Guiding integrated decisions about rural land use
Challenges and lessons learned:
Factors that influence strategic decisions about land use are complex and take time to change. For this reason a long-term, iterative and multi-scale approach is essential in land use planning. The project illustrated that there was strong support from organisations and communities in the project area for a more integrated, holistic approach to rural land use planning.
The extensive consultation served to highlight that strategic decisions about land use need to integrate a range of social, economic and environmental issues. The consultation process at both regional and local scale ensured that a wide range of stakeholders were involved.
This multi-scale project also highlights how strategic goals need to be set at a regional scale; but that further work would need to be done to apply the approach at a local scale, including more local involvement and access to local data.
The mapping of ecosystem services (the range of benefits that nature provides to people) proved difficult due to a lack of data on cultural and regulating services. Natural features were easier to map, whilst the services they provide to people were less so.