Why Are Sustainable Land Management Practices Important? 

Sustainable land management practices are an important aspect of farming. These practices are aimed at integrating ecosystems, protecting the environment, and improving livelihoods. They also reduce the use of toxic chemicals. In addition, sustainable land management practices prioritize the participation of farmers and all stakeholders in farming. Moreover, they place the onus of finding solutions on experts in technology, business, and policy. 

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Environmental protection 

Sustainable land management is about managing a land area so as to avoid damage to its physical and biological components. The approach incorporates socio-economic and biophysical information, which helps in assessing the risk of degradation and determining the best course of action. It is also important to consider social equity issues. 

To apply sustainable land management, a policy framework must be developed which empowers local decision-makers. This includes developing a policy environment that gives equal weight to economic and environmental concerns. It also requires the development of reliable environmental indicators. 

Food security 

Sustainable land management is an important part of food security and sustainability, but it requires a comprehensive and integrated approach. It also depends on cultural and local traditions. Around seventy-five percent of the UK land area is farmed, and farming is central to Government’s environmental ambitions. Brexit is also reshaping farming policy, and these changes will affect farming conditions significantly in the future. 

However, few studies have documented the differences between sustainable land management practices and conventional tillage. While Erenstein et al. (2004) reported differences between yields of smallholders using sustainable land management practices and those using conventional methods in Zimbabwe, few other studies have found that sustainable land management practices have greater food security benefits than conventional farming methods. 

Improved livelihoods 

Sustainable land management includes the protection of wildlife and waterfowl habitats, as well as the maintenance of soil quality within ecosystem boundaries. Today, society is demanding farmers be responsible stewards of rural landscapes. While such values may not necessarily translate to economic benefits for farmers, maintaining environmental values is a necessary part of farming. Soil quality is crucial to plant and animal production, water quality, and human health. 

In Africa, land, and water resources are in grave danger due to excessive use and inappropriate land management practices. In order to meet the growing demands for food, the continent must double its agricultural production by 2030. At the same time, climate change is already wreaking havoc on natural resources. 

Combating desertification 

Combating desertification requires a combination of local management practices and global policy interventions. These efforts should promote the sustainability of ecosystem services and promote the prevention of desertification. While efforts to rehabilitate desertified areas have limited success, major policy interventions are needed to prevent and reverse the processes that cause desertification. These policies should be implemented at all scales and should involve the active participation of various stakeholders. 

Developing countries can implement countermeasures for desertification with international cooperation. Such countermeasures should involve local stakeholders, be flexible, and be adapted to the conditions of the local context. In this regard, the GIZ is offering support in implementing projects that will help countries tackle desertification by involving all stakeholders. Furthermore, the GIZ aims to anchor approaches to desertification in national policies and other projects that focus on sustainable development and resource management.