Our mission, vision and history
Our mission is to support farmers, ranchers, gardeners, land-use planners, and other natural resource managers with open-source tools that allow them to easily access knowledge and information, and to collect, share, and interpret their own soil, vegetation cover, and management data. LandPKS data, information, and knowledge can be used to improve soil health and productivity. It supports all approaches to land management including traditional, regenerative, organic, and holistic.
© Gustavo Lozada, courtesy of The Nature Conservancy
We envision global access to knowledge for sustainable land management. As a team, we strive to provide easy access to practical tools and information for land managers around the world.
© Lauryn Wachs, courtesy of The Nature Conservancy
LandPKS resulted from over a decade of engagement with hundreds of individuals around the world. We wanted to do three things: increase access to site-specific knowledge and information, share that information, and support the communication and collaboration necessary to accelerate innovation. Development of what began as a simple idea for an “Ecological Knowledge System” in 2007 was initiated in 2013 by USDA-ARS with funding from USAID as the global “Land-Potential Knowledge System.” USAID’s initial focus on Africa led to its use as a monitoring tool for land conservancies, an extension resource for agricultural development and as a guide for local and regional land planning. The LandPKS team quickly realized that these same tools were needed by ranchers, farmers, community scientists, gardeners, scientists, and other land managers in the United States and around the world. Today, we continue development with the support of hundreds of global collaborators, and LandPKS is used by land managers worldwide.
LandPKS stands for the Land Potential Knowledge System. It is important to understand not only the potential production capacity of land but also its potential resilience. Land potential is determined by the climate, soils, and topography of the land. Viewing land management through the lens of land potential can support sustainable agricultural production, biodiversity conservation, and other ecosystem services by matching land use with the capacity of the land to meet our current and future needs. Learn how LandPKS is used in your region and globally in the LandPKS Knowledge Hub.