Addressing Land Degradation and Drought through the Implementation of Sustainable Land Management

Lead country


Participating countries


Project status


Implementing period

From July 14, 2015 to December 18, 2020

SDGs addressed by this project

SDG targets

  1. 15.5 Reduce habitat degradation, halt biodiversity loss, extinction
  2. 15.3 Combat desertification, restore degraded land and soil
  3. 15.1 Conserve, restore, sustainably use terrestrial, freshwater ecosystems

Project ID: 5365

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Technical team

  • Ecosystems and Biodiversity Programme

Technical area(s)

  • Ecosystem management and restoration


  • Agrobiodiversity
  • Ecosystem-based adaptation


  • Conserved areas
  • Human altered areas


  • Productive landscapes/Seascapes
  • Rural areas
  • Urban areas

Transformed sector(s)

  • Agriculture
  • Forestry and other land use
  • Livestock

UNDP role(s)

  • Capacity development / Technical assistance
  • Innovative approaches
  • Institutional mechanism and system building


  • Management operation
  • Governance
  • Capacity building


  • Sustainable land management
  • Drought Mitigation/Early Warning
  • Improved soil and water management techniques
  • Mainstream
  • Sustainable agriculture practices and use of resources (TP 2, 7, 8, 9)
  • Institutional framework
  • Institutional capacity building
  • Community capacity building
  • Knowledge/Data management

Social inclusion

  • Local community/CSOs
  • Private sector
  • Women

Gender equality

  • Women farmers

Gender result effectiveness scale

  • Gender targeted


  • Systems pathway

Risk reduction target(s)

  • Reduce exposure
  • Improve resilience

SDG target(s)

  • 15.5 Reduce habitat degradation, halt biodiversity loss, extinction
  • 15.3 Combat desertification, restore degraded land and soil
  • 15.1 Conserve, restore, sustainably use terrestrial, freshwater ecosystems

Conventions and protocols

  • United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)
  • National Adaptation Plan (NAP)

Private sector(s)


Hot topic

  • Structural/system transformation
  • Food and agricultural commodities strategy

About this project


Brief DescriptionLand degradation in the Philippines is largely caused by the susceptibility of its soils to erosion due to the hilly and mountainous landforms in many parts of the country. The widespread clearing of forest lands in steeply sloping and rolling topography leaves the bare soil highly vulnerable to accelerated erosion of topsoil caused by heavy rainfall and consequential erosive force of water run-off. The practice of kaingin (or shifting cultivation) and other forms of unsuitable upland farming in cleared forest areas further worsens the erosion problem and loss of fertile and productive top soils. Land degradation in the Philippines is manifested by (i) the loss of productive topsoil through water erosion, (ii) loss of soil fertility due to over-cultivation, (iii) loss of vegetation cover due to illegal logging and widespread forest tree cutting, and (iv) expansion of slash and burn agriculture in critical slopes. Other kinds of degradation which cover a relatively smaller part of the landscape include (i) water logging due to poor drainage and water management; (ii) soil salinization due to over-harvesting of ground water near coastal areas; and (iii) soil pollution from excessive pesticide application and contamination by industrial and household wastes. The proposed project would focus principally at the systemic and institutional levels, and hence strengthen the enabling regulatory, institutional and financial framework that would govern efforts to address land degradation in the Philippines. It will mainstream Sustainable Land Management (SLM) policies and programs into the development plans of LGUs through the guidance of government agencies such as Department of Agriculture, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Agrarian Reform, Department of Interior and Local Development and Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board to strengthen complementation among these government institutions concerned with land degradation and ensure that the incidence and spread of land degradation in vulnerable ecosystems will be avoided and/or reduced. The project is expected to improve the land productivity and socioeconomic well-being of small farmers. To achieve this, the project will follow a participatory cross-sectoral approach involving all the key stakeholders in project design and implementation. The promotion of SLM measures and technologies for the adoption of vulnerable farming communities will be the focus of the field investments of the project. Through the establishment of SLM demonstration sites, farmers will be able to learn and adopt various methods of soil conservation farming and water resources conservation that will improve their crop production and income. Therefore, the project aims to strengthen the SLM frameworks to address land degradation process and mitigate the effects of drought in the Philippines through the following outcomes:Outcome 1: Effective national enabling environment to promote integrated landscape management; andOutcome 2: Long-term capacities and incentives in place for local communities and LGUs to uptake of SLM practices in two targeted municipality in the Philippines.


Strengthening SLM frameworks to address land degradation processes and mitigate the effects of drought in the Philippines.

USD $1,771,800

Grant amount

USD $5,803,154

Leveraged amount (co-financing)


Source(s) of fund

Sources of fund


  • Global Environment Facility – Trust Fund ($1,771,800)

Implementing partner(s)

  • Department of Agriculture - Bureau of Soils and Water Management (DA-BSWM)

Project metrics

Related resources

Geospatial information

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Project reports and documentation



Addressing Land Degradation and Drought through the Implementation of Sustainable Land Management