Towards Land Degradation Neutrality: States, Achievements and Sustainability in Omo-Gibe River Basin, Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa University


Its primary objective was to evaluate land management activities through Land degradation neutrality indicators to achieve sustainable development goals. Indicator 15.3.1 of the sustainable development goals calls for strengthening national capacities to perform quantitative assessments and mapping of degraded lands and map them to reverse current trends. This study used MEDALUS method, land degradation neutrality evaluation framework, and Heckman sample selection model for data analysis. The samples of 340 households were selected through a multistage sampling technique. The results indicated a high land degradation risk in 48% of the basin, which was evident in 36%. There was low potentials for land degradation in 15.8 percent of the area. Consequently, settlements (11.44%) and farmland (9.58%) significantly increased, while bushland (8.09%) and wetlands (5.29%) decreased from 2000-2020. Land productivity has significantly declined due to changes in land cover and losses in soil organic carbon. The proportion of degraded land was 65.05% of 79000 km2 of the basin. 235 (69.12%) households adopted soil bunds, but only 89 (37.87%) sustainably practiced soil bunds on their farm plots. The empirical results of the Heckman sample selection model showed that sustainable use of soil bund measures was significantly positively influenced by land tenure security, family size, and frequency of extension contact. In contrast, the distance between farm plots and home and farm plot size was affected negatively. The study found that farmers gain knowledge about soil erosion, SWC, LULC, and land productivity primarily from extension workers and specific training. However, most farmers and extension workers have littile information about SOC, LDN, and the SDGs. It has been concluded that spatial planning should focus on hotspot areas and implement locally based-sustainable land management practices. It should not only focus on the implementation and biophysical factors but also consider the socioeconomic interests of farmers to reach land degradation neutrality by 2030 at national and subnational levels.



GIS, Heckman, LDN, MEDALUS, soil bund, Sustainable Development, SWC