The landscape approach has increasingly been promoted as a new perspective on addressing global challenges at a local level. In the face of increasing and competing claims to the land and the exhaustion of natural resources, planners, scientists and policymakers have come to realize the limitations of sectoral approaches. Integrated landscape level considerations have begun to supersede those restricted to, for instance, water, forests, farming and development programmes.
Given this interest, and the potential impacts of such initiatives, it is important to learn from the many practical experiences in applying integrated landscape management throughout the world. This issue of ETFRN News 56, ‘Towards productive landscapes’, brings together 29 papers by practitioners from all over the world who highlight the successes and challenges of applying landscape approaches.
Jointly, the articles explore:
- the role of forests in mosaic landscapes;
- governance arrangements at the landscape scale; and
- key factors contributing to success in landscape management.
This ETFRN News explores how foresters, farmers, pastoralists and other land users have taken charge and jointly shape the landscape they inhabit. How the private sector finds ways to integrate supply chains into sustainable landscapes. And how this helps the global community to address the challenges of climate change, biodiversity loss and food insecurity.
The articles highlight the contribution of increased social cohesion as a key benefit of landscape approaches. In many cases, it is catalyzed by an environmental problem serious enough to require negotiated solutions that create better outcomes for everyone. Stimulus and support from external actors in the form of compensation, co-investment and independent facilitation is usually needed to make this happen.
Although the authors quote many benefits of landscape approaches, a systematic framework against which to assess and evaluate the impacts of landscape approaches seems to be lacking. There is a need for people engaged in landscape approaches to put their experiences together, compare them and look for general patterns that explain why certain approaches work and others fail. A clear language is needed for understanding landscapes and landscape approaches to help monitoring and evaluating landscape efforts.
This issue of ETFRN News results from a partnership between Tropenbos International (TBI) and the Centre for Learning on Sustainable Agriculture (ILEIA), part of the AgriCultures Network dedicated to landscapes that is supported by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). Together, TBI and ILEIA aim to develop an integrated perspective on agriculture and forest approaches to improve the livelihoods of rural communities and build multifunctional landscapes. This ETFRN News is published in association with a special issue of ILEIA’s Farming Matters, “Farmers in their Landscapes,” and with the AgriCultures Network’s regional magazines for Latin America, West Africa, India and China.
Sida, the Government of the Netherlands, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) through GIZ, UN-REDD through Ecoagriculture Partners, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) and the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) provided financial support.
Individual articles can be downloaded in the ETFRN website