Review of methodologies for land degradation neutrality baselines: Sub-national case studies from Costa Rica and Namibia
Land degradation is a consistent loss of ecosystem functionality due to human and natural processes (Lal et al. 2012), or as defined by the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) a "reduction or loss of the biological or economic productivity and complexity of rain fed cropland, irrigated cropland, or range, pasture, forest and woodlands resulting from land uses or from a process or combination of processes arising from human activities"(UNCCD 2015c). Historically, it is a well-documented issue (Grove 1996, Beach et al. 2006, Ellis et al. 2013) and the degree of degradation has forced civilisations to adapt land management practises to the state of the environment, or abandon the landscape altogether (Costanza et al. 2007). Over the last four decades there has been an increase in human-induced land degradation and it is estimated to affect one third of global arable land (UNCCD 2015a, Vlek 2005) and to cost between USD 6.3-10.6 trillion annually or 10-17% of the world's gross domestic product (ELD 2015).