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27th February 2024 (9 Topics)

An expansive land management policy is overdue


Land management practices and their implications for ecosystem health and human well-being have garnered significant attention globally and in India, as highlighted by discussions at international conventions and reports by expert bodies.

Challenges and Global Context

  • Global challenges: Land degradation poses significant economic and environmental challenges worldwide, with annual losses estimated at $6 trillion, leading to discussions at forums like COP14 and IPCC.
  • Need: The need for land degradation neutrality and effective land management practices has been emphasized, with recommendations for country-level stocktaking and action.
  • Urgency to address the issue: Reports like the FAO's 'State of the World’s Land and Water Resources' underscore the urgency of addressing land management issues for long-term sustainability.

 Challenges in India

  • Management challenges: India faces various land management challenges, including degradation of around 30% of its total geographical area, amidst pressures from development, population growth, and urbanization.
  • Exacerbation of issues: The sectoral and fragmented approach to land management, compounded by administrative complexities and regulatory barriers, exacerbates the situation.
  • Climate change: Climate change further complicates land management efforts, necessitating holistic and integrated approaches at both policy and implementation levels.

Institutional Support and Way Forward

  • Addressing knowledge gaps: Establishing multi-stakeholder platforms at district and sub-district levels is proposed to address knowledge gaps and foster collaboration among stakeholders for effective land management.
  • Landscape approach: Adopting a landscape approach, integrating agricultural and non-agricultural sectors, can provide insights for sustainable land use planning and decision-making.
  • Systematic support: Systematic institutional support, similar to initiatives like the European Landscape Convention, is needed to promote integrated landscape management practices and ensure long-term sustainability.
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