of the SDGs by exploring the interconnectedness of economic development and environmental concerns.
Land Degradation (LD) in socio-environmental systems negatively impacts sustainable development paths. This paper provides an in-depth investigation of changes in biophysical and socioeconomic conditions of agricultural districts over time with the objective to assess local-scale spatial diversification in the degree of land susceptibility to degradation, taken as a proxy of desertification risk, related to SDG 15 (life on land).
Using newly-released and globally available high-resolution remote sensing data on forest loss, the authors update the assessment of the cross-country determinants of deforestation in developing countries. Agricultural trade, relatively neglected to date, is found to be one of the main factors causing deforestation. Insights into the relationship between the levels of forestation and trade are vital for understanding how to address SDG 15.2 to promote the implementation of sustainable management of all types of forests.
Green waste left over from vegetable harvesting provides feed for sheep and is then returned to the soil as manure
Livestock has disappeared from swathes of England in the past 50 years as many growers became increasingly specialised. However as our soils increasingly suffer leaching, erosion and compaction from ever-heavier modern machinery, more and more arable farmers are reaping the benefits of bringing sheep and cattle back on to the land. Such measures help support SDG 12 Responsible Consumption and Production.
This study has investigated how smallholder farmers contribute to our global food supply. They looked at where farms are located, what type of commodities are produced (plants, livestock’s or fish) from farms of different sizes and their nutrition implications. They found that small farms produce 75–100% of all cereal in North America and South America, Australia, and New Zealand , livestock, and fruit in these regions, whereas small farms (<20 ha) found in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, southeast Asia, and China produce 75% of food commodities globally. This is in line with the attainment of SDG 2.