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Implementing Land Degradation Neutrality at National Level: Legal Instruments in Germany

  • Ralph Bodle
Chapter
Part of the International Yearbook of Soil Law and Policy book series (IYSLP, volume 2017)

Abstract

This chapter analyses the legal instruments and regulatory approaches in German law for achieving land degradation neutrality (LDN). Section 1 outlines the conceptual components of LDN that the law has to address: preventing degradation, restoring degraded land, offsetting degradation at project level and land-use planning and management. In addition, the concept of LDN requires relevant information.

Section 2 analyses which legal mechanisms German law provides to address each of these conceptual components of LDN. At project level, notably the ‘intervention rule’ in the Federal Nature Protection Act fully captures and translates into legal terms what the UNCCD’s conceptual framework calls the ‘LDN response hierarchy’. At area level, legal planning instruments include protected areas, legal planning and management instruments and soil information systems.

The assessment and conclusion in Sect. 3 argue that despite a range of legal provisions and instruments in German law that protect soil, the absence of an overarching holistic concept is a fundamental shortcoming also with regard to LDN. However, the ‘intervention rule’ in the Nature Protection Act provides a potential model for how offsetting can be legally required and implemented. In general, soil and land use play a mainly defensive part in legal planning processes and often lose in the balancing exercise. A first step towards achieving LDN could be to enable the authorities to make more effective use of the existing planning law instruments for the purpose of soil protection.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ecologic InstituteBerlinGermany

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