A Land Resources Planning Toolbox to Promote Sustainable Land Management

  •  Feras Ziadat    
  •  Eddy De Pauw    
  •  Freddy Nachtergaele    
  •  Theodora Fetsi    


This paper provides a brief overview of how traditional concepts and approaches of land use planning have evolved into a more widely accepted vision of ‘land resources planning’ and its requirements for participatory processes, involvement of multi-sectoral stakeholders, and multi-thematic information at appropriate scales. Given its comprehensive ambitions, land resource planning (LRP) has a growing demand for a wide-ranging toolset, encompassing different tools in the biophysical, socio-economic, and governance (in a form of guidelines, methods, approaches and support tools). In order to collate knowledge, experiences and lessons from the LRP tools users, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) - Land and Water Division held a consultation process through a survey among a range of stakeholders operating at different levels, sectors and regions. The survey evidenced limited awareness about the current availability of tools for land use planning. To remedy this situation, FAO developed the Land Resources Planning Toolbox (LRPT), a web-based inventory of existing tools. The Toolbox makes distinguishing between the tools in the socio-economic domain, those in the biophysical and the ones combining the two domains. The Toolbox explains the ability and restrictions of the LRP tools and their appropriateness to different regions, stakeholders and levels, and can be searched according to several criteria. It is concluded that, the Toolbox offers a useful mechanism for knowledge sharing and exchange of recent tools to enhance participatory LRP. It also has a great potential to support sustainable land management and landscape restoration. In this way it addresses, indirectly, conflicts and competition over resources.

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