Environmental Focus


Integrated land use initiatives provide a unique opportunity to meet environmental objectives at the local level while also contributing to national commitments related to land degradation, biodiversity conservation, and climate change. Efforts should be made to develop and adopt new technologies to map and understand complex ecologies in multifunctional landscapes.

Key Elements

Environmental Focus

Best Practices

CONDUCT AN ECOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT: A thorough ecological assessment helps integrated land use practitioners understand the complexity of the landscape, and which interventions will have the greatest impact.

ENGAGE STAKEHOLDERS: Stakeholders need to be involved at every stage in the initiative. Engaging stakeholders in determining which environmental issues matter to them, and how to go about solving these problems can help facilitate the adoption of new practices at the grassroots level. Engaging with stakeholders at all levels can help to ensure that interventions at the local/jurisdictional levels are aligned with national and international targets.

INCORPORATE INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE: Local communities know their environments better than anyone, and the knowledge they have gathered should be used alongside scientific evidence to create effective, locally tailored, participatory interventions.


Infrastructure for Spatial Information in the European Community (INSPIRE)
Developed by the European Union, INSPIRE provides integrated, transboundary data for environmental policy purposes. The program is operated by EU member states and shares geospatial data with various public sector organizations across Europe.
Available at: https://inspire.ec.europa.eu/

The Land Degradation Assessment in Drylands (LADA) - World Overview of Conservation Approaches and Technologies (WOCAT)
LADA-WOCAT is a set of tools and approaches that help practitioners assess landscapes and the possible impacts of interventions. LADA was initially created for the assessment of land degradation, and has been developed to be widely applied to other ecosystems. This approach enables multisectoral and multistakeholder teams to identify and prioritize interventions needed on the ground, and to promote sustainable land management (SLM).
For more information, see Biancalani et al, 2013 at http://www.fao.org/3/i3241e/i3241e.pdf

LADA-WOCAT QM allows practitioners to link conservation and land degradation activities at a provincial/ regional level with a country-level spatial database. The tool allows stakeholders and practitioners to get a clearer picture of land degradation at the level of a district or even a whole country. The methodology is promoted by WOCAT, and has been tested in Global Environment Facility (GEF)-funded and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)-implemented projects in more than 20 countries.
Available at: https://www.fao.org/3/i3241e/i3241e.pdf

Modelling System for Agricultural Impacts of Climate Change (MOSAICC)
FAO, in partnership with European research institutes, developed this tool to carry out climate change impact assessment studies at the national level. The models in MOSAICC are organized into five components: climate, crops, hydrology, forests, and economy.
More information available at: http://www.fao.org/in-action/mosaicc/en/

Restoration Opportunities Optimization Tool (ROOT)
This tool was launched by International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in partnership with The Natural Capital Project to explain ecosystem services to decision makers, using ecosystem services analysis data. The tool is designed to appeal to a wide variety of stakeholders, especially the private sector.
For more information, see Beatty et al, 2018, available at: https://portals.iucn.org/library/node/47805

Sustainable Forest Management Toolbox
A collection of tools, case studies, and resources on sustainable forest management for forest owners, managers, and other stakeholders, developed by FAO. Materials are organized in modules.
Available at: http://www.fao.org/forestry/sfm/85086/en/

Technologies and Practices for Small Agricultural Producers (TECA)
This online platform for successful agricultural technologies and practices is managed by FAO’s Research and Extension Unit.
Available at: http://www.fao.org/teca/en/

Tools for Landscape-Level Assessment and Planning: A Guide for the North Pacific Landscape Conservation Cooperative
This resource provides a matrix of 100 tools available for landscape-level assessment and planning. It is published by NatureServe, and developed with support of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Authors: Patrick Crist, Kat Maybury, Sarah Carr, and Jon Hak
Available at: report_final_tools_for_landscape-level_assessment_and_planning_2.pdf (natureserve.org)

Tools for Measuring, Modeling, and Valuing Ecosystem Services
This IUCN publication guides practitioners on tools that help measure, model, and put a value on ecosystem services.
Authors: Rachel A. Neugarten, Penny F. Langhammer, Elena Osipova, Kenneth J. Bagstad, Nirmal Bhagabati, Stuart H. M. Butchart, Nigel Dudley, et al.
Available at: https://portals.iucn.org/library/node/47778

World Overview of Conservation Approaches and Technologies (WOCAT)
WOCAT is one of the first global networks to document knowledge on sustainable land management and share it. The United Nations’ Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) recommends WOCAT as a primary source for the Global Database for best SLM practices.
More information available at: https://www.wocat.net/en/