Main Issue

In most developing countries, sustainable land management (SLM) opens up major opportunities for both the environment and the people who depend on it. SLM enables farmers to intensify existing land more sustainably, enhancing productivity without degrading land resources. It also ensures improved management of agro-ecosystem services across production systems, reduces pressure on natural resources and helps improve and sustain economic productivity and environmental sustainability. Read more+

What We Do

As financing mechanism of the Rio Conventions, the GEF is the world’s largest source of funding for sustainable land management. We focus on desertification and deforestation through removal of economic, policy, knowledge and institutional barriers to SLM. In so doing, we help build a foundation to improve the livelihood of millions or rural people who rely on agriculture to survive.

The GEF has been a major catalyst of innovations in sustainable land management. Such innovative approaches, for example, have helped conserve biodiversity and agrobiodiversity, reduced risk of pollution and degradation of water resources and reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and increased sustainability and resiliency. Our investments in SLM can serve as an important entry point to promote climate-smart agriculture and food security. Read more+


Since 2002, the GEF has invested close to US$0.5 billion in more than 100 integrated land management projects. These funds have leveraged another US$2 billion from partners. Together, the GEF's SLM portfolio has placed over 103 million hectares under sustainable land management, benefitting more than 50 million smallholders. Our achievements have reinforced humanity’s capacity to harness goods and services from nature and transform them into sustainable production landscapes.

The Great Green Wall Initiative is “greening” Africa from west to east by planting a wall of trees to tackle desertification. In so doing, it is helping communities in the sustainable management and use of their forests, rangelands and other natural resources. By 2016, some 500,000 ha of lands or forests were being managed sustainably. This was contributing to better carbon sequestration and increased resilience of the region’s ecosystems and livelihoods. To date, at least 600,000 people have benefited. 

Reports to Conventions