Partner Publications

Land resource planning for sustainable land management

Current and emerging needs in land resource planning for food security, sustainable livelihoods, integrated landscape management and restoration


This working paper provides an overview of the historic development and status of implementation of land evaluation and land-use planning concepts and tools for land resource and landscape management, and it proposes recommendations for future actions. The increasing and juxtaposed challenges of population growth, demands on limited resources by diverse actors, land degradation, biodiversity loss and climate change require the rational use of resources to sustain and enhance productivity and maintain resilient ecosystems. Land-use planning and, more broadly, land resource planning (LRP), are tools for achieving the sustainable and efficient use of resources, taking into account biophysical and socio-economic dimensions.

The availability of suitable tools and information to support and satisfy the needs of decision-makers at different scales, across sectors and among stakeholders is limited, however. The
needs of decision-makers to address the challenges and drivers of change and promote effective and sustainable responses calls for an updated set of tools and approaches for participatory LRP. Such a set of tools should take into account biophysical, economic, socio-cultural and governance dimensions, and it should promote integrated landscape management as a means to satisfy the needs of multiple stakeholders and implement diverse national strategies and commitments.

It is proposed that a consultation process involving a wide range of stakeholders operating at different scales be undertaken to bring together lessons and experiences in tools and approaches for LRP and to identify the main gaps and opportunities. This consultation process should lead to the formulation, with partners, of a strategy for the development, testing and validation of updated LRP tools in pilot countries with stakeholders and decision-makers, from the scale of local landscapes to the subnational, national and transboundary scales.

Authors: Feras Ziadat, Sally Bunning and Eddy De Pauw

With contributions from : Freddy Nachtergaele, Paolo Groppo, Riccardo Biancalani, Sergio ZelayaBonilla, Theodora Fetsi, Rosalud de la Rosa, Thomas Hammond, Stefan Schlingloff and Stephan Mantel (ISRIC).

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