Desertification, land degradation and drought

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.
Maize growing under plastic

Critics claim that maize can cause unwanted environmental impacts. But supporters of the crop are able to show how by use of cover crops it can be grown responsibly, reducing or eliminating, for example, nutrient leaching and soil erosion. In south-west England, a Wessex Water project is using cover crops to protect and improve drinking water quality by working with growers whose farms surround boreholes and reservoirs that supply water for human consumption. Steps like this can contribute to SDG 6 to ensure sustainable management of water and SDG 12 to ensure sustainable production.

Reducing large-scale deforestation in commodity frontiers remains a key challenge for climate change mitigation and the conservation of biodiversity. Public and private anti-deforestation policies have been shown to effectively reduce forest loss, but the conditions under which such policies get adopted are rarely examined. This paper proposes a set of conditions for the adoption of effective anti-deforestation policies. Such conditions will help to advance SDG 15.2 to promote the implementation of sustainable management of all types of forests and halt deforestation.
The Blueprint for Business Leadership on the SDGs aims to inspire all business — regardless of size, sector or geography — to take leading action in support of the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It illustrates how the five leadership qualities of Ambition, Collaboration, Accountability, Consistency, and Intentional can be applied to a business' strategy, business model, products, supply chain, partnerships, and operations to raise the bar and create impact at scale. The Blueprint is a tool for any business that is ready to advance its principled approach to SDG action to become a leader. This chapter relates specifically to SDG 15.
Elsevier,

Sustainable Cities and Society, Volume 28, 2017, Pages 450-452

This paper discusses the CO2 footprint of California’s drought during 2012–2014. The authors show that California drought significantly increased CO2 emissions of the energy sector by around 22 million metric tons, indicating 33% increase in the annual CO2 emissions compared to pre-drought conditions. They argue that CO2 emission of climate extremes deserve more attention, because their cumulative impacts on CO2 emissions are staggering. Most countries, including the United States, do not have a comprehensive a nationwide energy-water plan to minimize their CO2 emissions, therefore the authors argue that developing a national water-energy plan under a changing climate should be prioritized in the coming years.
This paper uses ‘Medieval’ drought conditions from the 12th Century to simulate the implications of severe and persistent drought for the future of water resource management in metropolitan Phoenix, one of the largest and fastest growing urban areas in the southwestern USA. Anticipatory models enable long-term policy analysis for climate change. Mega-drought results in unsustainable groundwater use between 2000 and 2060. Aggressive drought management policies can produce sustainable yield. The time to manage droughts is before they occur. This relates to SDG 6, SDG 11 and SDG 13.
This report offers a framework for principle-based collaboration between business, the UN, governments, civil society and other stakeholders in relation to soil management and the entire agricultural value chain. It directly supports SDG 2 and SDG 15.

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