FAQ Questions and Answers
Q: What is LADA?

A: ➢ LADA or Land Degradation Assessment is a project originated in Drylands and was started in 2006, with the general purpose of creating the basis for informed policy advice on land degradation at global, national, and local level. It was implemented in 6 countries – Argentina, China, Cuba, Senegal, South Africa, and Tunisia .It was initiated as early as 2000 upon the request of United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification and Drought (UNCCD). The Global Environmental Facility (GEF) is the main donor of the project, the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) is the implementing agency, and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is the executing agency. It was recognized by UNCCD-Ninth Conference of the Parties (COP9) as a way to effectively use the UNCCD impact indicators (Decision 19).
➢ LADA also refers to a specific set of methodology on land degradation assessment covered by several manuals developed by the project for national as well as local land degradation assessment in drylands.

Q: What is the principle behind LADA?

A: ➢ The LADA approach adheres to DPSIR framework (Driving forces, Pressures, State, Impacts, Responses). According to this framework, there is a chain of causal links starting with driving forces (economic sectors, human activities) through pressures (emissions, waste) to states (physical, chemical, and biological) and impacts on ecosystems, human health, and functions eventually leading to political responses (prioritization, target setting, indicators). The set of LADA Manuals for assessing land degradation actually revolves around this basic framework. The root causes and at the same time consequences of land degradation and desertification are often poverty and food insecurity combined with harsh climatic events such as drought, leading to excessive pressures on fragile ecosystems, the natural resource base, and the adoption of resource-depleting survival strategies by the poor.

Q: What is “Land Degradation” according to LADA?

A: ➢ LADA defines land degradation as the reduction in the capacity of the land to perform ecosystem functions and services that support society and development.

Q: What is the major driving force of land degradation?

A: ➢ Land use is considered the major driving force of land degradation.

Q: What is the major output of the LADA Project?

A: ➢ The major output of this endeavor is the Land Use System (LUS) map where it analyzes natural resources, land cover, and socio-economic data using combination of spatial modeling and expert knowledge. The LUS map units also include other sets of biophysical and socio-economic information of relevance to land resources and ecosystems degradation that provide a cartographic basis for national assessments. The development of the Land Use System Map of the Philippines as the means to achieve land degradation assessment at national level is the major output. Mapping of LUS adheres to set of manuals called Land Use System Manual.

Q: What is the basis of Land Use System in the Philippines?

A: ➢ The Land Cover Map of NAMRIA, the Philippine national mapping agency is the basis of processing the Land Use System in the Philippines following the Land Degradation Assessment (LADA) Manual.

Q: How Land Use System is derived??

A: ➢ The base map from the point of view of LADA is the land cover map. We used the NAMRIA 2003 land cover map; and hence, the final project output is called the 2003 Philippine Land Use System Map since the recent 2010 Land Cover Map is yet to be established. ArcGIS 10 was used to process the digital data.
➢ The 2003 NAMRIA land cover map has originally 23 classes. To conform with the LADA requirements, these were converted to Ecoystems Based on Land Cover and Major Land Cover.
➢ These were further categorized into Major Land Cover. Spatial dataset on irrigated agricultural lands (NIA Irrigation Development, December 2010) was superimposed. This further aggregated the agricultural land into “irrigated” and “rainfed”.
➢ The next step as per LADA Manual is the incorporation of the livestock density into the major land cover classes. The livestock unit was derived based on the optimum livestock density of each ruminant type for Philippine condition.
➢ As of August 6, 2012, PhilLUS has 14 classes. For complete details you may download the Midterm Report under Resources Page.

Q: How LUS is analyzed?

➢The analysis of LUS is based on the Mapping Questionnaire (QM) developed by the Geneva-based World Conservation Approaches and Technologies (WOCAT) and is referred to as the WOCAT QM. The analysis of LUS as land degradation assessment unit refers to set of questions in the WOCAT-QM to which the assessment units (LUS) are subjected to.

Q: What is the significance of the LADA Project?

A: ➢ The project output, the Land Use System Map of the Philippines, is intended to be the benchmark data for land degradation assessment and an important input for the updating of the Philippine National Action Plan to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification. Moreover, this is not the sole output of the BSWM but rather a major output of the Republic of the Philippines to be able to establish a knowledge base on land degradation and track/monitor impacts on ecosystem services, environmental services and livelihoods.

Q: How the output can be sustained after its termination?

A: ➢ As benchmark data, the establishment of the Philippine LADA Team is necessary for regular monitoring and updating of the Land Use System Map. Inter-agency cooperation will play a large part not only to complete the project but to continue the project beyond the two-year FAO funding. The Philippine LADA TEAM will have to be institutionalized as an important component of the Philippine National Action Plan.

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