This projects entails a risk assessment of selected value chains in the context of progressing climate change which is expected to impact on degradation processes in dryland agriculture over the next decades. A global-scale assessment of the potential impact of climate change on land degradation is performed. Per-country estimates of cropland extent in varying impact classes, ranging from low to very high, are generated. Based on these results, three high-impact regions are selected for a risk assessment of crucial climate-sensitive value chains. For these focus areas, a spatial land degradation vulnerability assessment is performed based on satellite remote sensing ad GIS data. The results of the vulnerability assessment are integrated with the maps of potential climate change impact to produce overall risk maps. The results of this study should provide information to national governments concerning the risk profiles of their main agricultural value chains and, subsequently, support identification of alternatives for cropping systems that are projected to become insufficiently productive in the future.

UNCCD is the sole legally binding international agreement linking environment and development to sustainable land management. As some of the most vulnerable ecosystems and peoples can be found in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas, UNCCD especially addresses these drylands. Productive capacities in drylands are threatened by megatrends such as climate change and land degradation, where changing precipitation and temperature potentially exacerbate processes of degradation and where degraded lands make productive systems more vulnerable to impacts of climate change.

UNCCD therefore aims to support the reorientation of productive capacities towards sustainable and resilient patterns, in order to reverse the impact of land degradation and mitigate climate change impact. To this end, UNCCD is interested in the identification of regions and crops at a particularly high risk of land degradation and climate change impact. The outcomes of this activity should support informing of national governments of risk profiles of their main cash crops and, subsequently, support identification of alternatives for value chains that are projected to become insufficiently productive in the future.

Subsequent work will link towards opportunities around other megatrends such as population changes, consumption patterns, energy and shifting geopolitical patterns present in the identification of new value chains.