Standard for tackling land degradation takes step closer to publication

by Clare Naden on
ISO News feeds (RSS)
We live in a world where growing populations, over-development and ever-changing climate patterns are taking a daily toll on the land around us. Droughts, floods, over-cultivation, deforestation, the draining of water supplies, and unsustainable practices in general, are literally pillaging our earth. But a new standard in development aims to help combat that, and has just reached a crucial stage.
Soil erosion, loss of fertility, declining biodiversity and reduced water supplies are all classic signs of land degradation and up to 20 % of the world’s drylands* and 25 % of cropland, pastures, forests and woodlands** are estimated to be negatively affected.

Everyone and everywhere are victims, because land degradation threatens our safe food and water supplies and has a significant impact on economies, most notably those in underdeveloped countries.

ISO/DIS 14055-1, Environmental management – Guidelines for establishing good practices for combating land degradation and desertification – Part 1: Good practices framework, details guidelines for establishing good practices to combat land degradation. It has recently reached Draft International Standard (DIS) stage, where national ISO member bodies are invited to vote and comment on the text before it moves to a final draft stage and publication.

The standard will be beneficial for land managers, technical experts, organizations and policy makers worldwide who are interested in combating the effects of land degradation. It can also complement and support the activities of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas .

“Land degradation is a significant problem in many parts of the world, and can contribute directly to poverty and declining economies,” said Marcia Franco, Secretary of ISO/TC 207/WG 9, the working group responsible for developing the standard, which is led by ABNT, ISO's member for Brazil.

“This standard will not only help to combat land degradation but also help to assist in the rehabilitation of land that has been affected.”

ISO 14055 is expected to be published in early 2017.

For more information on the DIS stage and how you can contribute, contact your national ISO member.

*Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, 2005

**FAO 2011