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The Economics of Land Degradation

Author

Listed:
  • von Braun, Joachim
  • Gerber, Nicolas
  • Mirzabaev, Alisher
  • Nkonya, Ephraim M.

Abstract

Healthy soils are essential for sustaining economies and human livelihoods. In spite of this, the key ecosystem services provided by soils have usually been taken for granted and their true value – beyond market value – is being underrated. This pattern of undervaluation of soils is about to change in view of rapidly raising land prices, which is the result of increased shortage of land and raising output prices that drive implicit prices of land (with access to water) upward. Moreover, the value of soil related ecosystems services is being better understood and increasingly valued. It is estimated that about a quarter of global land area is degraded, affecting about 1.5 billion people in all agro-ecologies around the world. Land degradation has its highest toll on the livelihoods and well-being of the poorest households in the rural areas of developing countries. Vicious circles of poverty and land degradation, as well as transmission effects from rural poverty and food insecurity to national economies, critically hamper their development process. Despite the need for preventing and reversing land degradation, the problem has yet to be appropriately addressed. Policy action for sustainable land use is lacking, and a policy framework for action is missing. Key objectives of this Issue Paper and of a proposed related global assessment of the Economics of Land Degradation (ELD) are: first, to raise awareness about the need for and role of an assessment of the economic, social and environmental costs of land degradation; and second, to propose and illustrate a scientific framework to conduct such an assessment, based on the costs of action versus inaction against land degradation. Preliminary findings suggest that the costs of inaction are much higher than the costs of action.

Suggested Citation

  • von Braun, Joachim & Gerber, Nicolas & Mirzabaev, Alisher & Nkonya, Ephraim M., 2013. "The Economics of Land Degradation," Working Papers 147910, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:ubonwp:147910
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    14. Tsegai, Daniel W. & McBain, Florence & Tischbein, Bernhard, 2013. "Water, sanitation and hygiene: The missing link with agriculture," Working Papers 147912, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).
    15. Hiemenz, Ulrich, 2012. "The Politics of the Fight against Food Price Volatility – Where do we stand and where are we heading?," Working Papers 147914, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Husmann, Christine & von Braun, Joachim & Badiane, Ousmane & Akinbamijo, Yemi & Abiodun, Fatunbi Oluwole & Virchow, Detlef, 2015. "Tapping Potentials of Innovation for Food Security and Sustainable Agricultural Growth: An Africa-Wide Perspective," Working Papers 228855, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).
    2. Mbaye, Linguere Mously & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2016. "Natural Disasters and Human Mobility," International Review of Environmental and Resource Economics, now publishers, vol. 10(1), pages 37-56, November.
    3. Tankari, Mahamadou Roufahi, 4. "Action Levers For A Sustainable Farmland Management In Niger," International Journal of Food and Agricultural Economics (IJFAEC), Alanya Alaaddin Keykubat University, Department of Economics and Finance, vol. 3(4).
    4. Iskandar, Deden Dinar & Gatzweiler, Franz, 2014. "An optimization model for technology adoption of marginalized smallholders: Theoretical support for matching technological and institutional innovations," Working Papers 182495, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).
    5. repec:ura:ecregj:v:1:y:2017:i:2:p:422-433 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Rattan Lal, 2014. "Climate Strategic Soil Management," Challenges, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 5(1), pages 1-32, February.
    7. Kirui, Oliver K., 2016. "Impact of land degradation on household poverty: evidence from a panel data simultaneous equation model," 2016 AAAE Fifth International Conference, September 23-26, 2016, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 246396, African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE).
    8. Baumuller, Heike, 2013. "Mobile Technology Trends and their Potential for Agricultural Development," Working Papers 160565, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).
    9. repec:zbw:ifweej:201732 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Anna Ágústsdóttir, 2015. "Ecosystem approach for natural hazard mitigation of volcanic tephra in Iceland: building resilience and sustainability," Natural Hazards: Journal of the International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, Springer;International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, vol. 78(3), pages 1669-1691, September.
    11. Kirui, Oliver & Mrzabaev, Alisher, 2015. "Costs of landj degradation in Eastern Africa," 2015 Conference, August 9-14, 2015, Milan, Italy 212007, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    12. von Braun, Joachim & Gulati, Ashok & Kharas, Homi, 2017. "Key policy actions for sustainable land and water use to serve people," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 11, pages 1-14.
    13. Schädler, Manuel & Gatzweiler, Franz W., 2013. "Institutional Environments for Enabling Agricultural Technology Innovations: The role of Land Rights in Ethiopia, Ghana, India and Bangladesh," Working Papers 159373, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).
    14. repec:kap:policy:v:50:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11077-017-9277-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Lulseged Tamene & Quang Le & Paul Vlek, 2014. "A Landscape Planning and Management Tool for Land and Water Resources Management: An Example Application in Northern Ethiopia," Water Resources Management: An International Journal, Published for the European Water Resources Association (EWRA), Springer;European Water Resources Association (EWRA), vol. 28(2), pages 407-424, January.
    16. Utkur Djanibekov & Grace B. Villamor & Klara Dzhakypbekova & James Chamberlain & Jianchu Xu, 2016. "Adoption of Sustainable Land Uses in Post-Soviet Central Asia: The Case for Agroforestry," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(10), pages 1-16, October.
    17. Siriwardane, Rapti & Winands, Sarah, 2013. "Between hope and hype: Traditional knowledge(s) held by marginal communities," Working Papers 151401, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).
    18. von Braun, Joachim & Mirzabaev, Alisher, 2015. "Small Farms: Changing Structures and Roles in Economic Development," Discussion Papers 210464, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).
    19. Kirui, Oliver K. & Mirzabaev, Alisher, 2016. "Cost of land degradation and improvement in Eastern Africa," 2016 AAAE Fifth International Conference, September 23-26, 2016, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 249321, African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE).
    20. repec:spr:ssefpa:v:9:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s12571-017-0665-3 is not listed on IDEAS

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