Land Resources

Land Resources, Management, Planning and Use

Land and Land Resources refer to a delineable area of the earth's terrestrial surface, encompassing all attributes of  the biosphere immediately above or below this surface, including those of the near-surface, climate, the soil and terrain forms, the surface hydrology (including shallow lakes, rivers, marshes and swamps), the near-surface sedimentary layers and associated groundwater and geohydrological reserve, the plant and animal populations, the human settlement pattern and physical results of past and present human activity (terracing, water storage or drainage structures, roads, buildings, etc.) (FAO/UNEP, 1997).

The Land Management Unit undertakes the following activities in land resources:

  • Promotes the development of cost-effective methods for land and soil survey and classification including testing and identification of soil constraints, criteria and methods for assessment of land degradation and sustainable land management and monitoring trends.
  • Promotes and provides documentation, information and technical guidance for the assessment, conservation and productive management of land resources.
  • Promotes the development and harmonisation of land evaluation methodology, land use analysis, land degradation assessments, agro-ecological zoning, indicators of land quality and criteria for monitoring land use systems and works towards their application through participatory land use planning approaches.
  • Promotes soil and land use classification and correlation methodologies and mapping.
  • Maintains a database and web-based information system on land resources and land use at national and regional level for comparative studies and analysis.
  • Advises governments and other stakeholders in the formulation and implementation of appropriate land use and land management policies, strategies and action plans.
  • Co-operates with UN and specialised agencies, international and national bodies, non-governmental organisations and the private sector to support sustainable and productive land use and land management practices.
  • Contributes to the implementation of Agenda 21 and the Rio Conventions and assists member countries in the preparation of National Action Plans that address sustainable use of land resources use and food security goals.
  • Supports member countries in the formulation and implementation of sustainable land and ecosystems management programmes/projects, with attention to land productivity, degradation, problem soils, biodiversity and climate change issues as well as emergency and relief operations.