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Land Degradation and Development. A State-of-the-Art
Convener: Saskia Keesstra 
 / Wed, 26 Apr, 08:30–12:00  / 13:30–17:30
 / Thu, 27 Apr, 08:30–12:15  / 13:30–17:15
 / Attendance Thu, 27 Apr, 17:30–19:00

Land Degradation and Desertification are complex challenges at the beginning of the XXI century, with environmental, social, economic and political dimensions. Although the topic was originally focused on the arid, semiarid, and dry sub-humid regions, land degradation is increasingly seen as a worldwide threat. Land Degradation and Desertification are multi-faceted environmental issues. Traditional biophysical approaches suggest that terrestrial ecosystem processes and functioning are lost through the misuse and abuse of land by humans. Social and economic research approaches have more recently been shown to be increasingly important in understanding the drivers and outcomes of land degradation in the last decade, as well as highlighting the links to land use and land management practices. Attention is also starting to focus more on the politicized nature of land degradation, with politics and policy being recognized as part of both the problem and the solution. As these different traditions are brought together through the development of holistic and multi-scale approaches, new understandings of land degradation are beginning to emerge. This session provides a platform for papers that discuss biophysical (soil erosion, soil degradation, climate change, flora and fauna, water resources, ecosystem services…), social (gender, community research approaches, farmers perceptions, land use decision making…), economic (land management, poverty, investments in sustainable land management…) and political aspects (new and old policies, land rights, governance…) at different temporal and spatial scales. Research on the impact of mining, agriculture, fire, grazing, roads, and developments are welcome. The research related to ecosystem services, land degradation neutrality and the discussion agenda of the UNCCD and the Science Policy Interface is also welcome,
The scientific session “Land Degradation and Development. An State-of-the-Art” will bring the best research teams working in developed and developing countries to Vienna. A selection of papers from this session will be published in LDD prior a peer review process.

Solicited Speakers:
Rainer Horn
Markus Egli
Andrew Dougill