1. Introduction

Transforming Australia’s food and land use system is vital to address and adapt to climate change.

The world faces an enormous challenge to sustainably provide healthy food for a growing population, while also addressing and adapting to climate change.

This will require transforming our food and land use system to:

  • build adaptability and agricultural resilience in regional communities and agricultural industries
  • improve diets and human health
  • reverse environmental degradation and biodiversity loss
  • cut emissions and deliver significant levels of carbon sequestration.

Acting early on these issues also represents an enormous opportunity for Australian agricultural businesses and our economy as a whole to cement and expand our competitive advantages and build resilience.

At the same time, competing demands on our land could reduce the amount of land available for food production. This includes demands for timber production, bioenergy, and urban and industrial development. How will we meet competing demands with a limited land resource?

While Australia is blessed with abundant land, this land is finite, and subject to increasing competition between different uses. We want to understand how this competition could deliver all the outcomes we need from our landscape – production of healthy food and fibre for Australians and the world, reducing emissions and drawing carbon out of the atmosphere, environmental rehabilitation and increasingly energy production as well.”

Anna Skarbek

Explore how Australia currently uses its land with our interactive visualisation.

What we’re doing

The Land use futures program is unique in its focus on working collaboratively with a diverse and influential set of leaders from the private sector, government, research and community organisations to co-create pathways and a roadmap for a sustainable food and land use system. A participatory approach will ensure that the ultimate decision makers, and those who advise and influence them, are involved throughout.

2. How we'll get there


Pathways Analysis

Modelling and analysis to explore sustainable food and land use futures and trade-offs


Long-term Roadmap

Translating pathways into critical transitions and recommendations for business, industry and research


Build momentum

Engagement and communications highlighting opportunities and progress

3. Our team

Our Land use futures team has experience across sustainability, energy, policy, ecology, climate change mitigation and adaptation, strategy, research translation, collaboration and engagement and more.

4. Partners

The program is led by ClimateWorks Australia (working within the Monash Sustainable Development Institute), Deakin University and CSIRO.

The program is contributing to and benefiting from participation in the global Food and Land Use Coalition, led by the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, World Business Council for Sustainable Development, World Resources Institute, SYSTEMIQ and others.

5. Resources

Food and land use transitions: Building local loops and linkages

Circular local food economies can reduce environmental impacts, build resilience and improve security of fresh food by shortening supply chains and repurposing urban waste streams.

  • Australia

Food and land use transitions: Diversifying sources of protein

Expanding the range of protein sources could provide health benefits, free up land and water for other uses, and cut methane and greenhouse gas emissions, while opening up new economic opportunities.

  • Land use

Food and land use transitions: Protecting and restoring nature

It is possible to both produce affordable, nutritious food and fibre while protecting and rehabilitating the ecosystems that underpin human health, livelihoods, food security and wellbeing.

  • Land use

Food and land use transitions: Scaling productive and regenerative agriculture

Changing farming practices and technologies can improve profitability and resilience while reducing and reversing climate, environmental and other impacts.

  • Land use

Food and land use transitions: Harnessing the digital revolution

Digital technologies and big data can support each of the other transitions through improved supply chain transparency and alignment to economic, social and environmental objectives.

  • Land use

Food and land use transitions: Strengthening and diversifying rural and regional livelihoods

Each transition must support stronger, more diverse and more resilient rural and regional livelihoods Read about how Australia is progressing towards this transition.

  • Land use

Food and land use transitions: Reducing food loss and waste

Efficiency and optimisation, redistribution of excess food and repurposing of unavoidable food waste can reduce pressure on the climate, water and land resources, while delivering economic benefits.

  • Australia

Food and land use transitions: Promoting healthy diets

A shift towards more plant-rich diets could meet human health and nutritional needs while minimising environmental impacts.

  • Land use

Food and land use transitions: Prioritising diversity and inclusion

Meaningfully contributing to overcoming systemic diversity and inclusion challenges in food and land use should be prioritised within each transition.

  • Land use

The briefing room: Food and land use transitions

Globally, experts have identified ten critical transitions that can improve how we produce food and manage land.

  • Land use

Land use futures publishes natural capital roadmap

The Natural Capital Roadmap presents the ideas of over 300 leaders in farming, forestry, natural resource management, conservation, finance, policy, research and government on how to progress the natural capital agenda in Australia.

  • ClimateWorks news
  • Land use

Land use futures – natural capital roadmap

Our natural resources are an asset. ‘Natural capital’ positions our environment alongside other forms of economic management to inform decision making.

  • Land use

Land use futures launches interactive website on Australia’s land use

Land use futures has launched a new web interactive that explores the different ways Australia’s land is used and managed.

  • ClimateWorks news
  • Land use

Land use futures team hosts natural capital summit

In early June 2019, the Land Use Futures team – working with NAB and the Queensland State Government – ran the Natural Capital Summit, as part of ClimateWeek QLD 2019.

  • ClimateWorks news
  • Land use

Land use futures holds workshops in capital cities across Australia

From March to May 2019, the Land use futures team held workshops in capital cities across Australia.

  • ClimateWorks news
  • Land use

New national sustainable food and land use project gets underway

A new initiative aimed at developing a roadmap for a sustainable food and land use system for Australia, was launched today.

  • ClimateWorks news
  • Land use