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Step 5A: Land use categories

Land use categories within the defined system are represented on the diagram by large circles within the system box. They are then named. Differences in land use potential are frequently bound up with differences in user rights. Land tenure or user rights are therefore added to the diagram at this point using annotations.

Land use categories are different types of land that have different land use potential. Land use categories are used for different purposes and are not necessarily interchangeable. Factors that commonly distinguish between different categories of land use are:

  • distance from dwellings or other infrastructure
  • inherent land use potential as influenced by slope, altitude, aspect, access to irrigation or soil fertility etc.
  • predominant purpose of land usage and land ownership. Ownership and user rights to different parcels of land with otherwise similar potential determines their use. For example, common grazing or forest areas may be used quite differently by farmers to similar areas which are their own or to which they have private rights to use.

Source: adapted from Sinclair (1999).

Step 5B

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