Holistic management (from ὅλος holos, a Greek word meaning all, whole, entire, total) in agriculture is a systems thinking approach to managing resources that was originally developed by Allan Savory for reversing desertification.
In 2010 the Africa Centre for Holistic Management in Zimbabwe, Operation Hope (a "proof of concept" project using holistic management) was named the winner of the 2010 Buckminster Fuller Challenge for "recognizing initiatives which take a comprehensive, anticipatory, design approach to radically advance human well being and the health of our planet's ecosystems."
While originally developed as a tool for range land use and restoring desertified land, the holistic management system can be applied to other areas with multiple complex socioeconomic and environmental factors.
One such example is Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM), which promotes sector integration in development and management of water resources to ensure that water is allocated between different users in a fair way, maximizing economic and social welfare without compromising the sustainability of vital ecosystems. In essence, coordinated holistic water management takes into consideration all water users in nature and society.
Another example is mine reclamation.
A fourth use of Holistic management is in certain forms of no till crop production, intercropping, and permaculture.
Holistic management has been acknowledged by The United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS).
Holistic management planned grazing has four key principles that take advantage of the symbiotic relationship between large herds of grazing animals, their predators and the grasslands that support them: