Recent years have seen burgeoning support for integrated landscape approaches as a conceptual framework to reconcile the competing land-use objectives of multiple actors. Rural and peri-urban landscapes are increasingly required to be ‘multi-functional’ – this might typically be expressed as meeting commercial production needs, fulfilling conservation targets and addressing the socio-economic requirements of local stakeholders, not least the provision of water and energy/fuel. These often competing objectives are further complicated by the escalating impacts of global environmental change.
Integrated landscape approaches attempt to facilitate this multiple functioning of the landscape through inclusive and transparent stakeholder negotiation processes that attempt to balance the inherent trade-offs that are manifest within social-ecological systems. The near-term objective is to create more winners and less losers through improved dialogue over land management and natural resource use. Meanwhile, through effective use of adaptive management, an iterative process of incremental gains can stimulate long-term sustainable and productive landscapes.
Despite the increasing theoretical support, there is as yet limited and fragmented evidence of landscape approaches being implemented and evaluated in practice.
This interactive session will identify the current impediments to implementing landscape approaches and begin to develop the solutions for overcoming these impediments. Panelists from a spectrum of backgrounds from research and policy will be joined by those in attendance in attempting to move beyond normative suggestions of “we need to implement, we need more investment, we need to better integrate policy and practice”. Rather, we focus on how we can better align the theory of landscape approaches with the reality of applying the approach on the ground, i.e. using examples of integrated landscape approaches to discuss how we can implement, how we should monitor progress and how we can better incentivize the multiple sectors operating within rural landscapes to formulate more holistic solutions to sustainably managing land and achieving globally conceived commitments.
Key questions addressed:
- Integration for all? How to incentivize multi-sector integration to address climate and development objectives?
- How to realize optimal landscape governance strategies and manage adaptive learning processes?
- Process, not project – How to maintain long–term commitment to landscape approaches?