What is it?
Land use is the human use of land – the management, conservation and change of natural environments, built environments and semi-natural areas – to support human settlement and communities.
Sustainable land use enables people and ecosystems to thrive within nature’s limits, while minimizing harmful impacts on the land, air and watershed caused by human activities. When making decisions that affect land use, leaders should consider all possible impacts (social, environmental, economic and cultural) and choose policies/practices that protect communities and ecosystems for future generations.
When land is managed sustainably, natural areas, biodiversity and natural capital are valued, protected and conserved. When making decisions about development and natural resources, it is important that communities prioritize considerations of environmental impacts, ecosystem health and long-term community resilience. Strategies like community-to-community engagement, and collaboration between indigenous and non-indigenous peoples can help to facilitate fair, informed and appropriate use of land and resources.
In our work as a grantmaker, convener and collaborator, the Real Estate Foundation of BC supports work that:
- Builds public and professional understanding of indigenous peoples’ interests and values
- Informs land use decision-making by assessing and benchmarking ecosystems and environmental health, including natural capital assets
- Enhances understanding of natural capital and the ways it can support community amenities, infrastructure, ecosystem services and values
- Promotes best practices, models and approaches for community engagement and collaboration around land use and natural resources
Note: many aspects of the Foundation’s other interest areas – freshwater, the built environment, food systems – can be considered as examples of “Sustainable Land Use”. However, these areas have more specific focus for the Foundation’s work.