SRI External Seminar

Dr Henri Rueff, University of Bern

Achieving land degradation neutrality in rangelands needs more cross-sectoral approaches: Evidence from Botswana and Pakistan

Abstract: Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) addresses a pressing need for land use planning, policy, and an adjusted development strategy to mitigate land degradation. Extensive pastoral systems are undergoing major challenges induced by rapid environmental and institutional changes fostering a number of trade-offs and co-benefits. These land systems cover 30% of the earth land mass and hence have high potential to contribute to the 2030 Agenda. The latter is by design composed of 17 interlinked sustainable development goals divided into 169 targets. Understanding the leveraging and multiplying effects of these interlinkages is key to support policy coherence and facilitate the implementation of the Agenda. Extensive pastoral systems contribute substantially to a wide array of SDGs as No poverty (SDG1), Zero hunger (SDG2), Gender equality (SDG5), Reducing inequalities (SDG10), Climate action (SDG13), Responsible consumption and production (SDG12), Life on land (SDG15), Peace justice and strong institutions (SDG16). This presentation will reflect on two case studies in Botswana and Pakistan where land claims and land uses collide, forming diverging pathways, and will explore an SDG interaction approach towards decision support.  

Bio: Dr Henri Rueff is a senior researcher at the Centre for Development and Environment, University of Bern. He investigates technologies and payment schemes affecting smallholders’ practices in resource-scarce areas such as deserts and high altitude pastoral systems. He is especially interested in smallholders' strategies, such as income diversification, in areas undergoing rapid changes. The effects of changes he explores are environmental and institutional using economic models, climate data and first hand data from interviews. He works in the Middle East, the Gobi desert, the Himalayas and Hindu-Kush mountains. Currently, he is facilitating a group of 15 scientists drafting the Global Sustainable Development Report mandated by the UN Secretary General and which will be launched on September 2019.