The discussion forum will be hosted by the ELD Initiative in close cooperation with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and with financial support from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
The ELD discussion forum will focus on the economic aspects of environmental degradation and the sustainable management of terrestrial ecosystems and will revolve around two main topics: the economics of land and land-based ecosystems and the green economy and natural capital accounting.
One part of the event will focus on different approaches how to value land-based ecosystems and their services to facilitate investments and the financing of sustainable land management. Investments in unsustainable land management practices can create short-term gains but often turn into long-term losses. These losses can be prevented through investments in sustainable land management, avoiding land degradation and the restoration of degraded land. The underlying case for the valuation of ecosystem services is that it will contribute towards better decision-making, ensuring that policy appraisals fully take into account the costs and benefits to the natural environment.
The discussion forum will also focus on exploring how environmental and land-related aspects can be considered in national planning and accounting. Natural Capital Accounting (NCA) and related concepts provide new opportunities to integrate the values of ecosystems and their services in the national development strategies. There is a noticeable rising demand for economic information as a basis for decision-making processes regarding the sustainable management of natural resources on a national level.
The Economics of Land Degradation (ELD) Initiative was created in 2012 by the BMZ, together with the European Commission (EC) and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), aiming to transform the global understanding of the value of land and make the economic case for sustainable land management.