LandPKS aims to serve as the primary access and development point for free, simple to use, and locally appropriate technologies and knowledge needed for making sustainable land management decisions. The program develops innovative web-based and mobile data collection and analysis methods and tools to support local land use planning and to optimize design and implementation of food security, land restoration, climate change adaptation, and biodiversity conservation programs.
As global populations increase and land resources diminish, sustainable management of current natural resources becomes increasingly paramount. In order to design and implement better management practices, land resource managers need access to better and more site specific datasets on soils, vegetation, topography and climate. Collecting or accessing these datasets can be labor intensive, expensive, or even both. LandPKS is designed to help offset some of these challenges by not only making it easier for land managers to collect site specific soil and vegetation data, but also allowing them to access several global databases on soils, climate and topography. The combination of geo-referenced site characterization data and these global datasets will also eventually allow the system to provide estimates of potential productivity and risk of erosion, offering assessments of sustainability under various land use scenarios. To achieve this interface, the global LandPKS is being developed as an open-source suite of mobile phone apps connected to cloud-based global databases and models (Herrick et al. 2013; Herrick et al. 2016).
This system is designed to provide tools for:
1) collection, storage, access, and sharing of local and scientific data, information, and knowledge
2) selection and interpretation of management- and policy-relevant information to support decision making
The initial components of LandPKS are two integrated mobile apps for collecting (1) the basic soil and topographic information necessary to determine land potential (LandInfo) and (2) soil and vegetation cover data necessary to assess and monitor major changes in plant community composition and wind and water erosion risk (LandCover). Further mobile apps are being developed to help collect information on Biomass (Biomass Monitor), Livestock body condition (Body Condition Score) as well as crops (Crop Monitor).
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