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The Economics of Desertification, Land Degradation, and Drought: Toward an Integrated Global Assessment

This paper looks at the global economic costs and benefits of mitigating desertification, land degradation and drought (DLDD) which are increasing in many parts of the world. The study was undertaken to prepare a framework for a global assessment and provide policymakers with evidence-based recommendations on how to deal with these environmental pressures.

It includes a literature review showing how global assessments of land degradation have advanced, particularly with the use of satellite imagery to assess vegetation land cover, and identifies underlying causes — including the institutions responsible for regulating drivers of land degradation.

The authors propose a total economic value approach, which takes into account the costs and benefits of ecosystem services — direct and indirect, in and outside the area assessed.  They provide an assessment of existing knowledge and the costs of acting to mitigate DLDD, recommend a methodology for choosing geographic areas as case studies, and suggest partnerships required to conduct regional and global assessments.