Land resource planning for sustainable land management
This working paper (PDF) by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) provides an overview of the development and status of implementation of land evaluation and land-use planning concepts and tools for land resource and landscape management. The challenges of population growth and increasing demands on limited resources, land degradation, biodiversity loss and climate change, require a rational utilization of resources to sustain and enhance productivity and maintain resilient ecosystems. Opportunities for expanding the area of agricultural land are limited, because much of the available land is unsuitable for agriculture and competition among sectors within landscapes leaves less land for agricultural production. Food security should therefore be achieved by increasing (and then maintaining) production on already-existing agricultural land to meet the demands of growing populations. 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 socioeconomic 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. To address this gap, FAO developed the Land Resources Planning Toolbox, an online, searchable database that contains existing tools and approaches that are used to implement land resources planning.