What is it about?

Land degradation assessment between 2000-2018 using the UNCCD SDG 15.3.1 indicator of land degraded. Continued efforts are needed to quantify specific associations between land degradation and the availability of ecosystem services. Future work should include spatially-explicit and supervised models which can link ecosystem-based information with comprehensive landscape models. The limitations of the assessed potential LD in the context of agricultural lands serves as valuable input for discussions on a consensus on EU-wide definitions of the potential LD baseline and standards on how to assess future changes

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Why is it important?

An extensive SDG 15.3.1 indicator testing for the EU was still missing; by testing several sub-indicator combinations (land productivity, land cover, soil organic carbon), we have tried to highlight the strength and weaknesses of the methodology. The Water Use efficiency index can adjust the land productivity change indicator for the effect of climate in the indicator calculation and provide insights into the areas where to focus conservation and restoration measurements.


Clusters of degrading lands in the central EU and northern EU countries can be related to the climate anomalies of the last 20 years. Further research is needed, we hope to trigger other research on this exciting topic, and we are open to collaborating with you!

Calogero Schillaci
European Commission, Joint Research Centre

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Evaluation of the Sustainable Development Goal 15.3.1 Indicator of Land Degradation in the European Union, Land Degradation and Development, September 2022, Wiley, DOI: 10.1002/ldr.4457.
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