Costs and Benefits of SLM Technologies

Costs and benefits of SLM

Land degradation continues expanding and intensifying worldwide with important implications for food security, poverty, biodiversity, climate change, others. Governments around the world are increasingly committing to avoid and reduce further degradation as well as restore degraded lands. Reversing land degradation and reducing the impacts of land-based activities by means of SLM solutions offer multiple returns in terms of valuable ecosystem services for human well-being.

However, there is scarce and often scattered information on the wide range of costs and benefits of ecosystem restoration across biomes, SLM practices, and regions in monetary units. Developing accurate measures of costs and benefits of SLM is useful for assessing the costs and benefits associated to alternative pathways to achieve land degradation neutrality (LDN) by identifying the most cost-effective courses of action. Additionally, it enhances the appraisal of investments associated to the adoption of SLM, including the evaluation of LDN Transformative Projects and Programmes. 

Economics and WOCAT Data

The WOCAT SLM Database provides information on the costs as well as qualitative information on benefits of SLM. For instance, Giger et al (see article on the right) analysed costs and perceived cost/benefit ratios of SLM Technologies using data of the WOCAT SLM Database. Nevertheless, this information is not consistent in terms of currencies, years and physical units across the recorded SLM practices. This makes it difficult to compare the SLM Technologies and to draw overall conclusions on the costs of SLM.

Project Objective

The goal of this project is to fill this gap by harmonizing the WOCAT SLM data and performing an analysis of the costs and benefits on a selected 500+ documented SLM Technologies. 

In order to support SLM/LDN project and programme design, the project produces a new open access ECON-WOCAT Dataset and Dashboard with a related methodological paper.

In addition, a policy brief shall help sharing results of the analysis and create awareness amongst decision-makers on costs and benefits of SLM, i.e. the investments needs and impact expected.

ECON-WOCAT Dataset and Dashboard

The ECON-WOCAT Dataset is available as an excel sheet. You can download it here:

The ECON-WOCAT Dashboard provides you insights into the Dataset, presenting selected results.

You can visit the dashboard and try it out!

ECON-WOCAT Dashboard_1

Policy Brief

Methodological Paper (final draft)

Contact Person

Nicole Harari

CDE Centre for Development and Environment
WOCAT Executive Team Member
nicole.harari( at )
Switzerland Switzerland

» View profile


Supporting consulting firm