Tag Archives: Land degradation

We are happy to announce that the Economics of Land Degradation (ELD) Initiative is launching its 2nd Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on ‘Options and pathways for action: Stakeholder Engagement’, hosted by Global Campus 21®.

Register Now
Options and pathways for action
Stakeholder Engagement
(May 5 – June 29, 2015)

This 8 week course begins on May 5th and lasts until June 29th. It is entirely free of charge, and open to any interested party!

Building off the 2014 ELD MOOC, which focused on performing cost-benefit analyses to promote sustainable land management, the 2015 ELD MOOC addresses the importance of working with relevant stakeholders to implement sustainable land management choices effectively and sustainably.

Develop a Stakeholder Plan
The course introduces approaches to identify options and pathways for action, methods to identify stakeholders, and how to establish a basis for initiating engagement and discussion. At the end of the course, participants will develop their own stakeholder engagement plan. This MOOC will help participants understand how to effectively engage with stakeholders, and address and remove barriers to the successful adoption of sustainable land management. It draws from a range of publications, guidelines, examples, and case studies (inclusive of both successes and failures in order to identify best practices), selected under the guidance of experts of the ELD Initiative.

About the Mooc
The MOOC is a web-based intensive course with flexible participation, live webinars, offline reading material, an online forum, and moderated live expert feedback. It is offered on the GIZ "Global Campus 21" platform, with all learning materials and documents available for offline work. At the end of the course, participants are required to submit a stakeholder engagement plan that will be used to evaluate their progress and capacity to apply their knowledge and skills for successful stakeholder engagement.

Live webinars featuring expert speakers are held every Wednesday during the duration of the course, at 1500h CET (UTC/GMT + 1 hour). Those who wish to participate in the live webinars are advised to keep in mind the difference in time zones. They will be held in English, and recordings will be made available in English and if possible, in Spanish and French.

Participants receive an ELD-badge upon successful completion, provided he/she has actively and collaboratively participated in the course.

Certificates for participants who have successfully completed the course requirements will be issued by the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH).

Dates and Duration
The total course duration is 8 weeks (May 5 - June 29, 2015), with a minimum of 3-4 hours a week for reading course materials and collaborative online work.

Links and Videos

We are looking forward to seeing you in this exciting 2015 ELD MOOC again: Register Now

Best regards on behalf of the ELD-Initiative and the expert tutors,
your MOOC team

P.S.: Do you want to stay current on the latest ELD Initiative projects and e-learning activities? Then check out the ELD Website (eld-initiative.org), follow us on Twitter (@ELD_Initiative), and Register Now for ELD MOOC 2015 


Soil Counts-Preserve it!

Join the ELD MOOC Summer School! See how ELD works in practice!

The ELD MOOC is back! We have an exciting five-week programme from August 13 to September 10, 2014. This entails a series of webinars that will detail: case studies, actions undertaken by our partners, and complementary capacity building initiatives. The webinars allow you to directly interact with our experts and discover how economic analyses can be translated into practical action.

Soil Counts-Preserve it!  

Live Sessions: All sessions at 12:00 pm UTC

Week Speaker Topic
Aug, 13 
Robert Costanza, Australian National University Recording: Changes in the global value of ecosystem services
Aug, 20
Nicola Favretto,
University of Leeds
Recording: Trade –offs between different land uses in Southern Africa and Presentation Favretto 
Aug, 27
Louise Baker,
ELD as part of the UNCCD Soil Leadership Academy, Recording and Presentation Slides
Sept, 3
Varun Vats,
How businesses can conserve the soil (Due to technical issues, the session had to be terminated. A recorded version will soon be out).
Sept, 10 
Andreas Lange,
Ecosystem Services in land use planning and policy recommendations. Examples from the Philippines. Join here

We are looking forward to this exciting series of webinars to learn more about sustainable land use and engage in fruitful discussions with you.

The ELD summer school purely consists of five individual webinars. The completion of the first ELD MOOC is no prerequisite and we welcome both, new and experienced participants. As always, the course remains entirely free of charge!

Register now for the webinars and our weekly newsletter!

Practitioner's Guide

The ELD Initiative practitioner’s guide to economic valuation and cost-benefit analysis should be released soon. It will contain detailed step-by-step instructions and examples from the first ELD MOOC (March-May 2014). This will help you use economics to build up cases convincing policy and business partners of the economic benefits of adopting sustainable land management practices, while protecting of one of our most valuable resources: fertile soil.


About the MOOC:

MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Course, a recent trend in e-education enabling an unlimited amount of users to freely access academic material online. Besides traditional learning materials MOOCs provide the opportunity for interactive learning and community building in forums, live sessions and online discussions.

Follow us on Twitter @ELD_Initiative  #ecolandeg #eldmooc

Recordings of all webinar will also be available on our You Tube Channel.

Join our trip around the world and watch the impressive results from the first ELD-MOOC.



Over the span of this MOOC the participating teams worked on the economic valuation of different ecosystems. The teams worked on a case of interest to them and developed an alternative scenario for the current situation of their ecosystem. Participants then carried out a variety of valuation methods to assess the economic costs and benefits of a change in land use practices and come to a decision whether their proposed project implementations were worth undertaking.
Find the results of their hard work below!

"A small project a big step, Paso Grande"

Team: Latin America Working Group
Authors: Marisa Young, Maria Paula Lopardo, Waltraud Ederer,
Luis Manuel Selva Garcia, Carlos Wuerschmidt
Paso Grande [Argentina]

"Assessing the Costs and Benefits of Sustainable Land Management
in Botswana`s Kalahari rangelands"

Team: Southern African Range lands
Authors: Holger Pabst, Nicola Favretto, Till Eichler
Kalahari Rangelands [Botswana]

"Mambai Cerrado Brazil"

Team: Small Farmers in South America
Authors: Erika Wagner, Karen Montiel, Ray Pinheiro Alves, Eduardo Barroso
Mambai Cerrado [Brazil]

"Tuissong Forest Case Study"

Team: Stakeholders
Authors: Guy Merlin Nguenang
Tuissong Forest [Cameroon]

"Vineyards and Tourism in the Niagara Region"

Team: Landuse and climate change
Authors: Elizabeth Philip, Shikha Raj, Navneet Kumar, Prashant Kumar,
Vivek Kumar, Felix Akrofi-Atitianti
Vineyards and Tourism in Niagara Region 1 [Canada]
Vineyards and Tourism in Niagara Region [Canada] 2 Sheet1

Vineyards and Tourism in Niagara Region [Canada] 3 Questionnaire
Vineyards and Tourism in Niagara Region [Canada] 4 Calculations

"Hacienda la Ceiba"

Team: Sustainability
Author: Andrea Gonella
Hacienda La Ceiba [Colombia]

The Lake Victoria Ecosystem: A deeper look into its true worth"
Team: Lake Victoria
Authors: Benson Rwegoshora Bashange, Chanoine Marie, Franz Vockinger,
Janek Toepper, Leah-Rehema Murerwa, Rose Anarfiwaah Oppong, Yacoubou Kadade
Lake Victoria [East Africa]

Restoring Ecosystems to Sustain Local Communities.
Awash National Park, Ethiopia.

Team: Endangered Species
Author: Anna Staneva
Awash National Park [Ethiopia]

"Lake Awasa"
Authors: Bethlehem Hailu, Mekdes Amare
Awash National Park [Ethiopia]

The case of a Fictional Forest in Germany."
Team: Forest
Author: Gernot Gauger
Fictional Forest [Germany]

"Improvement of the land on the Messdorfer Field, owned by the city of Bonn."
Team: ELD Team Bonn
Authors: Franka Berdel, Wolf Berdel, Lena Rzehak, Peter Rabus
Messdorfer Feld [Germany]

"Amansie Central District of the Ashanti Region, Ghana."

Team: Subsaharan Africa
Authors: Suzanne Myada, Andualem Belay, Dawood Abbas, Oliver Kirui,
Nahason Julius Mugo
Amansie Central District [Ghana]

Project Proposal Presented to Thathar Watershed Commitee"
Team: Valuing Eco System Services for Sustainable Land Management
Authors: Radhika Rani Ch, Honghao Chen, Heleen Claringbould,
Mosiuoa Walter Bereng, Raghavendra Rao, Mira Wenzel
Thathar Watershed [India]

"Economics of Land Degradation in Catchments of Jaisamand Lake, Udaipur,
Rajasthan, India. Presentation to Commissioner Tribal Development
and Udaipur Division, Government of Rajasthan, India.

Team: Soil Building Processes in different Land Capability
Author: Deepak Sharma
Jaisamand Lake [India]

"Cost Benefit Analysis of Notorious Dry lands of Ramanathapuram District,
Tamil Nadu, India."
Team: Land Management in India
Authors: V.S. Balasubramanian, Biganenahalli Nanjundaiah Dhananjaya,
Anupriya Pande, Uma Gurumurthy, Dr.Inkarsal Kalai
Dry lands of Ramanathapuram 1 [India]
Dry lands of Ramanathapuram 2 [India]

"Agricultural farmland at Rudrur, Nizamabad district, India"
Author: Dr. R. Vasantha
Agricultural Farmland at Rudrur [India]

Farming Land near Zalewa"
Team: Agricultural Crop land
Authors: Ian Madalitso Saini, Ignasio
Vulci's archeological and natural Park[Italy]

Fencing Mt. Kenya National Park"
Team: Land and Water
Author: Antti Seelaff
Mount Kenya National Park [Kenya]
Mount Kenya National Park [Kenya].2
Mount Kenya National Park [Kenya].3

"Proposal of a new scenario. Sustainable farming for people and nature
in the Chon-Aksuu river basin."

Author: Ludmilla Kiktenko
Chon-Aksuu river Basin [Kyrgyzstan]

"Decision Support Models for Contaminated Site Remediation:
BLB Terminal Case Study"

Team: Site remediation and Clean Up
Author: Juris Burlakovs
Contamination CleanUp [Latvia]

Chapultepec Park. Mexico City."
Team: The importance of Urban Land
Authors: Andrea Valdes, Assia Korichi, Elizabeth Ramirez
Chapultepec Park [Mexico City ]

"Construction of a dam at El Salto Region and Ejido La Victoria"
Team: Economia de los Recurses Narales en Mexico
Authors: José Ciro Hernández-Díaz, Karla E. Segura-Millan,
Yolanda Ontiveros, Emanuel Estrada
El Salto Region and Ejido La Victoria 1 [Mexico]
El Salto Region and Ejido La Victoria 2 [Mexico]

"Economic evaluation of three different types of management
applied to dual-purpose livestock in the region of "Sotavento" in Veracruz,
Mexico, considering the land degradation"

Author: Héctor Daniel Inurreta Aguirre
Sotavento ? Veracruz [Mexico] Presentation
Sotavento ? Veracruz [Mexico] Report

"Valuation of Mangroves in Tampamachoco Lagoon, Veracruz, Mexico."
Team: The Value of Wetlands in a Changing World
Authors: Ana Laura Lara Dominguez, Andre Mascarenhas, Ibrahim AlSaihati,
Liberty Tanangco
Tampamachoco lagoon - Veracruz [Mexico] 1
Tampamachoco lagoon - Veracruz [Mexico] Cost Benefit

"Tropical Montane Cloud Forests in Veracruz, Mexico"
Team: Mexico Sustainable Management Group Mexico
Authors: Kathrin Grahmann, Ana Abigail Aragon Rios,
Alfonso Cortes Arredondo, Perla Ortiz Colin
Tropical Montane Cloud Forest [Mexico]

"The case for a water pricing scheme in Ternata, in the Draa Valley"
Team: Desertification, Land Degradation, Drought, Dry land
Authors: Julian Andersen, Barbara Johnson, Adil Moumane
Draa Valley [Morocco]

Wadi Gaza ? Case Study."
Team: Positive Land Use Change
Authors: Ali Salha, Iva Stamenova
Wadi Gaza [Palestine]

"Camp John Hay, Baguio City, Philippines"
Team: Ecosystem Services
Author: Dr. Antonia Corinthia C. N. Naz
Camp John Hay [Philippines]

South Africa
Kruger National Park"
Team: Politics
Authors: Bettina Benzinger, Punnathon Pudpongpun, Spyridoula Zachari
Kruger National Park 1 [South Africa]
Kruger National Park 2 [South Africa] Questionnaire

"Development of a resort"

Team: Forests
Authors: Cyril Egar, Tymon Mphaka, Julia Dupuis
Mixed Forest 1 [Sweden]
Mixed Forest 2 [Sweden]

"Bwindi Impenetrable National Park"

Team: Sustainable Natural Resource Management in Africa
Authors: Daniel Gebeyehu, Clemens Felix Olbrich, Gertrude Ngabirano,
Paul Bwalya, Louisa, Silvana Builes Gaitán
Bwindi National Park [Uganda]
Bwindi National Park [Uganda] CostBenefit

"The value of Mabira forest to the communities living around it."
Team: Forest
Author: Busuulwa Huthaifa
Mabira forest [Uganda]

"KD's Dream ?
Turning Brown County into a National Heritage Area (NHA).
Proposal to the stakeholders of Brown County.

Team: Culture and Environment
Authors: Kaddy Lane, Florian Bender, Ephrem Santos, Rianne ten Veen,
Ruti Rubis Kanangire, Richmond Narh Tetteh, AnaRiza Mendoza
Brown County State Park [USA]

Xuan Thuy Wetland Reserve"
Team: Land degradation in South East Asia team
Authors: Wisit Ngamsom, Thin Nwe Htwe, Ephrem Santos
Xuan Thuy Wetland [Vietnam] CostBenefit

Proposed plan to improve use of seasonal flooding and the natural resources
in Barotse floodplain system, Zambia

Team: Natural Resource Management
Author: Moses Kazungu
Barotse Floodplain 1 [Zambia]
Barotse Floodplain [Zambia] Log Frame_CostBenefit

"Nansanga Farm Block"
Team: Environmental Modeling
Authors: Karla Segura Millan Rivas, Andrew Chilombo, Dinali Jayasinghe,
Odilon Boris Lokonon
Nansanga Farm Block [Zambia]


This week's case-study:

Case Study 10: Cardamom Mountains

South East Asia: The value of land resources in the Cardamom Mountains in Cambodia

Further Reading

Valuation methods descriptions and case studies:


Hedonic pricing:
King, D.A. and Sinden, J.A., 1988. Influence of soil conservation on farm land values. Land Economics. 64(3): 242-255. http://www.jstor.org/stable/3146248

Travel cost method:
Navrud, S. and Mungatana, E.D. Environmental valuation in developing countries: The recreational value of wildlife viewing. Ecological Economics. 11: 135-151      .                       http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0921800994900248

Contingent Valuation method:
Ngugi, G.W., Newton, L.E. and Muasya, A.M., 2011. The contribution of forest products to dryland household economy: The case of Kiang’ombe hill forest, Kenya. Ethnobotany Research and Applications. 9: 163-180. http://lib-ojs3.lib.sfu.ca:8114/index.php/era/article/view/197/320

Choice experiment:
Do, T.N., 2007. Impacts of dykes on wetland values in Vietnam’s Mekong River Delta: A case study in the Plain of Reeds (PhD Thesis). Economy and Environment Program for Southeast Asia, Singapore.      http://web.idrc.ca/uploads/user-S/12114357241ThangNamDoRR.pdf

Blamey, J., Rolfe, J., Bennett, J. and Morrison M. 2000. Valuing remnant vegetation in Central Queensland using choice modelling. The Australian Journal of Agriculture and Resource Economics. 44(3): 439-456.

Benefit transfer:
see UK National Ecosystem Assessment, TEEB, ELD Initiative


Repositories of economic valuation studies:


Over the last few weeks, we have identified ecosystem services and their marketable and non-marketable value. From the perspective of a cost-benefit-analysis, we have described the "inaction" case, a.k.a. business-as-usual.

We've also developed scenarios to eventually prevent land degradation, or 'upgrade' the current status of land, while improving the livelihood of people. Furthermore, we have looked at the tools provided by economists and have identified the ones suitable for various land valuation. This week, we will put a valuation method into practice by designing a research plan.

A research plan »
Assignment 4: Develop a Research Plan »
Live Event: Participatory Valuation Methods Madagascar »
Resources Research Methods »

Making land management decisions requires the involvement of stakeholders. Dr. Daniel Plugge from the University of Hamburg will discuss his recent research on participatory valuation methods in Madagascar.

Speaker: Dr. Daniel Plugge, University of Hamburg/Germany, Institut of World Forestry
Download Slides:
ELD MOOC Plugge Participatory Scenario 1
ELD MOOC Plugge Participatory Scenario 2

You'll need to develop a rough research plan this week. Decide amongst your group which ecosystem service you'll value and choose a research method. It may be the one that you suggested in Assignment 3, but any other suitable method is also okay to use. Then, develop a research plan. Practitioners Guide Research may be helpful.

  1. Choose a research method
  2. Develop a (hypothetical) sampling plan and a means of data collection
  3. If you decide to conduct a Benefit-Transfer, identify at least one “source” case study that allows for transfer and set the method of transfer (point estimate, function) (in this case ignore step 2 and continue with 3)!
  4. Design a short questionnaire or an executable data acquisition set-up
  5. Briefly describe possible sources for biases and scope/ limitations of your study
The assignment (500 words approx ) is due on April 12, 2014. Please post it on the etherpad. We will 'harvest' it from there. 

During the first few weeks of the course, we looked at ecosystem services and considered the various valuation methods. Now, it is time to put those theories into practice. Throughout the next few weeks, you will generate a cost-benefit-analysis of your ecosystem case-study that compares the existing situation with a new potential scenario. 

Copyright: GIZ, Photo: Robert Heine


Assignment 4 gives you the opportunity to develop a new scenario for your ecosystem. The scenario must have two goals: it must prevent land degradation (or improve the quality of the land) and it must better the livelihood of the poorer stakeholders. Find out more in the >Contents section. This team assignment is due on April 12.

We have reviewed your second assignment submissions. Feedback will be posted on Tuesday in your team's section.


You will find the recorded live events in each week's content section.

Join us at our next live-event, April 2, 2014 at 3.30 pm CET with Prof. Dr. Hans Hurni, University of Bern. He will explain how to do a cost-benefit-analysis using the case of the Ethiopian Highlands.  More

Last week, we had a lively exchange with Hannes Etter who introduced us to three different valuation methods using case-studies from Namibia, Kenya and Spain. The recordings and his powerpoint presentation are now available online: More

Creative Commons License

ELD MOOC by ELD Initiative is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.