Jorge Rodriguez Morales (Ph.D.) who is researching climate change adaptation as part of the GlocalClim project, has contributed to the IPCC’s Report on Climate Change and Land. The report, whose full title is Special Report on Climate Change, Desertification, Land Degradation, Sustainable Land Management, Food Security, and Greenhouse Gas Fluxes in Terrestrial Ecosystems, is an important input to the United Nations process of climate change governance. Specifically, it addresses greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes in land-based ecosystems, land use and sustainable land management, in relation to climate change adaptation and mitigation, desertification, land degradation and food security.

Climate change and land are intimately linked aspects of environmental governance and sustainable development. Land is integral to human habitation and livelihoods, providing food and resources, and also serves as a source of identity and cultural meaning. However, the way land is governed also represents a risk for climate systems. The other way around, the effects of climate change on land put at risk the contribution of land factors on sustainable development. Thus, the combined impacts of climate change, desertification, land degradation, and food insecurity pose obstacles to resilient development and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

As a collective effort, the purpose of Chapter 7 was to revise and assess the literature on risk and uncertainty surrounding land and climate change, policy instruments and decision-making. The chapter addresses those risks and uncertainties, and governance practices that advance response options with co-benefits identified in the preceding chapter, lessen the socio-economic impacts of climate change and reduce trade-offs, and advance sustainable land management.

With this aim, the chapter firstly discusses risks and their drivers, at various scales, concerning land-climate challenges, including risks associated with responses to climate change. The consequences of principal risks in economic and human terms and associated concepts such as tipping points and windows of opportunity for response are then described. Subsequently, policy responses at different scales to different land-climate risks, and barriers to implementation are described, followed by an assessment of approaches to decision-making on land-climate challenges, and questions of the governance of the land-climate interface. The chapter ends with a summary of key uncertainties and knowledge gaps.

This table lists the key findings from the chapter.

The full report is available here: