The modules contain four sections:
- Tutorial – step-by-step guidance on how to use the Land-use Planner
- Quiz – test your knowledge of each module and obtain a certificate
- Tasks – concrete actions to advance your planning project
- Problems solved – a video series where we answer real users’ questions
Expected time commitment: 10 to 15 hours. Going through the training material takes less than one hour for each of the five modules. We highly recommend that you work on your project in tandem with the training. You should plan to spend up to one or two additional hours per module building your Land-use Planner project.
The training can be done at your own pace, but that does not mean you will be alone. You can engage with other Land-use Planner users and the EFI team in our forum. It’s our community space where you can post questions, share your progress, or discuss land-use planning issues in your area.
Land-use Planner certificates
For those who complete the training, we offer two types of training certificates:
- Certificate of Completion – To receive this certificate, follow the entire training and complete all quizzes. You must provide your email address in the quiz section to record your attempt.
- Land-use Planner Facilitator Certificate – After following the training and completing the quizzes, you will be invited to showcase your completed Land-use Planner project to the EFI Land-use Planner team and other users who have completed the training. Virtual meetings take place two to three times per year.
Estimated time for this module
Preview of the Land-use Planner
A quick introduction to the tool for people ready to engage in participatory land-use planning.
Why are you interested in land-use planning?
Before we go into the details about using the tool, take a moment to think strategically and reflect on why and how you might use the Land-use Planner. Why are you interested in land-use planning? What challenges are you trying to address? How might the Land-use Planner help achieve your objectives?
We use ‘land-use planning’ as a generic term in this training. It can refer to very different planning processes, such as the development of a municipal land-use plan, a provincial land-use strategy or master plan, an environmental and social impact assessment, a rural investment plan, a low-carbon development plan, a supply-chain restructuring plan, etc.
Land-use planning is generally seen as a spatial process to answer the question: Where should we carry out a particular activity? For example, where should we grow a certain crop, where should we create a protected area, where should new infrastructure be established, etc.?
However, there are other questions beyond asking “where” that can be essential to answer for a successful planning process. Before even asking where specific investments should be made, in many places there is a need to debate what exactly people want, how much, and how it should be achieved. These questions of “what” and “how” are not easy to address with spatial planning tools. That’s why we developed the Land-use Planner, a non-spatial, socioeconomic tool for examining the various dimensions of land-use decisions. For each future scenario developed with the tool, you can explore how land-use decisions affect the:
- Distribution of costs and benefits among different groups of actors (Who wins? Who may lose?)
- Commodity production
- Employment and job creation
- Local food security
- Environment including the conservation of forests, biodiversity and carbon sequestration
Pick your project
To make the most of this training, choose a project or area where you could simulate a land-use planning exercise. If you are already actively engaged in land-use planning initiatives, we encourage you to take a real case from your existing work. The Land-use Planner can be used at any scale, from a very small project area to a large landscape. It has even been used at a national scale for planning the development of agricultural supply chains.
Pick an area for which you would be interested in testing different land-use planning options. Note that the Land-use Planner is not an urban planning tool. It is intended to inform rural land-use planning, with a focus on agricultural, forest and other land uses.
Once you have selected your area, give your project a name corresponding to the area of interest. The following questions will help you confirm the relevance of your choice.
Why is land-use planning important in your project?
Take a moment to think about what could happen in that area if NO land-use or supply-chain planning is made in your chosen project.
Are there any serious social, environmental or economic issues in your land-use planning area that need special attention?
With the questions below, you will spend some time reflecting on how your project area, including the people living there, could be impacted by land-use planning decisions. Noting the answer to these questions will help you a lot in the rest of your training!
After picking a project and reflecting on why planning will be important there, you are ready to use the tool. But first, you have to set up a user account and workspace. The next two videos will walk you through.
Create a user account
Learn the different ways to access the Land-use Planner and how to create your own account or ‘workspace’.
Discover how you can customise your Land-use Planner and work with collaborators through your Land-use Planner workspace.
Now that you have completed the tutorial, it’s time to work on your project. Please complete the following tasks before moving on to Step 1.
- Create a user account
- Check your email’s spam folder if you don’t find the registration confirmation email.
- Set up your workspace
- You can edit its name, change language preferences and the general parameters for your upcoming projects.