The scope of land management is vast, covering everything from environmental impact to development to urban planning and construction. Managing land ensures that human habitat and ecosystems are well conserved and protected, while simultaneously providing the infrastructure required for efficient economic growth. In addition, it promotes social harmony by enabling people to co-exist with their natural and human environment in a sustainable way.
Land management is essentially the act of managing the use and expansion of land assets. Land assets are generally used for various purposes that can include agricultural, forestry, recreational, eco-tourism and other projects related to development. This implies that the management process not only encompasses the physical aspects of land such as soil, vegetation and water but also those aspects related to people. For example, proper land use ensures that the land is able to support a healthy micro-ecological community consisting of diverse natural species that provide vital services such as regulating climate, regulating water levels and regulating the ecosystem.
Appropriate planning, implementation and consistent enforcement are the key components of effective land management practices that have the potential to benefit not only the present and future generations of humans, but also all living things on earth. A smart decision making process is required to address all aspects of land development, whether it be agricultural, housing or industrial. However, the execution of these decisions can only be guaranteed by ensuring that the key decision makers – the local government, inhabitants and other entities that affect the land-use management processes – have a direct stake in the project through participation, funding or other forms of investment. In this manner, land development decisions are guided by sound principles of land management that have the potential to ensure land management effectiveness.