The Australian Land Use and Management (ALUM) Classification system provides a nationally consistent method to collect and present land use information for a wide range of users across Australia. The latest version (Version 8) of the classification conforms to the Australian Spatial Data Infrastructure (ASDI) standard for land use datasets.
The framework for assigning attributes addresses the following:
- Level of intervention - the degree of modification to the 'natural' landscape. Precedence is also given to the modelling capabilities of data over monitoring capabilities, and monitoring capabilities over descriptive uses.
- Generality - the classification is designed for users who are interested in both processes (e.g. land management practices) and outputs (e.g. commodities).
- Hierarchical structure - facilitates and promotes aggregation/ disaggregation of related land uses, the addition of levels or classes and relevance at a range of scales.
- Prime use/ Ancillary use - some land can be subject to a number of concurrent land uses. Land use class allocations are based on the primary land management objective of the nominated land manager. Ancillary or secondary uses can also be recorded.
The classification has six primary classes of land use that are distinguished in order of generally increasing levels of intervention or potential impact on the natural landscape.
- Conservation and Natural Environments: Land is used primarily for conservation purposes, based on the maintenance of essentially natural ecosystems already present.
- Production from Relatively Natural Environments: Land is used mainly for primary production based on limited change to the native vegetation.
- Production from Dryland Agriculture and Plantations: Land is used mainly for primary production, based on dryland farming systems.
- Production from Irrigated Agriculture and Plantations: Land is used mainly for primary production, based on irrigated farming.
- Intensive uses: Land is subject to substantial modification, generally in association with closer residential settlement, commercial or industrial uses.
- Water: Although primarily land cover types, water features are regarded as essential to the classification.
Commodity and Management Practices information
The ALUM Classification version 8 includes fields to collect commodity and land management practice information. These fields allow consistent recording of more detailed information about crops, livestock and management techniques which can be determined at the time of mapping. This information allows further distinction within a land use class such as separating tree fruits into bananas and mangoes. It is also particularly useful in responding to or preparing for biosecurity incidents.
See detailed classification.