Our response to COVID-19

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Landscape and soil features associated with underlying geology, landform and soil type (together with climate) are major factors influencing vegetation growth, water movement and the suitability of land for a variety of uses. A better understanding of land and soil helps us appreciate why different natural and production systems can be supported in different areas.

Good knowledge of soil and land improves our decision-making capacity, and is used for:

  • landscape management – planning and policy development; guiding investment priorities; identifying the location, extent and severity of land management issues and areas prone to degradation; targeting on-ground works; supporting whole-of-landscape sustainable land use and management decisions for both production and nature conservation
  • land use planning – identifying limitations and opportunities for particular land uses and developments, from agricultural to urban, including the identification of ‘prime agricultural land’
  • native vegetation and biodiversity management – supporting whole-of-landscape environmental management planning; identifying suitable areas for habitat restoration; identifying threats to the environment
  • sustainable soil and land management – identifying threats to our soil and land resources (eg erosion, acidification, salinity), as well as opportunities for improving management and condition
  • sustainable water management – identifying soil and land conditions, land management practices and land uses that impact on water resources, as well as developing whole-of-landscape solutions
  • landscape modelling – developing conceptual models that answer specific questions, such as: environmental risk assessment (eg land salinisation); identification of biodiversity assets for protection (eg wetlands); land use potential (eg crop potential modelling); land management potential (eg suitability of areas for specific soil amelioration); infrastructure risk (eg underground cabling); and scenario modelling (eg modelling the potential impacts of climate change on land use, land degradation or soil carbon)
  • monitoring – as benchmarking information for monitoring programs; informing what to monitor and where; extrapolation of monitoring results across the landscape
  • research and education – identifying where in the landscape particular research outcomes apply; education of land managers, advisors, policy makers, planners, industry and the community about better soil and land management, and associated planning and policy development.
Soil and land information