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The development of a Land Management Framework is an action within the Climate Change Plan 2022-27.  


A Land Management Framework brings people together for decision-making in terms of land use or change, or decisions about its improvement or maintenance. It will bridge various policies and plans, as well as bring together research and data to best inform what land should be used for.  

It will consist of a set of agreed principles and practices, to steer government departments, local authorities, businesses, landowners and communities, to make joined-up, transparent, inclusive, evidence-led decisions about the land on our Island.

A Land Management Framework for the Isle of Man

Our vibrant community is set in a beautiful UNESCO Biosphere, with sustainability and resilience at the heart of everything we do. 
Our Island Plan

The Isle of Man is known for its vast amounts of rural, green open space, but we are a small island with big ambitions and multiple priorities. There are plans and targets to increase the Island’s population by 15,000 by 2037, transition to clean energy, ensure food security and a need for nature restoration and increased carbon sequestration all of which will put pressure on our limited land resources. 

  • 100% renewable energy generation by 2030 
  • Supporting a natural and built environment which respects and protects our rich culture, biodiversity and sense of place
  • Plan for the Future of Agriculture so that the sector meets the needs of the Island, people and farming community 
  • Further develop the infrastructure and services for our community to plan for an estimated population of 100,000 by 2037
  • A long-term programme of land use management for carbon sequestration, to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050
  • By 2025 we will appropriately conserve and manage 20% of land and inland water through statutory designations and other effective conservation management schemes.

To make our finite land work for our Island community, the rest of nature, businesses, and for the future we need to improve our decision-making process so that we balance competing pressures in deciding what is best for the land. 

The framework will bring together the Island’s various strategies and goals that currently exist and collate and refine them; delivering an overarching, adaptable planning tool that can be used to years to come to guide better land use management based on the best fit for the land type. 

Photo Credit: Anna Kerruish / UNESCO Biosphere Isle of Man

What are the benefits? 

A Land Management Framework acts as a decision support tool for land use, streamlining the processes and communication involved in these decisions.  

It will enable an easy to follow, deliberative approach in what is often a complex area, joining up the delivery of competing goals for jobs, housing, health, food production, nature recovery and net zero.  

It will provide strengthened collaboration, cross-departmental working and stakeholder relationships, help pool resources, share data, knowledge, and skills, leading to better long-term decisions being made. 

Part of the project will be strengthening and undertaking new research to identify habitats across the Island and the most productive - and unproductive soils, ensuring that land is used in keeping with its potential. 

This will help us to understand the value of specific areas of land, holistically considering the needs of humans and the rest of nature. Planning ahead for space to enjoy our beautiful Island, produce food, provide clean energy, have available housing in the right places, work and learn, conserve our biodiversity... the best way for this to happen is to listen to the land and share our voices. 

When decisions are to be made about land, a framework will ensure local communities are involved at an early stage, therefore tapping into local knowledge to shape solutions so that it preserves our culture and sense of place as well as ensuring that the needs of future generations are considered. 

A framework will help leverage private sector investment in local sequestration and biodiversity projects. It would provide more clarity and guidance to investors and buyers of land. It will also help projects progress at pace – reducing conflicts over land use, saving time and money. 

Why is it different from the Strategic Plan and Area Plans? 

The Strategic Plan sets the high-level planning policy framework for the sustainable development of the Island – aiming to ensure that all development is well located, well designed, well connected and respectful of our Island environment. The policies within the Strategic Plan are applied spatially by Area Plans, such as the Area Plan for the South (2013) and Area Plan for the East (2020) and other local plans. It is the role of the Area Plans to identify site specific proposals and address planning policy matters at the local level.   

The project to create a Land Management Framework would evaluate these approaches and others that exist as current land use decision-making processes, establish who is involved and what data and evidence are used.  

It would assess and join up policymaking across government, and in the process of creating a framework, it would identify overlaps, gaps and inconsistencies, where current functionality could be improved and identify missing perspectives. 

As part of the project more comprehensive data sets will be collected – surveying the Island’s habitats, understanding the best food production zones and mapping areas that have potential to reach our carbon sequestration targets. 

What next?

A tender process is currently underway to recruit a specialist consultant with a strong background in various forms of land management and environmental planning. The project is expected to commence in March 2024 with the research and design of the Framework spanning two years, delivered collaboratively with all stakeholders. 

Working together

Understanding our land and listening to our people, making better decisions and achieving our goals