Sustainability is a concept that is often thrown around without full understanding. Some believe maintaining a sustainable lifestyle is more personal than a communal effort. The reality, however, is the opposite. It is impossible for individuals to have sustainability in their personal lives without giving attention to sustainable land management (SLM).
What is sustainable land management?
Sustainable land management is a procedure that relies on knowledge to positively steward the land, water, and other environmental resources. The central motivation of SLM is to meet the needs of humans while also maintaining ecosystems and other services that contribute to the overall quality of life.
Sustainable land management is essential to meeting the demands of a growing population. It becomes difficult to feed more humans if the land does not receive enough water to nurture the vegetation responsible for producing the food used to nourish individuals in a region. Good management, then, becomes the key to preventing drought and maintaining positive living conditions.
Sustainability and climate change
One of the benefits of sustainable land management is that the practice provides a better environment. Still, developing and maintaining good practices
Maintaining good nurturing practices to keep the land fruitful a century ago was generally a matter of cultivating the ground and making small changes here and there to see the best results. Now, the stakes are higher due to climate change.
As the seasons become more unpredictable, it becomes necessary to carry out more aggressive cultivating practices. Farmers may also need to take additional steps, such as purchase more equipment, to ensure their crops are protected during inclement weather. Such is especially the case in winter and summer when rain and fires may flood or burn vegetation.
One of the best ways to combat climate change and, therefore, contribute to good sustainable land management practices is to be mindful of the amount of water used when cultivating the soil. Watering systems that leave a lot of water behind do not positively contribute to sustainability efforts. Such is the reason why it is best to invest in a system that moistens the soil without running over.
Another way to combat climate change is to refrain from using toxins when farming. Toxic chemicals ultimately harm the soil, which leads to reduced crop. Fewer humans can enjoy the nutrients that come from Earth if vegetation is kept from growing due to a corrupt foundation.
Many farmers are progressively moving away from toxic chemicals used to preserve crops. Instead, they are finding ways to naturally keep pestilence away from their vegetation.
How to get to sustainability
The benefits of sustainable land management are based on four principles. The first concept revolves around institutional support from government entities. Small business owners and larger corporations are more inclined to find less toxic means of production if given incentives that work to increase their income. Thus, it is up to government officials to make land management more attractive.
The second principle emphasizes the importance of participation. It is not enough for the government to offer incentives that reward sustainability practices. Farmers and companies must also actively cooperate with the goals that such incentives support.
Another principle of sustainable land management stresses the importance of using the ecosystem to integrate the use of natural resources in society. This principle requires governments and communities to fully support farmers through both social and economic practices that make it unnecessary for farms to use toxic chemicals to preserve crops.
The final principle of SLM gives precedence to stakeholders who are involved in all levels of land sustainability. This idea of management places the responsibility to find solutions and better practices on the shoulders of policymakers as well as experts in technology and business.
Management for sustainability is the future
With the climate crisis growing, it is more important now than ever to address and lean into the benefits of sustainable land management. Individuals and communities can positively contribute to the practice by conserving water, rehabilitating and re-purposing land, and cultivating natural resources in a way that leads to more growth.
Companies also have a responsibility in SLM to adopt production practices that do not harm the environment in the long run. Sustainable land management is much like a puzzle that, when having all the pieces in order, delivers positive and long-lasting results to humans, animals, and the environment as a whole.
Sustainable living is essentially impossible without proper land management. Such is the reason why governments and private corporations must work together to find solutions to the problems that prevent environmental growth.