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Sustainable land management technologies: vegetation management



Vegetation management involves practices to manage vegetation (such as crops, forage, or timber) to improve its quality, quantity and very often, diversity, for example through the selection and management of plant and grassland species. Vegetation management also includes the management of invasive species, which could affect native diversity and the overall functioning of the ecosystem. The technology can be applied to several land use types, including cropland and grazing land.


According to the report on sustainable land management (SLM) by the UNCCD Science-Policy Interface (SPI), the benefits of using vegetation management could include improving soil structure, the potential to increase soil carbon, and soil erosion control. The technology can be combined with other sustainable land management technologies to promote synergies in addressing land degradation and climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Examples of SLM best practices in vegetation management

Below are examples of best practices in vegetation management cited in the report on SLM by the SPI.

Chagga homegarden

A Chagga home garden is a complex multi-cropping system evolved over several centuries through a gradual transformation of the natural forest. It integrates numerous multipurpose trees and shrubs with food crops and animals, without a specific spatial arrangement. However, vertically, the following 4 stories/canopies can be distinguished: (1) food crops; (2) coffee; (3) bananas; and (4) trees.

Orchard-based Agroforestry

The technology involves intercropping wheat in an existing apricot orchard by integrating different resources. Along the trees aligned on a contour, a three metre wide grass strip is left uncultivated to control runoff, and to protect the ground from splash erosion. Spacing between rows allows unhindered farm operations.

Crop rotation with legumes

Crop rotation is an agronomic practice that consists of the successive cultivation of different crops in a specified order on the same fields. In the past, legumes were commonly used as a biological and economic source of Nitrogen. Nowadays, Nitrogen-fixing legumes have been recovering as viable crops because of the increased cost of Nitrogen fertilizer and the need to develop more sustainable farming systems.

Read about other SLM Technology groups


water management

grazing pressure management animal waste management sustainable forest management

reducing deforestation

afforest_reforestation forest restoration agroforestry agro-pastoralism

minimum soil disturbance

soil erosion control fire pest and diseases control    


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