Day 2 | Dec 7   11.15 - 12.45

Minding the research-practitioner gap: The implementation of integrated landscape approaches

Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR)

This interactive session will address the gap between the theory and practice of the implementation of integrated landscape approaches to land use planning and management.

It is increasingly acknowledged that sectorial approaches to land management are no longer sufficient to confront persistent challenges of biodiversity conservation, poverty alleviation, and deforestation while also ensuring adequate food production. Land management strategies at landscape scales have been documented within the literature since at least 1965. A number of frameworks have been produced in subsequent years each seemingly having the potential to meet these global challenges. And yet while this has led to a wealth of theoretical knowledge, we remain struggling for evidence of successful landscape-scale interventions on the ground.

Due to the complex nature of landscapes themselves and the difficulty in balancing competing demands from multiple stakeholders, barriers to implementation persist. The identification of such barriers together with the development of appropriate solutions can help to realign the landscape approach rhetoric with practice.

This high-level session aims at closing the theory-practice gap by facilitating a science-policy dialogue:

  1. CIFOR Principal Scientist Terry Sunderland will present preliminary results of a systematic mapping study of landscape approaches. The ongoing study, conducted by the Center for International Forestry Research aims to synthesize the currently fragmented body of evidence related to the theory and development of integrated landscape approaches. Through a rigorous screening process of more than 13,000 publications, the study aims to make sense of the array of terminology and conceptual frameworks and identify where and how landscape approaches have been implemented in the humid and dry tropics. Case study examples range from the management of water-related conflicts in India to the revitalization of traditional resource management practices in Tanzania.
  2. Following the presentation, session hosts will gather feedback from leading practitioners and policy makers on why landscape-scale initiatives seem to be the exception, rather than the norm. The panel will provide expertise from the ground, outline success stories as well as shortcomings and identify possible misconceptions and open research questions related to the landscape approach. Speakers will include representatives from development and climate change policy, science, civil society and the private sector.

Background reading:

Ten principles for a landscape approach to reconciling agriculture, conservation, and other competing land uses

Landscape-scale research for conservation and development in the tropics: fighting persisting challenges

Reconciling biodiversity conservation and food security: scientific challenges for a new agriculture

Climate-Smart Landscapes: Opportunities and Challenges for Integrating Adaptation and Mitigation in Tropical Agriculture