A new ISO standard, ISO 14055-1, aims to help land managers implement best practices to fight land degradation.
ISO 14055-1:2017, Environmental management – Guidelines for establishing good practices for combatting land degradation and desertification – Part 1: Good practices framework, sets out guidelines to develop good practices to combat land degradation and desertification in arid and non-arid regions.
The standard advocates a fundamental behavior shift toward a more sustainable use of land and is intended to complement and support the activities of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification.
ISO 14055-1 refers to actions to prevent or minimize land degradation. In the case where land is already degraded, the standard aids recovery to improve productivity and ecosystem health.
The standard also covers important topics to establish good practices—including respect for human rights, forest management and agricultural practices, climate conditions, and industrial activities.
ISO 14055-1 will provide a useful resource for land managers, land users, technical experts, and private and public organizations, in addition to policy makers involved in the management of land resources for ecological, productivity, economic, or social purposes.
ISO 14055-1 and its complement, the future ISO/TR 14055-2, which provides regional applications of the principles in Part 1, will help to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 15 for the protection, restoration and sustainable management of land-based ecosystems. In doing so, it is hoped that a “land-degradation-neutral world” can be reached by 2030.