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date: 10 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the international legal regime on land degradation. It first provides a brief overview of land degradation as a complex environmental issue around the world before discussing the causes and effects of land degradation. It then analyses a variety of legal responses to land degradation, from global initiatives such as the Convention to Combat Desertification, the Convention on Biological Diversity, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and the IUCN Covenant on Environment and Development; regional initiatives such as the World Soil Charter 2014 and the UN Sustainable Development Goals 2015; and national laws and policies. The chapter also explores some of the main elements that need to be taken into consideration when designing legislation to address land degradation, including land tenure, access to land, farming systems and land use, the role of protected areas, and physical planning.

Keywords: land degradation, soil, international environmental law, climate change, sustainable development, biodiversity, land degradation neutrality

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