Changes in land cover over the period 2001-2015 in rangelands

Land degradation neutrality (LDN) indicator for land cover change describes the transition from one land cover class to another. Land degradation or improvement processes are determined from the land cover transition analysis of yearly land cover maps from the ESA (European Space Agency) CCI (Climate Change Initiative) land cover project. In interpretation of the map it should be remembered that analysis at this scale fails to take into account local level changes. Further, in rangelands an increase in land cover may not always be positive, and rather could reflect negative trends of an increase in bush encroachment or invasive species. 

Key figures

1. Across rangelands globally, according to LDN measurements between 2001-2015 land cover of 99% of rangelands (approximately 77,000,000 km2) was stable. As measured through LDN indicators, 1% (664,791 km2) showed “improvement” in land cover, and 1% (399,121 km2) showed “degradation” in land cover. 

Changes in land cover over the period 2001-2015 in rangelands



Land Cover status

Area km2















Source 1: Terrestial ecoregions of the World. World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). Downloaded in 2021:…. Original source: Olson, D. M., Dinerstein, E., Wikramanayake, E. D., Burgess, N. D., Powell, G. V. N., Underwood, E. C., D'Amico, J. A., Itoua, I., Strand, H. E., Morrison, J. C., Loucks, C. J., Allnutt, T. F., Ricketts, T. H., Kura, Y., Lamoreux, J. F., Wettengel, W. W., Hedao, P., Kassem, K. R. 2001. Terrestrial ecoregions of the world: a new map of life on Earth. Bioscience 51(11):933-938.

Source 2:Gonzalez-Roglich, M., Zvoleff, A., Noon, M., Liniger, H., Fleiner, R., Harari, N., Garcia, C., 2019. Synergizing global tools to monitor progress towards land degradation neutrality: Trends.Earth and the World Overview of Conservation Approaches and Technologies sustainable land management database. Environ. Sci. Policy 93, 34–42.

Downloaded in 2021