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ACTION (or LOCAL) FESLM (FRAMEWORK): a procedure for evaluating the sustainability of a specific kind of land use, in a specific location, over a specific period of time; using the pathway, aims, approaches and actions identified in the Master Framework (qv) expressed in terms of selected indicators, criteria and thresholds.

CRITERIA: standards or rules (models, tests or measures) that govern judgements on environmental conditions.

*DIAGNOSTIC CRITERION (or FACTOR): a variable, which may be a land quality (qv), a land characteristic (qv) or a function of several characteristics, that has an understood influence on the output from, or the required inputs to, a specified kind of land use, and which serves as a basis for assessing the suitability or sustainability of a given type of land for that use. For every diagnostic criterion there will be a critical value or set of critical values which are used to define class limits. (cf. 'Indicators' and 'Thresholds' used in the FESLM)

INDICATORS: environmental statistics that measure or reflect environmental status or change in condition.

*LAND: an area of the earth's surface, the characteristics of which embrace all reasonably stable, or predictably cyclic, attributes of the biosphere vertically above and below this area including those of the atmosphere, the soil and underlying geology, the hydrology, the plant and animal populations, and the results of past and present human activity, to the extent that these activities exert a significant influence on present and future uses of the land by man.

LAND (or ENVIRONMENTAL) ATTRIBUTE: a deliberately vague concept covering a wide range of factors, qualities, or characteristics of the total physical, biological, economic and social environment.

*LAND CHARACTERISTIC: an attribute of land that can be measured or estimated.

*LAND EVALUATION: the process of assessment of land performance when used for specified purposes, involving the execution and interpretation of surveys and studies of landforms, soils, vegetation, climate and other aspects of land in order to identify and make a comparison of promising kinds of land use in terms applicable to the objectives of the evaluation.

*LAND QUALITY: a complex attribute of land (qv) which acts in a manner distinct from the action of other land qualities in its influence on the suitability of land for a specified use.

*LAND SUITABILITY: the fitness of a given type of land for a specified kind of land use.

MASTER (or REFERENCE) FESLM (FRAMEWORK): a procedure for evaluating the sustainability of a land management package expressed in general terms and not tied to any specific land use goal; comprises a diagnostic pathway and (eventually) a comprehensive checklist of indicators, criteria and thresholds relevant to sustainability evaluation in all foreseeable circumstances.

*MATCHING: the process of mutual adaptation and adjustment of the descriptions of land utilisation types (qv) and the increasingly known land qualities.

STABILITY (in the context of the FESLM): a measure of the likelihood of significant change in a particular attribute during the time scale of a sustainability evaluation.

SUSTAINABLE LAND MANAGEMENT: a combination of technologies, policies and activities aimed at integrating socio-economic principles with environmental concerns so as to manage land in a way that will simultaneously:

- maintain or enhance production/services
- reduce the level of production risk protect the potential of natural resources and prevent degradation of soil and
- be economically viable, and
- be socially acceptable.

SUSTAINABILITY: a measure of whether or not a defined system of land use can be maintained at acceptable levels of productivity or service with realistic levels of input yet without progressive physical, biological, economic, or social damage to the environment on a specific site over a stated period of time.

THRESHOLDS: levels of environmental Indicators (qv.) beyond which a system undergoes significant change; points at which stimuli provoke significant response.

* denotes a definition taken from the FAO Framework for Land Evaluation (FAO, 1976)

(qv) crosscheck within this Glossary

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