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Chapter 7: Conclusion

Appendix I: Extract from the final report on the review of chapter 10 at the third session of the commission on sustainable development
Appendix II: Conclusions and recommendations of the international workshop on agenda 21 - chapter 10

The goal of a new integrated approach to planning the use and management of land resources is to make optimal and informed choices on the future uses of the land. It will be achieved through interactions and negotiations between planners, stakeholders and decision-makers at national, provincial and local levels. It will be on the basis of efficient, comprehensive data gathering and processing in a appropriate storage and retrieval system, through a network of nodal institutions. The smooth flow of the resulting evaluation of the data will be output in an understandable, user-friendly format. The plan will enable all stakeholders to co-decide on the sustainable, equitable and economic use of the land and follow it through to successful implementation.


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Appendix I: Extract from the final report on the review of chapter 10 at the third session of the commission on sustainable development1

1 Held in New York, 11-28 April 1995.

8. The Commission notes with great concern that an estimated one-sixth of the total arable land surface of the globe has been damaged by human-induced soil degradation. A global partnership is required to protect and restore the health of the Earth's terrestrial ecosystems.

9. The Commission notes with concern the convergence of poverty, hunger and degradation of terrestrial resources in environmentally more fragile marginal lands, where the large majority of poor smallholder farmers are increasingly located. The Commission calls upon Governments, bilateral donors, multilateral financial institutions, technical specialized agencies, and NGOs to give high priority to rural development in these lower potential areas, particularly through enhancing the productivity of farmers on a sustainable basis.

10. The Commission stresses that the integrated approach to the planning and management of land and water resources is central to the implementation of recommendations of Agenda 21 concerning land, desertification, mountains, forests and biodiversity. Land needs to be considered as a finite resource relative to many and varied needs. Its allocation must aim to satisfy these needs in the most equitable and sustainable way.

11. An integrated and multi-disciplinary approach to the planning, development and management of land resources is a process which methodically identifies human and environmental needs, the potential and options for change and improvement, identifies and evaluates all relevant physical, social, economic and policy factors, and develops a series of actions necessary to permit and facilitate change. The process needs to address an array of cross sectoral issues such as the creation of productive employment, the eradication of poverty and responses to pressures on the land caused by poverty, unsustainable consumption and production, population growth, and changing demographic patterns. Clarification and security of land rights, possible involving land tenure and ownership reforms, are central to the solution of these problems. A holistic approach to the management of land resources requires the integration of land and issues of water resources as they relate to land use. A mismanagement of land and water often leads to land degradation through erosion, flooding, waterlogging and salinity and the depletion of groundwater resources. The demands by rural and urban communities for land and its associated water resources will often conflict if not properly managed.

12. The Commission notes that soil and water degradation through contamination by agricultural, urban and industrial effluents is of increasing importance in developed and developing countries. The Commission invites Governments, international organizations and groups to increase their efforts in this field.

13. A people-oriented approach, adapted to suit local circumstances, is central to the sustainable development of land resources. All stakeholders, especially women, farmers, indigenous peoples, landless labourers and other major groups, should participate in the planning and management of land resources, in identifying problems and proposing solutions, as well as in the consensus building process. For this process, the intermediate level is important. Governments should encourage the participation of all stakeholders at that level. The empowerment of people and communities, the creation of social equity and an enabling environment, as well as the strengthening of capacities and the building of awareness at all levels, are important elements in this multi-stakeholder approach. Security of tenure and the existence of equitable and efficient legal and fiscal systems are important management ingredients to ensure increased productivity and secure conservation efforts.

14. The Commission notes with appreciation the outcome of the International Workshop on Agenda 21 - Chapter 10, Integrated Planning and Management of Land Resources, organized by the Government of the Netherlands and FAO, and hosted by the Government of the Netherlands (Wageningen, 20-22 February 1995). The Commission invites the Government of the Netherlands and FAO to give the report of the workshop and its recommendations the widest possible dissemination.

15. The Commission stresses the importance of the collection and processing and dissemination of timely and reliable information and the utilization of modern land assessment and evaluation technologies, together with those for resource characterization, as essential for the planning and management of land resources. The development and use of appropriate indicators, including performance indicators, on the basis of sound scientific knowledge, tailored to meet local requirements and circumstances, is essential for formulating and implementing policies and monitoring of results. There is a need to ensure that information of a technical nature is fully linked with social and economic aspects at the local, regional and national levels. The Commission also takes note with appreciation of the report of the Panel on Science and Technology for Integrated Land Management of the Commission on Science and Technology for Development, which adds an important dimension in furthering the implementation of Chapter 10.

16. The Commission notes with concern the uneven pace of progress in implementing the objectives and recommendations contained in Chapter 10 of Agenda 21 especially with regard to existing institutional structures which are largely sector oriented, leading to an overlapping of governmental responsibilities, and the need for community driven approaches.

17. The Commission urges Governments to take all necessary steps to achieve the objectives set out in Chapter 10 within the agreed time-frame. At the international level priority should be given to the development of a holistic and integrated framework to put in place social and economic conditions which will facilitate sustainable production and the conservation of biodiversity. Technical and infrastructural support, which can be applied in any country with appropriate modifications according to local needs and conditions, will be desirable in many cases.

18. The Commission urges Governments, in line with their respective needs and priorities, to develop national and/or local land use planning systems containing a statement of objectives and a detailed timetable for implementation spread over a period of years. These should aim to remove constraints and provide incentives, enhancing the involvement and empowerment of peoples, develop information and management systems and modify institutions and establish suitable linkages among them. It also urges them to exchange views on their programmes for integrated land management, involving all sectors of the community and all stakeholder groups, developed and implemented at the appropriate level.

19. The Commission requests the Secretary-General to strengthen coordination and cooperation among the organizations of the United Nations system through the development and implementation of joint approaches and collaborative programmes. FAO, in partnership with UNEP, UNDP, other international agencies and Governments, with the appropriate contributions of NGOs, should develop tools and recommend actions for integrated land management. Such action should be carried forward to the CSD through the exchange of knowledge and experiences in an open and transparent manner, with the full and effective participation of developing countries, reflecting their specific conditions and needs.

20. The Commission urges Governments, with the cooperation and support of the institutions, and organizations of the United Nations system, as appropriate, to pay particular attention to:

a. establishing stable land use systems in areas where important ecosystems or ecoregions are being endangered by human activities;

b. applying integrated planning and development approaches in regions which are becoming open to intensified settlement and agricultural production;

c. bringing about integrated approaches to capacity building.

21. For the effective implementation of Chapter 10 of Agenda 21, the Commission reaffirms the commitments contained in Chapters 33 and 34 of Agenda 21.

Appendix II: Conclusions and recommendations of the international workshop on agenda 21 - chapter 101

1 International Workshop on Agenda 21 - Chapter 10: Integrated Planning and Management of Land Resources, held 20 to 22 February 1995 at the International Agricultural Centre, Wageningen, The Netherlands.


The International workshop on Agenda 21 - Chapter 10: Integrated Planning and Management of Land Resources was held in Wageningen, The Netherlands, from 20 to 22 February 1995. The objectives of the workshop, for which initiative was jointly taken by FAO and the Government of the Netherlands, were:

(i) to formulate recommendations and policy options on the implementation of Chapter 10 to be submitted to the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) for consideration at its third session in April 1995, and

(ii) to exchange knowledge and experience on the planning and management of land resources.

The workshop was attended by more than 80 senior officials from 32 countries from all regions, 6 intergovernmental organizations and 6 non-governmental organizations.

Chapter 10 calls for an integrated approach to the planning and management of land resources through re-organizing and, where necessary, strengthening of decision-making structures, including policies and planning and management structures. Such an approach recognized the need for participation of all stakeholders in land use decision making, and bridges the gap between the production and income objectives of land users and the long-term objective of preserving natural resources, Chapter 10 has an umbrella function for the other land-related chapters which deal with forests, mountains, desertification and sustainable agriculture and rural development as more specific forms of land use. It has, therefore, many linkages with the other chapters, but clearly has its own objectives for the integrated process of planning and management of land resources, as set out in pare. 10.5:

(i) to review and develop policies to support the best possible use of land the sustainable management of land resources, by not later than 1996;

(ii) to improve and strengthen planning, management and evaluation systems for land and land resources, by not later than 2000;

(iii) to strengthen institutions and coordinating mechanisms for land resources, by not later than 1998;

(iv) to create mechanisms to facilitate the active involvement and participation of all concerned, particularly communities and people at the local level, in decision making on land use and management, by not later than 1996.

The workshop had selected the following three themes for discussion:

(i) the integration of objectives and policy formulation for planning and management of land resources in rural areas;

(ii) managing a planning process for the use of land resources in rural areas with all stakeholders; and

(iii) possibilities for sustainable economic development in rural areas, with emphasis on nontraditional uses of land.

These were also the subjects of the keynote addresses and of the working groups and were elaborated on in the Issues Paper prepared by the Winand Staring Centre for Integrated Land, Soil and Water Research in Wageningen. The workshop took the "meso-level" (intermediate between central government and local community) as a starting point for analysis of the possibilities of integration of goals. During the discussions it was recognized that, given the specific characteristics of regions, a ranking of goals (ecological, economic, social) has to be made.

The workshop had before it the Issues Paper mentioned earlier and the background paper Planning for Sustainable Use of Land Resources: Towards a New Approach, prepared by FAO. Furthermore, 31 completed questionnaires on a specific national case of intermediate-level planning and management of land resources were returned by participants, of which a summary was presented and made available to the workshop. These cases showed the progress achieved by individual countries in the implementation of Chapter 10. The full report of the workshop will contain an extensive summary of the cases. It is planned to also prepare a more extensive study on the cases. Both activities can be regarded as a contribution to the fulfilment of the requirements set forth in pare. 10.12.d.

The workshop actively discussed, especially in the working groups, many items relating to the integrated approach to planning and management of land resources and agreed upon a set of conclusions and recommendations. The country cases submitted by the participants turned out to be a valuable source of information for additional recommendations on the implementation of Chapter 10. A number of recommendations are already included in the text of Chapter 10 or other Chapters of the land cluster. The outcome of the discussions emphasized the importance of many of these recommendations, but these are not repeated in the present document. The other recommendations that were formulated by the meeting are either a further specification of existing points in Chapter 10, or are new and additional points; these are included in the present document.

Discussions were held in the spirit of global partnership to conserve, protect and restore the health and integrity of the Earth's terrestrial ecosystems. Referring to principle 7 of the Rio declaration it was recognized that States have common but differentiated responsibilities. The developed countries acknowledge the responsibility that they bear for the international pursuit of sustainable development in view of the technologies and financial resources they command. Concerning the latter aspect reference was also made to Chapter 33, paragraphs 33.13 and 33. 14.

The Government of the Netherlands will present the conclusions and recommendations of the workshop to the Intersessional Meeting on Sectorial Subjects in March 1995 and to the third session of the CSD in April 1995, and will request that this document be considered as an official document for these meetings.


The participants of the workshop submit the following recommendations to the Commission on Sustainable Development. In this regard they recognize that recommendations should be tailored to the particular situation within countries. National integrated land resources planning strategies must recognize differences relating to:

- rural vs. urban needs;
- regular vs. emergency situations;
- variations in preparedness in terms of the state of development of legislation, policies, institutions, and public participation in planning and decision making.

All countries are committed to the timetable for Chapter 10 but various constraints mean that some countries will take longer to meet the objectives fully and will have to intensify efforts to achieve them.


Under this theme the workshop participants recommend that:

1.1 Governments develop a framework or guidance to implementing agencies for integrated land use planning and management including explicit aims and taking into account what has been achieved so far.

1.2 Governments review land tenure arrangements or legislation with the objective of providing long-term security on the land, taking into account the needs of all stakeholders, especially the farmers and all those that are effectively involved in the agricultural sector, both men and women.

1.3 Governments review economic policies and revise economic instruments to reinforce the positive consequences and decrease the negative consequences of public and private activities for sustainable management of land resources.

1.4 To provide the investment in rural areas that is needed to implement Agenda 21, governments assess and, if necessary, redress the balance of resource flows between rural and urban areas.

1.5 For targetting common sustainable development goals and an integrated approach, governments not only review the mandates of institutions but also pool budgets of sectors.

1.6 To cope with emergency situations beyond the normal planning scenario, governments provide for a rapid alert and response capability.

1.7 Government formulate and adopt legal and technical adjustment mechanisms for the effective promotion of and the support to the stability of agricultural land use and for sustaining competition and complementarily, in economic terms, of agriculture and other forms of land use.

1.8 Governments design land valuation systems and standards for agriculture that will quantify the social, economic, environmental and demographic impacts associated with the transfer of productive arable land to other uses.

1.9 Governments and international organizations cooperate in identifying national and international sustained sources of funding to carry out integrated land use planning and management with full stakeholder participation.

1.10 The various forms and degrees of land degradation, their socio-economic causes and effects, particularly poverty, need to be given prominence in all programmes for integrated planning and management of land and water resources, taking into account the linkages with the aims of other relevant Chapters of Agenda 21, such as 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 and 18.


Under this theme the workshop participants recommend that:

2.1 Governments promote capacity building, including leadership skills, so that communities and people's organizations, with special attention to women and youth, can participate in, or initiate, local land use planning. Funding for upgrading of technical skills and training will be needed.

2.2 Governments focus on financial support for a catalytic approach to start community participation processes at all levels. This should include capacity building of grassroot-level and voluntary associations. Financial support can be more effective if it addresses causes instead of symptoms.

2.3 Governments incorporate indigenous knowledge and methods of land resources management into their policies and development programmes and assist people's organizations to do likewise. Research will be needed to uncover this knowledge and incorporate it into formal databases and planning procedures.

2.4 Governments develop criteria and performance indicators for sustainable land use, allowing flexibility for sub-national and local variations.

2.5 Governments establish and strengthen conflict resolution mechanisms, in particular at the local level.

2.6 If land reforms are considered necessary, these should be introduced in a gradual and progressive manner so as to maintain a minimum support of all stakeholders.

2.7 Governments cooperate on funding, training and technical support involving multilateral, regional, UN, NGO, farmers' organizations and bilateral external support agencies.

2.8 No set planning procedure is applicable in all situations. International and national organizations should develop modular planning tools so that specific combinations of modules can be applied to individual situations. Workshops for land use planning should be conducted to familiarize policy makers and technical specialists with these new tools.

2.9 Stakeholders at the meso level should be informed by their national authorities about the framework within which they participate in the planning process and about the extent to which they can influence the framework itself as well as the outcome of the planning process.

2.10 Public authorities should enter into partnerships with stakeholders to produce local plans and action strategies for development, for the security of individuals, and for the alleviation of poverty; they should provide the link between broader land use and sectoral planning, bringing together the resources necessary to achieve optimal results.

2.11 Governments and organizations recognize differences in interests of stakeholders and their representative NGOs and, in particular, to ensure incorporation of legitimate concerns and participation by land users including women.


Under this theme the workshop participants recommend that:

3.1 Governments provide a national framework to assess the costs and benefits of different land use options or developments.

3.2 For any public intervention or expenditure (a tax, a subsidy, a regulation, a programme of activities, an investment project), governments select at least one performance indicator and monitor it.

3.3 Governments follow sound macro-economic and effective poverty reduction policies as a necessary condition for more sustainable management of land resources. An enabling legal framework is also required.

3.4 Governments use economic instruments to express environmental costs and benefits in market prices, whereby all land resource users will be enabled to take account of environmental costs and benefits in their decision making.

3.5 Where environmental costs and benefits cannot be fully captured in taxes, subsidies or other economic instruments, governments provide incentives for voluntary action by land resource users, or use regulations to enable land resource users to take account of environmental costs and benefits in their decision making, with due consideration for the administrative costs of these regulations.

3.6 Economic instruments will be necessary but are, often, insufficient to promote improved land use. When complementary measures are required, projects should be designed accordingly, including activities such as formation and promotion of groups of land users, technology dissemination, field demonstrations, capacity building of user groups and of government support services and adaptive research institutions.

3.7 Where new economic "carriers" are considered necessary for sustainable development of rural areas, projects should be designed to include activities such as ecotourism, joint wildlife management with local communities, joint forest management with local communities, watershed management (with upstream conservation funded by downstream beneficiaries of more regular flows, reduced silt load, and improved water quality), and nature reserves and parks (with employment generated by the policing function). More generally, governments promote labour-intensive growth throughout the economy, and reverse discrimination against rural areas in the allocation of public expenditure to health, education and infrastructure.


1. Land and water integration and river basin mangagement, 1995 (E)
2. Planning for sustainable use of land resources - Towards a new approach, 1995 (E)

Availability: August 1995

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