The field of land management encompasses various activities that aim at providing an ecological balance in relation to land use. This balance is crucial to the continued existence of the diverse land and its ecosystems. As a result, management activities include the collection, preparation and distribution of data as well as regulation of use of land and its resources for various purposes. An important function of land management therefore is environmental management, which seeks to ensure the sustainable use of land and ecosystems for economic, social and aesthetic reasons.
Environmental management is a key element of sustainable land management. It seeks to ensure the protection, enhancement and conservation of the ecological resources of land through effective planning, implementation, evaluation and control. Such principles are used to manage the different aspects of the life cycles of plants, animals, micro-organisms, soils, air and water. For example, sustainable agriculture focuses on the creation of an environment that provides optimum growing conditions for the production of food and other agricultural products. This can be done by encouraging natural regeneration, the creation of improved soil quality, and utilization of renewable agricultural produce.
The objective of environmental management is to provide guidelines for land use that contributes to a balanced ecological condition. This includes the provision of services, infrastructure, habitats, water, energy and land for human health, safety and the sustenance of society. A major function of sustainable land management therefore is to conserve and restore the environmental quality that is essential to the functioning of society. A major contributing factor to the preservation of environmental quality is the implementation of techniques such as integrated ecological land management that involves the efficient use of existing resources to create and develop new ones.