Towards Sustainable Land Use

Aligning Biodiversity, Climate and Food Policies

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Land use is central to many of the environmental and socio-economic issues facing society today. This report examines on-going challenges for aligning land-use policy with climate, biodiversity and food objectives, and the opportunities to enhance the sustainability of land-use systems. It looks at six countries – Brazil, France, Indonesia, Ireland, Mexico and New Zealand – with relatively large agricultural and forestry sectors and associated greenhouse gas emissions, many of which also host globally important biodiversity. Drawing on these countries’ relevant national strategies and plans, institutional co-ordination and policy instruments, the report provides good practice insights on how to better align land use decision-making processes and to achieve stronger coherence between land use, climate, ecosystems and food objectives.

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Policy instruments relevant to sustainable land use

Policy instruments ultimately guide the behaviour of actors in land-use systems, so understanding the interactions between policy instruments and how this impacts land use is key for managing outcomes in the land-use, biodiversity, climate and food nexus. The chapter highlights the need for secure and clear land tenure as a prerequisite for effective policymaking. It then analyses some important regulatory, economic, information and voluntary instruments currently in use across the case studies (Brazil, France, Indonesia, Ireland, Mexico and New Zealand), including where and how these instruments have been effective. The chapter also explores how to address food loss and waste, which can play an important role in reducing emissions from agriculture and pressure on land-use systems.

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