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Identifying sustainable land management technologies


In its practical application, sustainable land management (SLM) can be a technology, approach, or practice, or a combination of these, involving agronomic, vegetative, management or structural measures. SLM aims to integrate socio-economic principles (the ability to meet changing human needs) with environmental concerns (ensuring the long-term productive potential of land resources, and maintaining their environmental functions). 

The design of practical SLM solutions depends on the local environmental, socio-economic and cultural conditions. As there are no one-size-fits-all approaches to SLM, each local context requires an assessment of the most appropriate ways to achieve the multiple benefits that SLM can offer. Organizations and global initiatives supporting SLM knowledge and implementation, such as WOCAT, the World Bank, and TerraAfrica, have a wealth of information on SLM, and how SLM can be applied or adapted to suit the local context.

SLM technology groups


vegetation management

water management

grazing pressure management

animal waste management

sustainable forest management

reducing deforestation


forest restoration



minimum soil disturbance

soil erosion control

fire pest and diseases control


The report on sustainable land management by the UNCCD Science-Policy Interface undertook a review of initiatives, databases, and literature on SLM and identified more than one hundred individual SLM technologies and fourteen overarching SLM technology groups from around the world. Click on the icons of the technology groups above to learn more.

The fourteen SLM technology groups were chosen to illustrate the potential of each group to avoid, reduce, and/or reverse land degradation and desertification for particular land use types. The report found that many of the technology groups are also climate change adaptation or mitigation options suggested by the IPCC (Smith et al., 2014). 

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