GEF focal area: land degradation.Between July 1, 2005, and June 30, 2007, the GEF GEF Global Environment Facility
GEF Guanine-Nucleotide Exchange Factor (biology, biochemistry)
GEF Global Environment Fund
GEF Generic Extensibility Framework
GEF Graduate Education Foundation
GEF Global Ejection Fraction approved 29 new initiatives in the land degradation The causes of land degradation are mainly anthropogenic and agriculture related. The major causes include:
Restoring Growing Conditions in Central Asia
Decades of improper irrigation irrigation, in agriculture, artificial watering of the land. Although used chiefly in regions with annual rainfall of less than 20 in. (51 cm), it is also used in wetter areas to grow certain crops, e.g., rice. in the agricultural lands surrounding Aral Lake, once the world's fourth largest lake, have led to the significant shrinkage and salinization of the water, and desertification desertification
Spread of a desert environment into arid or semiarid regions, caused by climatic changes, human influence, or both. Climatic factors include periods of temporary but severe drought and long-term climatic changes toward dryness. of nearby farms in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. During the period, the focal area began a programmatic effort working for sustainable land management for sustainable agriculture in the region, mostly through improving the efficiency of water use and implementing crop diversification strategies. Dozens of individual efforts are under way, focusing both on challenges within specific countries and efforts valuable to the region as a whole.
Assisting Sub-Saharan Africa
Land degradation impacts in Sub-Saharan Africa, home to some 717 million people, are among the most severe on the planet, and accelerating at an alarming pace. For example, more than 30 percent of the land area of Burkina Faso, Burundi, Lesotho, Rwanda, and South Africa is degraded to the extent that biotic biotic /bi·ot·ic/ (bi-ot´ik)
1. pertaining to life or living matter.
2. pertaining to the biota.
1. Relating to life or living organisms. functions of the land are considered irreclaimable. And salinization affects between 27 percent and 34 percent of irrigated surfaces in Kenya, Nigeria, Sudan, and Tanzania. During the period, the GEF developed the Strategic Investment Program for Sustainable Land Management in Sub-Saharan Africa (SIP), a far-reaching, multipartner, billion-dollar initiative designed to push forward a sustainable agriculture agenda in 28 participating countries, boosting food security and improving natural resource-based livelihoods by reducing land degradation. Assessment efforts are under way in all countries.
Helping Farmers in India
An estimated 72 percent of India's population lives in rural areas, with agriculture the main or only source of livelihood. In spite of the Green Revolution, most Indian farmers have remained poor, and millions of households are still engaged in subsistence farming. At the same time, the natural resources and ecological foundations essential for sustained advances in the country's agricultural productivity are rapidly shrinking. Causes related to human activity include unsustainable agricultural practices such as overcultivation, nutrient inputs, poor irrigation practices, deforestation deforestation
Process of clearing forests. Rates of deforestation are particularly high in the tropics, where the poor quality of the soil has led to the practice of routine clear-cutting to make new soil available for agricultural use. , and overgrazing overgrazing
see overstocking. . In response, the land degradation focal area, in conjunction with the biodiversity and climate change areas, has begun the India Country Program Sustainable Land and Ecosystem Management. The effort is based on the experience that a purely conservationist approach to natural resources is not likely to work. Therefore, teams are working to find innovative win-win combinations for sustainable ecosystem and resource management that takes into account traditional techniques and approaches and adapts them to current challenges by incorporating new techniques and approaches. Project concepts are currently being assessed and will be implemented shortly.
Developing an Advanced New Carbon Benefits Methodology
Working with a select group of research partners, including Michigan State University Michigan State University, at East Lansing; land-grant and state supported; coeducational; chartered 1855. It opened in 1857 as Michigan Agricultural College, the first state agricultural college. and Colorado State University, the land degradation focal area began a nontraditional effort that invests in developing a methodology as opposed to focusing on an area. The Carbon Benefits Project: Modeling, Measurement, and Monitoring seeks to develop a simple, rigorous, and cost-effective method for measuring the carbon in the soil, both above and below ground, as a means to protect carbon stocks and avoid carbon dioxide carbon dioxide, chemical compound, CO2, a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that is about one and one-half times as dense as air under ordinary conditions of temperature and pressure. emissions. In addition to providing the ability to better measure the quality of the soil, it will also help developing countries participate in the carbon benefits market, bringing in a whole new dynamic for financial sustainability of forestry investment. The project is also notable because of the strong link it makes between climate change issues and the health of forest soils, and will have widespread applicability worldwide.
Measuring Our Positive Impact
The land degradation focal area is working to develop measurable and verifiable indicators that can help gauge the progress it is making in all of its program efforts.
During the period, the focal area launched Ensuring Impacts from SLM--Development of a Global Indicator System, the first phase of a three-phase process that will provide the scientific-technical basis for selecting such indicators, develop a community of practice for GEF projects in land degradation, develop knowledge management tools and guidelines as well as exchanges of experiences, and develop the suitable frameworks and mechanisms to monitor results from SLM See service level management system and spatial light modulator. projects. It is expected that three to five crucial impact indicators will be ultimately identified. These will likely be diverse. For example, some may be chemical, such as carbon stores, and others may be economic, such as a metric related to residents' improving ability to make a living off their agricultural lands.
Background on Land Degradation
Decreases in soil fertility and quality caused by climatic variations and human activities such as overuse overuse Health care The common use of a particular intervention even when the benefits of the intervention don't justify the potential harm or cost–eg, prescribing antibiotics for a probable viral URI. Cf Misuse, Underuse. of chemical fertilizers, forest cutting and improper irrigation and farming methods greatly affect the food security and livelihoods of millions of people around the world, and can have devastating impacts on wildlife. For example, more than 250 million people are directly affected by desertification of their once useful land, with about 1 billion more at risk, including many of the world's poorest citizens.
The GEF land degradation focal area, initiated in 2002, is working to arrest and reverse current trends in land degradation through sustainable land management. In 2003, the group was designated the financial mechanism for the Convention to Combat Desertification. Since land degradation is associated with a range of other ecological concerns, the focal area is closely linked with most other GEF focal areas, particularly biodiversity, climate change, and international waters. The focal area also works to strategically prioritize projects that have the widest possible applications. Since its inception in 2002, the land degradation focal area has generated more than $2.64 billion in assistance, consisting of $353 million in GEF investment and $2.25 billion in cofinancing from GEF partners worldwide.