Dr. Richard A. Byron-Cox (PhD International Law), UNCCD Action Programme Alignment and Capacity Building Officer, gave a talk on
"Should Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) be made a Fundamental Principle of International Law"
Land was and remains central to the state - the traditional, original and classic subject of Public International Law. Historically, land was important to the state as it inter alia determined size of territory, geo-political influence and came with resources ranging from gold and silver to free labor of the inhabitants of conquered territory. Today, land maintains its importance to the state for some of the aforementioned reasons, but there are additional very important factors including its social, environmental and agricultural as well as agro-forestry values. In the context of the above, the idea of achieving a Land Degradation Neutral World (LDNW) has of late gained some traction with sections of the international community. Indeed it has forced itself onto the agenda of international discourse as regards the future objectives and organization of the process of working towards achieving the goal of global sustainable development. However, the idea of striving for, and achieving a land degradation Neutral World is still very new indeed. There are many questions: What does it really mean? Can it be achieved? If so, how can it be achieved?