Principles and indicators for integrated land degradation assessment and mapping


Land degradation is a major global challenge, affecting land-based livelihoods, agricultural productivity, increasing CO2 emissions due to soil organic carbon mineralization and reducing vegetation biomass. To counteract LD, the United Nations adopted the concept of LD Neutrality (LDN) referring to a state where the amount and quality of land resources necessary to support ecosystem functions and services and enhance food security remain stable or increase within specified temporal and spatial scales and ecosystems. The UNCCD has identified three indicators to measure LDN: land use change, net primary productivity and soil organic carbon. While research exists on each single indicator, there is no established methodology on how to combine them in a quantitative LDN evaluation.


With this project, we plan to produce a standardized methodology for the long-term monitoring of the progress of Nigeria towards a Land Degradation Neutral state.

Expected Benefits

  • In Nigeria: The project will help coordinating conservation and restoration efforts, ensuring interventions take place in priority areas. A robust, science-based methodology for assessing LDN will ensure that accurate information is provided to decision makers within regional and national governments and will contribute to the global effort of understanding and mapping LDN.
  • In Switzerland: The project will test and advance methods to use satellite images, scientific knowledge and participatory information to monitor the environment. The tools developed may help foresters, administrators and citizen to understand changes in their environment and better prepare to extreme weather events and climate change in general.

Contact Information

Matteo Jucker Riva:, phone:

Bern University of Applied Sciences: School of Agriculture, Forest and Food Sciences, HAFL

Integrated land degradation assessment and mapping
Integrated land degradation assessment and mapping

Partner country: Nigeria

Cost: CHF 250,000.-

Duration: 3 years