Land is a scarce resource increasingly affected by the competition of mutually exclusive uses. Fertile land in rural areas becomes scarcer due to population growth, pollution, erosion and desertification, effects of
climate change, urbanization etc. On the remaining land, local, national and international users with different socioeconomic status and power compete to achieve food security, economic growth, energy supply, nature
conservation and other objectives. Land use planning can help to find a balance among these competing and sometimes contradictory uses. At the core of land use planning is the joint balancing of competing land
uses by all stakeholders (users and those being affected by the (changes in) land uses) and the joint determination of land uses for which the highest consensus can be achieved – ideally for the purpose of sustainability. In other words, land use planning activates the social processes of decision-making and consensus building concerning the utilization and protection of private, communal or public areas. At least in the context of development cooperation, land use planning is considered to be a participatory iterative process including continuous cycles of analysis, planning, decision-making, implementation and monitoring.
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The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa (UNCCD) is a Convention to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought through national action programs that incorporate long-term strategies supported by international cooperation and partnership arrangements.