Land Use and Environmental Practices

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Nowadays, the world is facing an increasing number of severe environmental, social as well as economic challenges that are having a direct impact on the current production system as well as sustainability of all human activities.

The findings about these environmental challenges is particularly true since the resources on which these activities depend have a significant imbalance, particularly in the case of land resources.

Land As a Resource

The land is usually considered as one of the most natural resources both for the survival of mankind as well as its prosperity.

land as a resource and environmental practices

Moreover, it’s a platform on which not only the human activities take place but it’s also a source of materials needed for such activities as well as living.

Environmental Challenges

Nowadays, everyone is quite aware of increasingly severe socio-economic as well as environmental challenges that are having a direct impact on the sustainability of all human activities as well as the production system.

This result is true in particular to the resources on which these activities mostly depend.

Moreover, there’s a significant imbalance between the resources as well as the activities, specially when it comes to land resources.

environmental challenges and land use

The challenges presented by the degradation of land may result from defaulting methods for the management of land as well as the fatal consequences of all social as well as economic activities on the land.

This puts a lot of pressure on the shoulders of SAIs that would ultimately focus on this area and would implement an effective framework for the audit of land use as well as management.

This isn’t crucial only at the national level but across the world as well.

AAKSC’s Aim

With the ambition to achieve the aim, AAKSC decided of programing this research project on land use and management in the environmental perspective for increasing the awareness on this issue.

environmental practices and land use

The aim is to provide with the elements that can subsequently form the basis for developing an audit guide for the purpose of land use.

What Are the Main Objectives?

Therefore, there are three main objectives for this study which include:

  • Providing comprehensive data as well as information to the user of the project output regarding the use of land or the management of land specifically in the perspective of environment.
  • Spreading the interest to consider the environmental dimension in the audit of the programs as well as the projects connected to the use of land as well as land management.
  • Providing information regarding the use of land as well as issues related to the management of land that can be audited and introduce examples as well as case studies of the best practices in this field.

From Land Management to Sustainable Land Management

This alarming situation usually undermines the models as well as policies of land planning and land management.

These are currently implemented and are mostly based on the overexploitation of the resources and on the methods that have little to no concern about the ecological balances.

sustainable land management and environmental practices

Therefore, the proper management of land, of all their attributes as well as components is a must for better rationalization of their use.

Moreover, it’s quite possible to monitor as well as address the land degradation or even the reverse the trends.

If we use the land efficiently and if all the functions are taken into an account and if the long-term interest of all segments of the population is stronger in comparison to the short-term corporate interests of the privileged group at local, national as well as global levels (UN, 2005).

However, issues that relate to the use of land are often complex and require a high degree of understanding of the ecological balance (EPA, 1974).

The structure of political decision making should be very organized for the purpose of facilitating an integrated approach of land use management.

Therefore, it’s important to comprehend the dimensions as well as implications of land management as a paradigm in relation to the rights as well as restrictions and responsibilities related to the land.

What is Sustainable Land Management (SLM)?

Sustainable land management is generally defined as a knowledge-based procedure that helps in integrating land, water, biodiversity as well as environmental management (including output and input externalities).

The purpose is to meet rising food as well as fiber demands while sustaining the services and livelihoods of the ecosystem.

land management and environmental practices

SLM is necessary to meet the requirements of the growing population.

Improper management of land can also lead to the land degradation as well as a significant in the productive as well as service functions.

In the layman’s terms, SLM also involve:

  • Preserving and enhancing the productive capabilities of land in the grazed and cropped areas that include upland areas, downslope areas as well as flat and bottom lands. It helps in sustaining productive forest areas as well as potentially commercial as well as noncommercial reserves of forest.
  • Steps that help to maintain the integrity of watershed for the supply of water and hydropower generation, water conservation as well as the capability of aquifers for serving the needs of farm as well as other productive activities and conserve energy.
  • Actions for stopping and reversing degradation or at least mitigating the adverse effects of earlier misuse and energy consumption which is increasingly important in watersheds as well as uplands, especially those where the pressure from the resident populations are severe and where the destructive consequences of upland degradation are being felt in far more densely populated areas “downstream”.

Environmental Issues in Land Use

Environmental issues in land use are mostly related to a combination of several complex, natural as well as anthropogenic phenomena.

environmental issues in the management of land

Accelerated environmental degradation and changes in land use can be caused as a result of the transformation of natural as well as semi-natural ecosystems by:

  • Cultivation
  • Deforestation
  • Urbanization
  • Drying
  • Intensification
  • Mechanization of agricultural practices
  • Overexploitation of animal population
  • Global warming
  • General pollution
  • Desertification and soil erosion
  • Degradation of water quality
  • Degradation of outdoor and indoor air and atmosphere

These are all the direct as well as indirect causes of the accelerated environmental changes as well as degradation in the use of land.

Policies, Methods and Other Tools to Preserve Land Resources

Face to the alarming threats related to the degradation of land, the resources of earth has become one of the major challenge both for the:

  • Environmental reasons (stability of ecosystems and geochemical cycles)
  • Socioeconomic (Food, agriculture, fisheries as well as industrial application)

land use and environmental practices image

The international community is gradually adopting an arsenal of legal as well as normative instruments designed primarily to regulate the exploitation of different forms of land use
and preserving specifically elements of biodiversity.

These policies also seek to reconcile conservation of natural resources as well as economic development.

Use of Conservation Instruments

Conservative policies are aimed to protect natural and built resources, including built
heritage, by limited access or by an outright denial of access.

conservation land use and environmental practices

Furthermore, these mostly include:

  • Conservation of land and soil
  • Conservation of water resources
  • Conservation of vegetal cover
  • Conservation of species and genetic diversity
  • Restoration and rehabilitation
  • Protection and prevention instruments
  • Control of any harmful activity

Consequences of Deforestation

Deforestation has direct as well as indirect consequences on the climate, the soil, environment as well as biodiversity.

consequences of deforestation and environmental practices

It mostly affects:

  • Soil stability
  • Global climate and air pollution
  • Biodiversity
  • Erosion and local climate change
  • Soil fertility
  • Health hazards

Conclusion

Agriculture is one of the most dominant forms of land management on a global level.

Rapid growth in population as a primary driving force that has direct connection with increasing food requirements generates great pressure on future use of land, environment, ecosystem services as well as natural resources.

There are specific frameworks that are designed to analyze selected indicators having the cause-effect relationship between the social, economic as well as environmental sectors.

land use and eco-friendly practices

The recent rates with which the land is used and the way cover changes are higher than ever.

In most of the developing countries and countries that have transition economies, the continuously growing demand of food has caused expansion of the cropland.

Extensive agricultural systems are slowly intensified.

In developed countries, economic growth has been recently accompanied by a shift of land from agriculture to industry, road network, and residential use.

Extensive forms of agriculture used in past mainly in Europe and North America were transformed into industrial‐style agriculture accompanied by intensification and specialization.

The large inputs of fertilizers, pesticides, fossil fuels have large, complex effects on the environment.

Agriculture releases significant amounts of greenhouse gases and ammonia emission to the atmosphere.

It is the single largest user of freshwater resources. Intensive management practices escalating rates of land degradation, soil and water deterioration.

The effects on the environment arise at site‐specific level but can have impact at local to global levels.

Land‐cover changes cause the disappearance of traditional agricultural landscape and are responsible for vegetation modifications which have an environmental impact on regional climate, carbon sequestration, carbon footprint, and biodiversity losses.

Can Agriculture Impact the Ecosystem?

Agriculture also has impact on the natural systems and ecosystem services on which humans depend hence an impact on the environment.

sustainable use of land

Eco friendly waste management concept. Recyclyling sign in a lake shape in the middle of dense amazonian rainforest vegetation viewed from high above clouds with small yellow airplane. 3d rendering.

Future challenges relating to greater pressure on environment, natural resources, and climate change imply that a “business as usual” model in agriculture is not a viable option.

Green growth is a new method that places strong emphasis on the complementarities between the economic, social, and environmental dimensions of sustainable development.

Thus, the main role of future agriculture is its transformation into good productive but an environmentally friendly and sustainable system that can be effective for centuries without adverse effect on natural resources on which agricultural productivity depends.

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