Call for Papers: Implementing Land Degradation Neutrality - deadline extended!

Related GLP Member: Graciela Metternicht

Immediately after the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) requested the Science-Policy Interface of the UNCCD (UNCCD-SPI) to develop a Conceptual Framework for Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) to aid countries in their target-setting programmes for LDN and in the concrete implementation of LDN interventions. Based on these concrete policy requests, the Conceptual Framework for LDN was developed by a multi-disciplinary team of scientists and science-policy officers, and endorsed by the Parties to the UNCCD in September 2017.

The principles of the LDN conceptual framework (See "Land in balance: The scientific conceptual framework for Land Degradation Neutrality" Environmental Science & Policy, Volume 79, Pages 25-35) are core to this special issue, and provide a basis for critical discussions from a broad range of disciplinary, stakeholders’ and regional perspectives on past, existing, and emerging challenges for policies and strategies to implement LDN, in tandem highlighting opportunities for transformative socio-economic processes and ethical aspects emerging from policies and processes to achieve LDN. The papers aim to support national sustainable development aspirations by providing guidance of needed policies, procedures and governance to regulate national land use by avoiding further net loss of productive lands.

Experts invited to contribute to this special issue will address policy principles, rules, guidelines and procedures to design national actions that contribute to LDN implementation, discuss tools and approaches to track and evaluate the implementation process, including substantive discussion on evidence-based policy successes and failures. As well indicator systems and metrics to monitor the achieved and nationally desired status of the land are relevant to this special issue. Contributions could also focus on targeted framing of future policy-oriented research, and technology to achieve and to maintain LDN, identifying key human, technical and institutional capacity needs at national and sub-national levels. The special issue intends to be a true guide for LDN, providing both the scientific foundation and a pathway for implementation.

The special issue intends to be a true guide for Land Degradation Neutrality, providing both the scientific foundation and a pathway for implementation. LDN is at the core of the UNCCD strategic framework and the Sustainable Development Goal target 15.3. The papers will therefore target one or more of the following questions:

  1. How does LDN contribute to national sustainable development?
  2. What synergistic effects emerge for achieving the SDGs through the implementation of LDN?
  3. How can LDN be mainstreamed across sectors and stakeholders for achieving sustainable development?
  4. What type of practical frameworks, policies, procedures and guidance are required at country level?
  5. What issues need to be targeted in order to prevent net loss through regulated land use?
  6. What are the socio-economic, ethical and policy impacts of pursuing LDN?
  7. Methods and approaches to mainstream LDN at national level, instruments for implementation, and indicator systems for target setting LDN and for tracking progress, including monitoring.

Interested authors need to submit their papers according to the following schedule:

  • 30 January 2018: open call for submission of 400 words abstracts
  • 28 February, 2018: confirmation of abstract acceptance [NOTE: We are accepting abstracts until the end of February (by electronic mail to​]
  • March 20, 2018: Paper submission deadline. PDF format with MS word or Latex source according to Journal guidelines for authors
  • June 15, 2018: Reviews returned to authors.
  • July 15: final revised manuscript due
  • September 30: Final Decision due
  • October 30 2018: Publication of the special issue

Papers can be fast-tracked if ready for submission. On-line versions of the paper, that can already be cited, are usually accessible within a couple of weeks of paper acceptance, and are flagged as being part of a Virtual Special Issue.

It is important that authors select the name of the special issue when they upload their manuscripts: VSI:LDN framework & policies