Developing sustainable land use policy

Planning sustainable land use

Investigate, formulate and implement integrated land-use planning approaches that include multiple natural resource activities which are compatible with and which complement the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.


Land use represents a critical intersection of the economy and the environment, because changes result primarily from economic decisions. The average consumer in industrial countries makes use of approximately twice as much agricultural land as the inhabitant of a developing country.


This strategy features in the framework of Agenda 21 as formulated at UNCED (Rio de Janeiro, 1992), now coordinated by the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development and implemented through national and local authorities.

Agenda 21 recommends promoting sustainable land use planning and management by:

(a) accelerating efforts to promote access to land by the urban and rural poor, including credit schemes for the purchase of land and for building/acquiring or improving safe and healthy shelter and infrastructure services;

(b) developing integrated goal-setting and policy formulation at the national, regional and local levels which takes into account environmental, social, demographic and economic issues;

(c) study and design of regional policies to support programmes for land-use and physical planning;

(d) improving land-use policies and practices for more sustainable land productivity.


A discussion on sustainable land use should not begin with the rich, but in the poor countries where the principal objective is the striving for food security and preservation of the productivity of agricultural systems.

Type Classification:
C: Cross-sectoral strategies
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 1: No PovertyGOAL 2: Zero HungerGOAL 3: Good Health and Well-beingGOAL 4: Quality EducationGOAL 5: Gender EqualityGOAL 6: Clean Water and SanitationGOAL 7: Affordable and Clean EnergyGOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic GrowthGOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and InfrastructureGOAL 10: Reduced InequalityGOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and CommunitiesGOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and ProductionGOAL 13: Climate ActionGOAL 14: Life Below WaterGOAL 15: Life on LandGOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong InstitutionsGOAL 17: Partnerships to achieve the Goal