Commission on Sustainable Development
to CSD 2000 ]
Decision on Integrated Planning and Management of Land Resources
1. The main objectives of activities in the area of
integrated planning and management of land resources must be pursued in full
accordance with Agenda 21 and the Programme for the Further Implementation
of Agenda 21. It is important that countries address sustainable development
through a holistic approach, such as ecosystem-based management. This
approach would address interactions among land resources, water, air, biota
and human activities, in order to meet the priority challenges of
desertification and drought, sustainable mountain development, prevention
and mitigation of land degradation, coastal zones, deforestation, climate
change, rural and urban land use, urban growth and conservation of
biological diversity. Integrated watershed management provides one of the
commonly-understood frameworks for achieving a holistic approach to
sustainable development. The application of the ecosystem-based approach
should take into consideration the livelihood opportunities of people living
in poverty in rural areas, and a balance should be found through the use of
policy instruments between environmental conservation and rural livelihood.
2. The importance of integrated planning and management of
land resources derives from the unprecedented population pressures and
demands of society on land, water and other natural resources, as well as
the increasing degradation of resources and threats to the stability and
resilience of ecosystems and the environment as a whole, in part as a result
of climate change. These trends highlight the need for each country to
ensure for its citizens within the limit of its national legislation, equal
access and rights to land, water and other natural and biological resources,
and to resolve competition among various domestic sectors for land
3. The challenge is to develop and promote sustainable and
productive land-use management systems as part of national and local
strategies for sustainable development and to protect critical natural
resources and ecosystems through balancing land, water and other natural
resources. Governments are encouraged to provide transparent, effective,
participatory and accountable governance conducive to sustainable
development and responsive to the needs of people. Social and health aspects
of land use systems deserve particular attention and should be integrated
into the overall planning process.
2. Priorities for future work
4. The review of implementation of Agenda 21 in 2002 will
benefit from the outcome of the eighth session of the Commission on
Sustainable Development. Priority areas for future work should be defined by
CSD and should include the following:
• Prevention and/or mitigation of land degradation;
• Access to land and security of tenure;
• Critical sectors and issues: biodiversity, forests, drylands,
rehabilitation of mining areas, mountain areas, wetlands and coastal zones,
coral reefs, natural disasters, and rural-urban and land management
• Access to information and stakeholder participation;
• International cooperation, including that for capacity building,
information sharing and technology transfer; and
• Minerals, metals and rehabilitation in the context of sustainable
3. Prevention and/or mitigation of land degradation
5. Governments and the international community are urged
to make concerted efforts to eradicate poverty and to review unsustainable
patterns of production and consumption as a crucial means for reducing land
degradation, desertification, deforestation and destruction of biological
diversity. Appropriate policies for planning and development are essential
for ensuring the sustainable livelihoods of people living in poverty,
including among rural communities.
6. Governments and the international community are
encouraged to promote soil, water and vegetation conservation, protection,
restoration and enhancement measures as a prerequisite for sustainable land
management, agricultural production, food security, the protection of
biological diversity, as well as for the prevention and mitigation of land
degradation and natural disasters. In this regard, Governments, the
international community, international organizations and other stakeholders
are encouraged to develop partnerships to share information on and promote
access to appropriate technologies and traditional knowledge.
7. The Commission recognised the important role that the
international community, particularly States involved in the deployment of
mines, can play in assisting mine clearance in mine-affected countries
through the provision of necessary maps and information and appropriate
technical and material assistance to remove or otherwise render ineffective
existing minefields, mines and booby-traps. Governments, the international
community and other relevant actors are encouraged to formulate and
implement strategies that specifically deal with the rehabilitation of land
degraded by land mines, which cause human and environmental hazards and
obstruct development plans, in accordance with international norms,
standards and agreements.
8. Governments are encouraged to strengthen national,
regional and local institutional frameworks for cross-sectoral cooperation
in the formulation and implementation of land policies, taking into account
specific national conditions and legislation.
4. Access to land and security of tenure
9. Recognising the existence of different national laws
and/or systems of land access and tenure, Governments, at appropriate
levels, including the local authorities, are encouraged to develop and/or
adopt policies and implement laws that guarantee to their citizens
well-defined and enforceable land rights and promote equal access to land
and legal security of tenure, in particular for women and disadvantaged
groups, including people living in poverty and indigenous and local
10. Governments are encouraged to develop adequate land
administration systems supporting sustainable land tenure on the basis of
land cadastres, land management, land valuation, land planning and
monitoring and supervision of land use, where appropriate.
11. Governments are encouraged to include traditional land
owners, land users and the landless, when undertaking land tenure reform,
including the development of land cadastres, so as to focus on making
traditional land owners and the landless as active participants in the
planning and development of land resources.
12. The international community and United Nations
agencies and organizations are encouraged to provide technical and financial
support to governments' efforts to minimize socio-economic obstacles related
to access to land and security of tenure.
5. Critical sectors and issues
13. Governments are urged to sign and ratify the Cartagena
Protocol on Biosafety to the Convention on Biological Diversity and to
support its effective implementation.
14. Governments and United Nations organizations are
encouraged to promote only those applications of biotechnology that do not
pose unacceptable risks to public health or the environment, bearing in mind
ethical considerations, as appropriate.
15. Appropriate authorities are encouraged to ensure that
land management plans and policies reflect priority consideration of: (1)
areas containing high concentrations of biological diversity; (2) threatened
ecosystems; and (3) species at risk.
16. Governments and the international community are urged
to effectively implement proposals for action emanating from the
Intergovernmental Panel on Forests (IPF)/Intergovernmental Forum on Forests
(IFF) to promote the management, conservation and sustainable development of
all types of forests.
17. Governments and the international community are urged
to undertake appropriate measures to address recurring droughts,
desertification, the degradation of fragile land resources, and the
depletion of scarce water resources in drylands. Priority is to be given to
areas where there are high-population pressures and droughts.
(d) Mountain Areas
18. Governments are urged to adequately plan and manage
land resources in mountainous areas and associated lowlands, whose
ecological processes are highly interdependent, and which are crucial for
the integrated management of watersheds. In this regard, Governments and
other mountain key players are also urged to recognize that small-scale
livelihood systems are best suited to the niche economies that characterize
fragile and complex mountain environments.
19. In cases where general use of mountain resources
occurs, Governments are further urged to ensure that a significant
proportion of derived benefits is reinvested locally for continued
conservation and sound management of these critical land areas by local
(e) Wetlands and coastal zones
20. Governments at all levels are encouraged to take into
account the importance of conserving wetlands and critical coastal zones,
including protected areas and other fragile ecosystems, in the formulation
of national and subnational sustainable development strategies. Governments
and the international community are encouraged to implement the
recommendations of the Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the
Marine Environment from Land-based Activities.
(f) Natural disasters
21. Governments and the international community are
encouraged to formulate and implement strategies, in particular preventive
ones, both short-term and long-term, for disaster management -including the
development of appropriate early warning systems and intervention plans - to
address phenomena associated with natural disasters, which result, inter
alia, in land degradation and other negative social and economic impacts. In
this regard, Governments and relevant regional and international
organizations are urged to provide financial and technical assistance for
relief and remedial support to developing countries and those with economies
(g) Rural-urban and land management interactions
22. Governments at national and local levels are urged to
take strategic land management approaches aimed at creating enabling
conditions, including for rural-urban interactions in which the development
of human settlements can benefit disadvantaged groups, especially people
living in poverty in rural and urban areas. Governments at national and
local levels should also take strategic urban planning approaches aimed at
managing urban growth and limiting urban sprawl.
23. Governments at national and local levels are
encouraged to take into account land-use interdependence between rural and
urban areas, and undertake implementation of integrated approaches to their
administration, which is essential to sustainable rural and urban
development and a more sustainable livelihood for people living in poverty.
Governments at national and local levels and the international community are
encouraged to adopt a strategic urban planning approach and to integrate
them into urban land management planning with strategies for sustainable
development, with particular reference to transportation, housing,
infrastructure, and urban agriculture. In this context, Governments are also
urged to promote sustainable development at the peripheries of existing
urban areas including informal settlements and urban sprawl.
24. Governments are urged to take into account the
strategic role and responsibilities of local authorities and stakeholders in
sustainable land use and are encouraged to empower local governments and
local communities in the formulation and implementation, through, inter
alia, financial and technical support of sustainable land use practices that
promote interaction between rural and urban areas.
(h) Minerals, metals and rehabilitation in the context of
25. Governments, the international community and other
relevant actors, are urged to examine the social, economic, and
environmental impacts of minerals extraction and metals production and are
encouraged to formulate and implement strategies that provide for the
rehabilitation of land degraded by mining.
6. Stakeholder participation
26. Governments are urged to develop and strengthen
capacity and institutional frameworks for effective participation of and
access to information by all stakeholders, including women, land workers,
people living in poverty, indigenous and local communities and young people
in rural and urban land use planning and management.
27. Governments are invited to pursue or strengthen, as
appropriate, the participation of all stakeholders in land use planning and
7. International cooperation, including that for
capacity building, information sharing and technology transfer
28. Governments and the international community are urged
to fulfill the financial commitments as set out in chapter 33 of Agenda 21
to effectively support the implementation of integrated planning and
management of land resources in developing countries, taking into account
priorities identified by those countries.
29. The United Nations system is urged to support
Governments in further promoting the implementation of the Habitat Agenda,4
adopted by the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II)
(Istanbul, June 1996) and in linking it to the implementation of Agenda 21,
including local Agenda 21 programmes. Support for the five-year review of
Habitat II is encouraged.
30. Governments, in particular those of developed
countries, and international organizations are further urged, including
through appropriate arrangements, to provide technological assistance to
developing countries and countries with economies in transition to implement
the integrated planning and management of land resources, as recommended in
31. Governments and relevant international institutions
are encouraged to develop and to use at all levels appropriate land-use
indicators, best practices and related monitoring systems.
32. Governments are invited to consider cooperating, as
appropriate, in the area of integrated planning and management of land
resources, through information and experience sharing.
33. Governments, in particular those of developed
countries, are urged, through appropriate arrangements, to further
strengthen the use and transfer of appropriate technologies that are best
adapted and suited to local conditions in developing
countries, including Decision Support Systems, such as geographical
information systems (GIS) and global positioning systems (GPS), for
integrated planning and management of land and other natural resources. In
addition, Governments are urged to strengthen the capabilities of developing
countries for the application of these technologies.
34. Governments are urged to promote land-related
research, and extension and dissemination of technological information and
innovative practices, and to undertake training programmes for land users,
including farmers and agro-food industries, women and local communities,
where appropriate, and other relevant stakeholders. In this regard,
developed countries and the international community are urged to improve
access to up-to-date information and technology by developing countries.
35. Governments are encouraged to sign, ratify and support
the effective implementation of relevant international agreements, including
the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in those Countries
Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, particularly in Africa
(CCD) (A/49/84/Add.2, annex, appendix II), as vital instruments for
achieving integrated planning and management of land resources, and calls
for additional support for their implementation.
36. States that have not yet done so are encouraged to
sign and ratify the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in
those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification,
particularly in Africa, the Convention on Biological Diversity and the
Framework Convention on Climate Change and to take account of the
complementarities among the relevant international instruments in order to
improve land-use and land management, to promote sustainable forest and
land-use practices and to generate the multiple benefits that may accrue
from the implementation of these instruments, in particular with respect to
combating desertification, loss of biodiversity and degradation of
freshwater resources and carbon sequestration.
37. Governments are urged to ratify the Kyoto Protocol to
the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
38. The United Nations and other international development
organizations are urged to assist developing countries in their efforts to
achieve integrated planning and management of land resources, through
financial support, transfer of environmentally sound technologies on
mutually agreed terms, capacity-building and education and training.
39. Governments are encouraged - taking into account work
being done by, inter alia, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP),
the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the
International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the United Nations
Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat), the regional commissions, other
United Nations bodies and the Commission on Sustainable Development, as well
as national and regional organizations, as appropriate - to further consider
the development and use of appropriate land-use indicators and monitoring
systems for the purpose of assessing progress in the implementation of
programmes for sustainable development, with special attention to the gender
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