Sustainable Land Management is a knowledge-based procedure that aims at integrating the management of land, water, biodiversity, and other environmental resources to meet human needs while sustaining ecosystem services and livelihoods.
The term sustainable land management is used, for example, in regional planning and soil or environmental protection but also in property and estate management.
The World Bank defines Sustainable Land Management as a process in a charged environment between environmental protection and the guarantee claim of ecosystem services on the one hand.
On the other hand it is about productivity of agriculture and forestry with respect to demographic growth and increasing pressure in land use. "SLM is defined as a knowledge-based procedure that helps integrate land, water, biodiversity, and environmental management (including input and output externalities) to meet rising food and fiber demands while sustaining ecosystem services and livelihoods.
SLM is necessary to meet the requirements of a growing population.
Improper land management can lead to land degradation and a significant reduction in the productive and service (biodiversity niches, hydrology, carbon sequestration) functions of watersheds and landscapes."
The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) applies the term in a much wider context.
Besides agriculture and forestry they include the mineral extraction sector, property and estate management. "Land management is the process by which the resources of land are put to good effect.
It covers all activities concerned with the management of land as a resource both from an environmental and from an economic perspective.
It can include farming, mineral extraction, property and estate management, and the physical planning of towns and the countryside."
In the course of national politics and programmes only few European states use the terminology "sustainable land management."
Here Australia and New Zealand are to be mentioned as both countries have agreed on sustainable land management with respect to climate change as part of their government programmes.
In the European context the definition of the European Network for Land Use Management for Sustainable European Cities (LUMASEC) may be used as a reference.
It emphasizes the inter- and transdisciplinary cooperation on sustainable land management: "As management is the human activity meaning the action of people working together in the aim to accomplish desired goals, land use management is a process of managing use and development of land, in which spatial, sector-oriented and temporary aspects of urban policy are coordinated.
Resources of land are used for different purposes, which may produce conflicts and competitions, and land use management has to see those purposes in an integrated way.
Therefore, land management covers the debate about norms and visions driving the policy-making, sector-based planning both in the strategic and more operative time spans, spatial integration of sectoral issues, decision-making, budgeting, implementation of plans and decisions and the monitoring of results and evaluation of impacts."