Land management

Terrace cultivation in Nepal
Terrace cultivation in Nepal. Photo: Hanspeter Liniger


Land management makes it possible to guide the use and development of soils, water, and biodiversity in a particular direction – with positive or negative effects on rural and urban ecosystems. If land is overexploited or used inappropriately, its natural yield potential is reduced and ecological balance is lost. This makes it especially important to manage land sustainably. The goal of sustainable land management is to orient use of land resources towards the long term, ensuring it is in harmony with nature, and to preserve the environmental functions of these resources. In addition, sustainable land management can contribute to climate protection and adaptation to climate change. And it plays a key role in avoiding, reducing, and reversing land degradation.

CDE develops methods and tools to measure, assess, and model the direct and indirect impacts of land use and management on soils, water, biodiversity, and human well-being. Its researchers are committed to finding innovative pathways to sustainable land use.


CLOC Eastern Africa 
WOCAT – World Overview of Conservation Approaches and Technologies

Ongoing projects

Agripath – Sustainable agriculture through effective and efficient digital pathways 
Agroecology and safe food system transitions in Southeast Asia (ASSET)  
Climate-resilient cocoa landscapes in Madagascar
Landscape stewardship for nature and people
Nature Park stations in Bernese parks
OPTAIN – Optimal strategies to retain and re-use water and nutrients in small agricultural catchments
Risk of forest fires north of the Alps: Awareness and communication  
SHOWCASE - Showcasing synergies between agriculture, biodiversity, and ecosystem services  
Sustainable land management and investments for climate-resilient livelihoods (SLMIC)
Sustainability research and monitoring of the Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch UNESCO World Heritage Site
Traditional irrigation in Europe as cultural heritage (in German)
Woody invasive alien species in Eastern Africa

Completed projects

Adaptation to Climate Change
BIA — Bioenergy in Africa
Building up teaching capacity for sustainable mountain development in the Caucasus
CASCADE – Catastrophic shifts in drylands
DESIRE – Desertification Mitigation of Land
ESAPP — Africa Partnership Programme
Finding and sharing solutions to protect our soils (RECARE)
GLP - Global Land Programme
Land degradation in Mongolia
Mainstreaming and Scaling Out Sustainable Land Management (DS-SLM)
Prospect of Biomass Energy (ProBE)
​Protected areas in the Slovakian Carpathians
Scaling up SLM practices with smallholder farmers
Soft systems for hardwood 
Sustainable Charcoal in Tanzania
Sustainable Resource Governance and Climate Change Adaptation in Action
TABI – The Agrobiodiversity Initiative  
Transboundary water and pasture management 
Watershed Management and Disaster Risk Reduction
WLRC – The Water and Land Resource Centre Project