Landscape perspective in Territorial Management and Planning

  • The Convention on Biological Diversity defines sustainable use as the use of components of biological diversity in a way and at a rate that does not lead to the long-term decline of biological diversity, thereby maintaining its potential to meet the needs and aspirations of present and future generations.
  • The landscape level is an appropriate spatial scale for improving the coordination between relevant policies and sectors as multiple land use forms such as settlement, transport infrastructure, agriculture, forestry, mining, hunting and conservation coexist within the same landscape. Is an important planning framework to avoid the displacement of pressures on biodiversity from one area to another. As a result, landscape approaches are often necessary to ensure that successes in some landscape units do not lead to negative and unintended consequences in others.
  • Increasing the productivity of agricultural and forest landscapes, while at the same time ensuring that biodiversity and the flow of ecosystem services can be maintained, remains arguably the most important challenge for reaching the Millennium Development Goals and achieving sustainable development.
  • landscape approach integrates ecological patterns and processes with socioeconomic and institutional values in defined geographical territories and, as such, is similar to the ecosystem approach. On the other hand, it is based on specific ecosystem management technique, and on the other hand, it is generally linked to national policies and implies social learning processes that intend to promote better governance. A landscape approach can be used to describe attempts to intervene in landscapes to achieve some stated objective to reconcile the trade offs between improving the livelihoods of poor people and conserving biodiversity.
  • The terms landscape and landscape approach can be applied at any scale depending the upon nature of the problem being addressed. The landscape level is also important planning and management scale for indigenous people and local communities, in particular for customary sustainable use and traditionalism key personal knowledge.
  • The following examples highlight existing guidance for:
  1. landscape focused on commodity production;
  2. governance issues at landscape level; followed by
  3. a combined set of proposed principles for landscape approaches to conservation and development.
Fischer et al. [1] suggest 10 principles within two groups of management strategies those linked to pattern and those related to process:
a) Pattern oriented management strategies:
  1. maintain and create large, structurally complex patches of vegetation
  2. maintain structural complexity throughout the landscape
  3. create buffers around sensitive areas
  4. maintain or create corridors and stepping stones
  5. maintain landscape heterogeneity and capture environmental gradients
b) Process oriented to management strategies:
  1. maintain key species interactions and functional diversity
  2. apply appropriate disturbance regimes
  3. control aggressive, over-abundant and invasive species
  4. minimize threatening ecosystem-specific processes
  5. maintain species of particular concern
Combining the principles and guidelines of the ecosystem approach with the broader landscape level planning scale, the following combined principles for landscape approaches to conservation and development have been proposed  by CIFOR, with contributions of IUCN, Ecoagriculture partners, Wageningen Centre for Development Innovation and Intercooperation experts:

  1. continual learning and adaptive management principle
  2. common concern entry-point principle
  3. multiple scale principle
  4. multi functionality principle
  5. multi stakeholder principle
  6. negotiated and transparent change logic principle
  7. clarification of rights and responsibilities principles
  8. participatory and user-friendly monitoring principle
  9. resilience principle
  10. strengthened stakeholder capability principle

Cited in UNEP/ONU (2011) Report on how to improve sustainable use of biodiversity in a landscape perspective. Montreal 7.11 November 2011. Link[1] FISCHER, J. et al: Biodiversity, ecosystem function and resilience: ten guiding principles for commodity production landscapes. Frontiers in Ecology and Environment. 2006. 4:80-86


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