fao23.jpg (12112 bytes)FESLM: An international framework for evaluating sustainable land management

Table of contents


World Soil Resources Report

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations 1993

A Discussion Paper

A.J. Smyth
J. Dumanski

with contributions by

G. Spendjian
M.J. Swift
P.K. Thornton

Jointly sponsored by:


Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations


International Board for Soil Research and Management


International Society of Soil Science


Tropical Soil Biology and Fertility


International Fertilizer Development Centre


International Centre for Research in Agroforestry


Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EEC


Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research

Agriculture Canada
United States Department of Agriculture-Soil Conservation Service (SMSS)

Land and Water Development Division

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations 1993

The designations employed and the presentation of material in this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.


ISBN 92 - 5-103419-2

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright owner. Applications for such permission, with a statement of the purpose and extent of the reproduction, should be addressed to the Director, Publications Division, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, 00100 Rome, Italy.

(c) FAO 1993




Issues of sustainable land management
Challenges for the future
Objectives of the report


Chapter 1: Background and principles

Nature of sustainable land management (SLM)
Aspects of sustainability

Sustainability and suitability
Sustainability and stability
Classifying sustainability - Stability and confidence
Sustainability and scale
'Detailed' and 'generalized' forms of sustainability evaluation

Principles of sustainability evaluation

Chapter 2: FESLM - The general approach

The general approach to sustainability appraisal

Using evaluation factors
Indicators, criteria and thresholds
Achieving flexibility of subject matter

The framework structure

The structure in outline
A family of frameworks

Chapter 3: Structure of the master framework

Chapter 4: Constructing an action framework

Getting started with an action framework
Establishing the purpose
Level 1: The objective statement

Level 1: Aim, problems and procedure
Examples of objective statements in local frameworks

Level 2: The means statement (present use)

Level 2: The aim, problems and procedure
Level 2: The means statement (additional uses)
Undertaking the analysis

Level 3: Evaluation factors

Level 3: The aim, problems, procedure

Level 4: Diagnostic criteria: (cause/effect and observations)

Level 4: The aim, problems, procedure
Diagnostic evidence: The approach paths
Evaluation factors: Complex and component attributes
Criteria: Understanding cause and effect

Level 5: Indicators and thresholds

Level 5: The aim, problems, and procedure
Final analysis

Chapter 5: Off-site evaluation

Active off-site effects
Passive off-site effects
Allowing for off-site effects

Chapter 6: Using the framework

Chapter 7: Validating, reporting and monitoring

Validating the analysis



World soil resources reports