Logo: Water Energy Food Nexus, Bonn 2011

Economics of Land Degradation | Water Energy Food Nexus, Bonn 2011

Skip navigation



End of navigation

22 Feb 12

Economics of Land Degradation

The international data research initiative aims at collecting better data for better policies: The ELD initiative aims at the preparation and presentation of a cost-benefit analysis in the context of land degradation, in order to put decision-makers in politics and business in a position to take the necessary measures for better rural development and food security and promote sustainable land management.


Joachim von Braun, Director, Center for Development Research (ZEF)
(co announcer) Luc Gnacadja, Executive Secretary, UNCCD



Related Resources


Towards a Green and Growing Economy with the Water, Energy and Food Nexus

by Joachim von Braun, Center for Development Research (ZEF), University of Bonn

Policy Paper

Zero Net Land Degradation

UNCCD secretariat Recommendations for Policymakers: A Sustainable Development Goal for Rio+20 to secure the contribution of our planet’s land and soil to sustainable development, including food security and poverty eradication

Issue Brief

Economics of Land Degradation – The Costs of Action versus Inaction

In recent years, prices of agricultural land have increased quickly, actually doubling and tripling in many parts of the world. This land value reassessment has been prompted by rising crop prices and perceived land scarcity. But even as the value of land rises, land degradation continues and investments to prevent it are lagging. Awareness of environmental risks has moved to the forefront of global consciousness during the past 25 years. However, this awareness has not translated into comprehensive action to address the problem of land degradation, which poses a serious threat to long-term food security. This inaction is primarily the result of limited knowedge of the costs related to land degradation and of insufficient institutional support. Policy action and research are needed to resolve this paradox of high-value land and low levels of investment. – by Ephraim Nkonya, Nicolas Gerber, Joachim von Braun, and Alex De Pinto

Related Media Coverage

24 May 12

Responding to Climate Change (RTCC)

Agriculture and a focus on land and soil should be central to both this year’s UNFCCC climate talks and the Earth Summit in June.

Further Reading

31 Aug 14

Texas A&M University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences hires an Assistant Professor for the Economics of Energy, Water and Food Systems. Deadline for application is 31 Jan 2015.

16 Oct 12

Hunger is inextricably linked to growing pressure on land, water, and energy resources. Recent events—drought, large-scale land investments, high energy prices — underscore how much we depend on these resources to produce the world’s food supply.

06 Nov 14

Focusing on the nexus between scarce resources is the only route to sustainable supplies of water, food and energy. A new initiative by the Stockholm Environment Institute, Texas A&M and Chatham House will act as a hub for knowledge and technology exchange, and for innovating, adapting and benchmarking solutions. By Holger Hoff and Tom Gill, SEI Stockholm

NEXUS in the Media

21 Feb 12

The Nation (Bangkok)

Food security is interlinked with other sectors: land, energy and water. Managing this nexus is critical.

19 Oct 12

The Hindu

A major report that will help countries understand the economic value of inland wetlands, which cover a vast area of the earth’s land surface and provide key ecosystem services, was released at the conference of the Convention on Biological Diversity here on Tuesday. The message ofthe report is simply, “drain it, lose it.” Inland wetlands cover at least 9.5 million sq km of the earth’s surface, and together with coastal wetlands, 12.8 million sq km. Restoration of this particular type of ecosystem is the most expensive. These water bodies provide clean water for drinking and agriculture, cooling water for the energy sector; they also regulate floods. Agriculture, fisheries and tourism sectors depend heavily on the health of wetlands.

03 Feb 15

Water Resources and Economics

Submission deadline for articles: 29 May 2015.

23 Oct 13


Desalination is one way of addressing some of these current problems. The process can be accomplished with a number of expensive, energy-intensive technologies, including distillation, ion-exchange and reverse osmosis. NanoH2O, a well-funded, Los Angeles-based startup that is commercializing a new membrane material to reduce the energy consumption in desalination, just announced its intention to build a manufacturing site in Liyang, China.

19 Apr 12

The Guardian

When we talk about natural resource constraints on business — such as shortages in water or increases in the cost of energy or agricultural products — we tend to forget how deeply intertwined these commodities are. In the business community, just as in a natural ecosystem, an individual organism (in this case a company) is vulnerable to changes in the availability of these systemic inputs.


  • IFPRI International Food Policy Research Institute
  • WEF World Economic Forum
  • WWF World Wide Fund for Nature

Bonn2011 Nexus Conference – in the context of Bonn Perspectives

  • Bonn Perspectives

initiated by

  • BONN
  • BMZ

funded by

  • European Regional Development Fund EFRE
  • NRW Ministerin fr Bundesangelegenheiten, Europa und Medien des Landes Nordrhein-Westphalen
Server monitoring