Effective and long-term management of the environment, and its constituent sub-sectors such as forestry, land management, and natural resources, is a core part of the primary economic sector which provides the materials that underpin many other aspects of economic production. Of all development sectors, it is the environment, forestry, land, and natural resources sector that has perhaps the widest impact on other sectors such as economic prosperity for the very poor, and individual baseline health. There is a growing interest across the globe in environmental and land management, as it becomes increasingly obvious that a healthy environment has profound implications for the health of individuals, for tourism, and for food security, while forestry and other natural resources can be relied upon to provide solid return on investment.
When a socio-economic and/or ecological system has the ability to maintain function when faced with external climate change related stresses, this is considered climate resilience. A resilient system is also able to adapt and evolve to improve the sustainability of the system. Climate resilience is an ever increasingly important component to nations development, as the stresses and pressures of climate change continue to grow.
Coastal Management and Rehabilitation are collectively the protective actions applied to coastlines to prevent erosion and flooding, and to restore coastal regions that have suffered these issues. This has become a critical issue as sea levels rise. Some examples of management and rehabilitation techniques include sea walls, revetments, tidal barriers, gabions, and groynes, with rehabilitation focusing on natural environments such as mangroves and wetlands, both of which are excellent defences against storm surges. Coastal management is important for the longevity of coastlines, to protect homes and business interests from being damaged, and the economic interests of coastal nations.
Conservation is the working toward protection of natural environments and species, in the face of human pressures. Conservation seeks to preserve environmental elements and the sustainable availability of nature for personal and commercial activities. Conservation provides solid economic benefits, for ensuring the continuation of natural resource availability, tourism, and maintaining the biodiversity required for related industries such as agriculture and forestry.
Disaster Management is the organisation and management of the resources that are needed to mitigate disasters. This includes all aspects of emergencies in progress, including preparedness, response, mitigation, and recovery. Planning the management of a disaster is very important as it will have drastic effects on how humanity can and will respond.
The purpose of ecosystem mapping is to build a foundational understanding of an ecosystem, typically defined by a specific geographic location, and to study it as a whole. The aspects that are mapped include population abundance and structure, competition with other species, historical traits, local food webs, and environmental fluctuations. With a more in-depth understanding of an ecosystem, it is possible to better understand external impacts related to developmental changes caused by land use change or infrastructure development, human population impact, and the impact of climate change.
Environmental management is the process by which ecological issues are addresses, such as climate change, marine-life preservation, deforestation, waterway management, and more. The objective is to prevent ecological disaster through identifying appropriate solutions to existing and future problems, and sustainable practices. Environmental management is about taking the necessary steps to ensure that future endeavours steer towards a healthy earth.
Forestry is the practice of managing forests and plantations, and related natural resources. Modern forestry generally concerns itself with assisting forests to provide timber as raw material for wood products; wildlife habitats; natural water quality regulation; recreation; landscape and community protection; employment; aesthetically appealing landscapes; and a ‘sink’ for atmospheric carbon dioxide. Forestry can create jobs and economic value from otherwise poorly utilised land resources.
A geographic information system (GIS) is a framework for gathering, managing, and analysing data on geography, minerals, water, and the living environment. Engrained in the science of geography, GIS integrates many types of data with spatial location and typically organizes layers of information into visualizations. GIS is a core tool for the provision of land and resource information to support decision making.
Integrated Land Management
Integrated land management is the strategic, planned approach to how people may use land and its natural resources. Integrated land management aims to balance values, risks, benefits, and trade-offs when deciding how to manage land, resources, land use activities, and is considerate of environmental conservation and sustainability.
Mineral resources are a core source for development resources. Minerals of a useful concentration will exceed economic costs for obtaining them, prompting mining activities, job creation, and the provision of revenue for the host government.
Resource planning and consent is the decision making and approval process from a council or governing body to make alterations to land and property that is neither clearly permitted or prohibited, such as land subdividing, water management and modification, discharging of waste products, and occupying of coastal space. Resource planning and consent is relative to geographical location, as different laws govern different areas, but is a requirement for the effective functioning of many economic activities.
The aim of sustainable development is twofold; to ensure that nations and other communities are able to develop and thrive in a manner that sustains natural systems without compromising the needs of future generations, and to ensure that the positive impact of any development undertaken persists. The growth of twentieth-century environmental concerns is the leading force for Sustainable Development, as the global deterioration of the environment continues. Sustainable Development is incredibly important in securing a healthy, clean, and liveable earth for generations to come.
Wetlands are vital to the natural environment and protection of coastal areas from climate change. Wetlands encompass many different types of ecosystems, including freshwater and saltwater swamps, bogs, floodplains, lagoons, fens, and marshes. Restoration and management of wetlands involves livestock exclusion, weed and pest control, control of nutrient runoff from surrounding land use, and restoration of natural hydrology.