A variety of tools are available that help planners to meet the challenges they are faced with. These are divided here into (see figure):
- analysing tools: tools that help to analyse the area considered (e.g., GIS);
- implementation tools: these are the options generally available for concrete measures aiming at sustainable natural resource management and development (e.g., contour ploughing);
- planning tools for decision-making: tools helping the planner or planning team to make decisions (e.g., participative land use planning).
Tools are not defined clearly and consistently in literature about planning and management. Tools for analysing can also be subsumed under methods, for example.
In the context of the planning cycle illustrated in the last chapter we shall return to the tools in more detail. The next page will explain different ways in which planning may proceed (planning models).