Planners and decision-makers today need to be in command of a broader range of tools and information than ever before. Knowledge of the Land aims to show what is available in the way of natural resources information, and how it has been used (or not used) in planning and policy making. Forboth methods and applications, the authors have tried to provide enough detail for the reader to judge what data, skills, and procedures are required to meet their particular needs, and the ample references give guidance on where to find further information.There has been a notable shift in planning and rural development over the past decade. Technocratic, top-down approaches are still very much in evidence, but there has been an explosion of participatory initiatives. Many institutions cling to sectoral thinking. There is, however, growingrecognition that sustainable development involves balancing environmental, social, and economic considerations, Such a balance requires an interdisciplinary approach, both to the the survey of natural resources, and to the use of the information acquired in land evaluation, planning, environmentalimpact assessment, and the preparation of coherent strategies and policies for sustainable development.The old ways and the new bring insights crucial to meeting these challenges. Both provide invaluable methods of work. By bringing together the standard methods of resource assessment and planning, and new thinking and emerging techniques, this book will help all practitioners to bridge the gapbetween the two.