Sustainable Land-use Impact Assessment Toolkit

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Exploring the environmental, economic and social impacts (co-benefits) of different land-use policies is an increasingly important aspect of project and program planning in developing countries. With many choices for land management available, it is important to understand how each choice will affect the economic, environmental and social settings in which they are to be applied.

What types of co-benefits or impacts related to land-use and climate projects might be of interest to my country?

The United Nations Millennium Development Goals website may be a good starting point to begin to assess development priorities for your country. Common co-benefits of climate-focused land-use programs that might be of interest include:

  • Macroeconomic Improvements
  • Rural Energy Access
  • Energy Security
  • Environment and Biodiversity
  • Health

What training resources are available to support impact assessment?
Training Materials


What are lessons learned and best practices related to impact assessment?
Best Practices and Lessons Learned


What tools and resources are available to assess these impacts and inform prioritization of actions?


Featured Tools

  • E3MG, developed by Cambridge Econometrics, is a macro-econometric model that evaluates impacts of climate policies on, e.g., GDP and employment.
  • USDA Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN): GAIN provides timely information on the agricultural economy, products and issues in foreign countries since 1995 that are likely to have an impact on United States agricultural production and trade. U.S. Foreign Service officers working at posts overseas collect and submit information on the agricultural situation in more than 130 countries to USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), which maintains the GAIN reports.

Featured Resources

Environment and Biodiversity

Featured Resources

  • IDRISI Land Change Modeler: The Land Change Modeler measures, analyzes, and projects future land cover change and helps estimate the impacts that changes will have on habitat and biodiversity.
  • Lifecycle Assessment and Sustainability Analysis at NREL: The National Renewable Energy Laboratory's Energy Analysis group's Technology Systems Analysis activities include analysis of the economic viability of biomass projects that are still in the research phase to assess their potential for success in the market. Life-cycle assessment analysis involves understanding and minimizing the environmental impact of a biomass conversion process. The website describes the group's capabilities and provides a sampling of NREL publications on the topic.
Cross-Cutting Impact Assessment

Featured Resources

  • Manual for Social Impact Assessment of Land-Based Carbon Projects: The manual is designed to help those who design and implement land-based carbon projects to credibly document the ways in which their projects affect the livelihoods of the people that live in and around their project site. Many of these projects aim to simultaneously deliver social and environmental co-benefits, and to be validated and verified against standards such as the Climate, Community & Biodiversity (CCB) Standards (CCBA, 2008).
Datasets to support these tools


Compare impact assessment tools
CDKN-Model Table.JPG

Source: Climate and Development Knowledge Network, CDKN. (2011) "Green Growth: Implications for Development Planning." Accessed June 21, 2011.

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What resources are available to help track progress related to the impacts of land-use programs and policies?
Featured Resources

FAO-MOSAICC is a system of models designed to carry out each step of the impact assessment from climate scenarios downscaling to economic impact analysis at national level. The four main components of the methodology are a statistical downscaling method for processing GCM (Global Circulation Models) output data, a hydrological model for estimating water resources for irrigation, a crop growth model to simulate future crop yields and finally a CGE (Computable General Equilibrium) model to assess the effect of changing yields on national economies.

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Add an Impact Assessment Program
Add an Impact Assessment Program