Land Use Mapping
Land use and land management practices have a major impact on Australia’s natural resources including water, soil, plants and animals. Understanding the impact of human settlement and resource development across Australia is fundamental to assessing of the condition and trend of Australia’s land and water resources. Land use information can be used to develop solutions for natural resource management issues such as water quality and land degradation.
Land use mapping shows the pattern of use of our land resources and provides a basis for characterising Australia's landscape and understanding land management practices. Current Australia-wide mapping is focused on rural and rural residential (peri-urban) areas.
Land use mapping helps:
- assess the suitability of land use in relation to land capability (climate, soil, slope and water constraints)
- assess environmental impacts and land at risk from land degradation such as flood, drought, and soil loss
- assess agricultural productivity and opportunities for diversification
- facilitate national, state and regional reporting on natural resource condition and trend
Organisations that use land use information include Territory and local governments, emergency services, industry, and pest management authorities.
The Northern Territory Government in conjunction with the Bureau of Rural Sciences (BRS) is working through the Australian Collaborative Land Use Mapping Program (ACLUMP) to produce consistent land use information for Australia using nationally agreed methods and Land Use Classification. Baseline land use mapping for the Northern Territory was completed in 2003.
Land Use Management Practices
It has long been recognised that land management practices can have a profound impact on the sustainability of natural resources and the health of the environment. By monitoring trends or changes in the condition of the environment and the natural resources we use we are better placed to develop effective land management responses to issues that may arise.
It is important to have a consistent approach to the collation of land management practices information. As such the Northern Territory Government is cooperating with the BRS and other states and territories to develop a National Land Use and Management Information System (LUMIS). LUMIS will have standardised categories of land management practices applicable at a range of scales and will provide technical specifications for spatial sampling and data collection. Stakeholder's (national, industry, state, regional, scientists) priority management practices and sources of management practices information are currently being determined. The development of LUMIS will be completed by mid 2006 with the intention to then test the system through pilot studies involving spatial collection of land management practices linked to land use at the catchment scale.
The NT Dept of Land Resource Management is coordinating the Territory’s participation in LUMIS.
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