Foreward

Climate Change and Land: an IPCC Special Report on climate change, desertification, land degradation, sustainable land management, food security, and greenhouse gas fluxes in terrestrial ecosystems, also known as the Special Report on Climate Change and Land (SRCCL), is the second Special Report to be produced in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Sixth Assessment Cycle (AR6). It has been jointly produced by IPCC Working Groups I, II and III in association with the Task Force on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories.

Over two years in the making, this report highlights the multiple interactions between climate change and land. It assesses the dynamics of the land-climate system, and the economic and social dimensions of addressing the challenges of land degradation, desertification and food security in a changing climate. It also assesses the options for governance and decision-making across multiple scales. This report is interdisciplinary in nature and brings together an unprecedented number of experts from varying fields of research. Their expertise ranges from agricultural systems and rural livelihoods to nutrition and forestry.  Over 52 different countries from all regions of the world were represented in the chapter teams, and, for the first time in an IPCC report, a majority of authors – 53% – were from developing countries. This reflects the important role that developing countries play in climate change research and decision-making, particularly in the context of land.

The IPCC provides policymakers with regular scientific assessments on climate change, its implications and risks, as well as adaptation and mitigation options. Since it was established jointly in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the IPCC has produced a series of Assessment Reports, Special Reports, Technical Papers and Methodological Reports which have informed international negotiations and actions to tackle climate change.

The participation and collaboration of hundreds of experts worldwide underpins the success of IPCC reports. It is their knowledge, enthusiasm and dedication, as well as their willingness to work across disciplines, which gives IPCC reports their impact and policy relevance. We would like to express our gratitude to all the Coordinating Lead Authors, Lead Authors, Contributing Authors, Review Editors, Chapter Scientists and Expert and Government Reviewers who devoted their time and effort to make the Special Report on Climate Change and Land possible. We would also like to thank the members of the IPCC Bureau, especially members of the SRCCL Steering Committee, for their scientific leadership and support. Last, but by no means least, we would like to thank the staff of the Working Group I, II and III Technical Support Units and the IPCC Secretariat for their unwavering commitment to the development of this IPCC Special Report.

This report would not have been possible without governments supporting their scientists’ participation in this process, contributing to the IPCC, hosting meetings and facilitating the essential participation of authors and experts from developing countries. We would like to share our appreciation to the government of Ireland for hosting the Scoping Meeting and to the governments of Norway, New Zealand, Ireland and Colombia for hosting Lead Author Meetings. Our thanks also to the governments of France, Germany, the United Kingdom and Japan for funding the Technical Support Units of Working Groups I, II and III, and the Task Force on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories, respectively. We also acknowledge the government of Norway’s generous support for communications and outreach activities, and the support of the Irish Environmental Protection Agency for an additional post in the Working Group III Technical Support Unit.

We especially wish to thank the IPCC Chair, Hoesung Lee, for his overall leadership, the IPCC Vice-Chairs Youba Sokona, Thelma Krug and Ko Barrett for their guidance and deep knowledge of the IPCC, and the Co-Chairs of Working Groups I, II and III  Valérie Masson-Delmotte, Panmao Zhai, Hans-Otto Pörtner, Debra Roberts, Jim Skea and Priyadarshi Shukla, as well as Eduardo Calvo Buendía, Co-Chair of the TFI for their tireless leadership throughout the process.

We are also grateful for the very professional work of the IPCC Secretariat and WMO LCP Department in facilitating the work and numerous meetings.