RECOFTC

Low Emission Land Use Planning

How can greenhouse gas emissions (and removal from the atmosphere) be incorporated into a land use planning process to achieve environmentally sustainable, socially just and economically sound land use?

Land use planning combines the scientific disciplines of ecology, economics and social sciences into an effort to meet current and future societal needs for the utilization and conservation of land and natural resources. It must combine the best of current technology (such as satellite imagery) with the oldest of human values (e.g., people and their relationship to the land and the land of their ancestors) in an open and transparent process. It must engage people (the stakeholders), who often hold different interests and values, in a dialogue that reaches agreement on the sustainable land use in rural areas.

But the task of developing a low emission land use plan is becoming increasingly challenging. National policy makers are also now introducing carbon constraining policies and directing land management agencies to introduce greenhouse gas mitigation actions to meet these national targets. The question is therefore: How can greenhouse gas emissions (and removal from the atmosphere) be incorporated into a land use planning process to achieve environmentally sustainable, socially just and economically sound land use?

This low emission land use planning course guides land use planners at the sub-national level to respond to this question. The course provides a well-integrated framework that is flexible, scalable and adaptable to a variety of different contexts with the goal of producing a low emission land use plan. However it is not a detailed blueprint on land use planning, nor a highly technical document on landscape level carbon accounting.