The LADA methodology for land degradation assessment at local level has been prepared in collaboration with the University of East Anglia and WOCAT. It consists of a manual providing the conceptual framework and tools for guiding a harmonised characterization of local areas in terms of land degradation and conservation/SLM measures. The local assessment provides low cost, robust but relatively speedy procedures, following a participatory approach in order to obtain a stronger involvement of the local stakeholders.
The assessment aims at identifying not only the actual status and circumstances of land degradation, but also its historical development and the diverse perception of various concerned actors. This both allows a better understanding of the phenomenon and provides pertinent information for the identification of most appropriate response measures. To this end, both biophysical and socio-economic indicators are taken into consideration for the assessment and integrated in the analysis of findings. The local assessment is meant to have a strong linkage with the national assessment through the use of the national LUS map as a basis for identifying and sampling the local assessment areas and allowing feedback from local level to inform national and subnational levels.
Local assessment areas - Each partner country initiates detailed assessments for two to six local areas selected from its national land degradation assessment. Areas are chosen based on national policy priorities and local opportunities for monitoring or promoting sustainable land and ecosystem management.
Assessment training - The local component uses biophysical information and historic context as well as socio-economic indicators and local perceptions and behaviours to identify status, causes and effects of land degradation in a given terrain. Intersectoral teams are trained to use the toolbox that includes user-friendly biophysical measures and rural appraisal tools that consider socio-economic contexts as well as land-use practices.