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Area of Degraded Land Under Sustainable Management

Indicator Phrasing

number of hectares of the target land that is effectively managed by formal and informal natural resources protection measures
See indicator in other languages

Indicator Phrasing

English: number of hectares of the target land that is effectively managed by formal and informal natural resources protection measures

French: nombre d'hectares des terres ciblées qui sont gérées efficacement par des mesures formelles et informelles de protection des ressources naturelles

Spanish: número de hectáreas de las tierras objetivo que se gestionan efectivamente con medidas formales e informales de protección de los recursos naturales

Portuguese: número de hectares da área de terra-alvo gerida efetivamente por medidas formais e informais de proteção de recursos naturais

Czech: počet hektarů cílové oblasti, jež jsou efektivně spravovány pomocí formálních a neformálních opatření na ochranu přírodních zdrojů

What is its purpose?

The indicator assesses the total area of degraded land (including forests, pastures, fields, etc.) that is effectively protected against further degradation. The protection can be ensured by community bylaws, regulations enforced by relevant authorities, individual farmers applying soil protection measures and other means.

How to Collect and Analyse the Required Data

Determine the indicator's value by using the following methodology:


1) In cooperation with the relevant authorities and community-level stakeholders, define what criteria need to be met for the affected land to be considered as “effectively protected” against further degradation. You will likely need to define several different sets of criteria, each for a specific part of the affected land (pastures, eroded fields, (semi-)forested areas, etc.). Decide whether all criteria must be met or whether only some are mandatory while the others are desired only.


2) For each part/ type of the assessed land, prepare simple transect walk checklists including the pre-defined criteria and train the survey staff (NRM specialists) in their use.


3) Conduct key informant interviews with relevant authorities, extension workers and members of local NRM groups to identify all the areas reported as “under protection” (skip this step if, thanks to your long-term presence in the areas, you are aware of their location).


4) Let the NRM specialists (your survey team members) conduct transect walks and record in the pre-designed checklists (step 2) whether the areas meet the criteria (step 1) required for being classified as “effectively protected”. For each area, conclude whether it is “effectively protected” or not. The transect walks should be conducted together with the local community members and representatives.


5) Use GPS measurements or topographic maps to measure the total area of effectively protected areas.


6) Calculate the indicator’s value by summing up the sizes of individual areas that are effectively protected.


Important Comments

1) A slightly amended version of the indicator can also be used for other ecosystems, such as coastal mangroves.


2) Do not collect the data using interviews or focus group discussions only – they are likely to be imprecise.


3) The transect walks need to be conducted by NRM specialists capable of recognizing whether the main criteria are being met or not.


4) The indicator can cover both community areas and privately owned land.


5) The data should be collected for all the at-risk or affected areas of the land, irrespective of their administrative divisions and ownership.


6) European Commission's DEVCO recommends using a similar indicator: "Agriculture and pastoral ecosystems where sustainable land management practices have been introduced with EU support (in hectares)".

This guidance was prepared by People in Need ©

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