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Sustainable landscapes: A means of managing social and environmental issues in the tropics

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Presented by Terry Sunderland, from the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), at the Meeting of ASEAN Senior Officials on Forestry in Putrajaya, Malaysia, on July 24-29, 2017.

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Sustainable landscapes: A means of managing social and environmental issues in the tropics

  1. 1. Terry Sunderland, Principal Scientist, CIFOR Meeting of the ASEAN Senior Officials on Forestry, 24-29 July 2017 Putrajaya, Malaysia SUSTAINABLE LANDSCAPES: A MEANS OF MANAGING SOCIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES IN THE TROPICS
  2. 2. RE-DEFINING FORESTRY: FUNDAMENTALS FOR ACHIEVING THE SDG’S  Food, nutrition and health  Water, energy and housing  Livelihoods and employment  Climate change adaptation and mitigation  Biodiversity conservation  Resilience and safety nets  To environmental and economic external shocks
  3. 3. FORESTS IN LANDSCAPES • One billion+ people rely on forest products for consumption and income in some way (Agrawal et al. 2013) • Safety-net during times of food and income insecurity (Wunder et al. 2014) • Wild harvested meat and freshwater fish provides 30-80% of protein intake for many rural communities (Nasi et al. 2011; McIntyre et al. 2016) • 75% of world’s population rely on biodiversity for primary health care (WHO, 2003) • 40%-80% of global food production comes from diverse smallholder agricultural systems in complex landscapes (FAO 2011; IFAD 2016) • Long tradition of managing forests for food – e.g. shifting cultivation (van Vliet et al. 2011) • Forests sustaining agriculture through ecosystem services provision (Foli et al. 2014)
  4. 4. THE ORIGIN OF THE “LANDSCAPE APPROACH” 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010 - present 1980s: Integrated Rural Development 1998: Integrated Natural Resource Management (INRM) 1985 onwards: Integrated Conservation & Development projects (ICDPs) Contributing Sciences: Ecosystem Management Landscape Ecology Island biogeography Conservation rooted frameworks e.g. “Ecosystem Approach” 1992: “Landscape Approach” first documented (Barrett 1992) Last decade: (Integrated) Landscape Approach frameworks
  5. 5. MAPPING THE RESEARCH ON LANDSCAPE APPROACH 26,303 scoping results in WoK using 35 revised search terms 13,290 Publications captured with refined search terms All TITLES screened 271,974 results from initial 56 main search terms trialed in WoK 1,171 Relevant studies All ABSTRACTS screened 382 Relevant studies All FULL TEXTS screened 82 Final studies of relevance
  7. 7. OPERATIONALISING THE LANDSCAPE APPROACH: FROM THEORY TO PRACTICE THEORY & POLICY PRACTICE: Integration & evaluation Local stakeholders: NGO’s; CSO’s Local communities Private sector Local government Drivers: Researchers Policy makers Central government
  8. 8. EMBRACING THE LANDSCAPE APPROACH – INTEGRATED SOLUTIONS FOR PEOPLE ACROSS SECTORS “Despite some barriers to implementation, a landscape approach has considerable potential to meet social and environmental objectives at local scales while aiding national commitments to addressing ongoing global challenges.” Reed et al. 2016, Global Change Biology.
  9. 9. “We conclude that landscape approaches are a welcome departure from previous unsuccessful attempts at reconciling conservation and development in the tropics but, despite claims to the contrary, remain nascent in both their conceptualization and implementation”. (Reed et al. 2017)
  10. 10. FORESTS SUSTAINING AGRICULTURE How does landscape configuration maximise the provision of these goods and services for both forestry and food production??? Water regulation Climate regulation Pollination Pest control
  11. 11. “When incorporating forests and trees within an appropriate and contextualized natural resource management strategy, there is potential to maintain, and in some cases, enhance agricultural yields comparable to solely monoculture systems”. Reed et al. 2017
  13. 13. “The note provides an overview of existing guidance and guidelines which could complement existing decisions of the Convention on Biological Diversity, including: a rationale for addressing the landscape perspective in land-use planning; multilateral efforts to improve sustainable use of biodiversity at the landscape level; and a proposed new set of combined principles under development by the Center for International Forestry Research”.
  15. 15. FOREST LANDSCAPE RESTORATION, SOCIAL FORESTRY AND THE LANDSCAPE APPROACH: KEY MESSAGES FROM THE 7TH AWG-SF CONFERENCE • FLR and SF can be and need to be seen as landscape approaches: multi- stakeholder and multi-sector involvement, inclusive and equitable, requiring capacity building and innovative tools for cross-sectorial planning management and communication • Ensure the integration of SF and SF lessons. Principles and good practices in FLR and LA program design and implementation • FLR, SF, and LA require more effective governance, tenure and institutional reforms: participatory arrangements for governance, guidelines for FPIC, processes to ensure customary and communal rights • Support FLR, SF and LA development based on more action-oriented participatory research modes • Develop innovative investment models beneficial for communities and governments
  16. 16. CURRENT BARRIERS TO EFFECTIVE IMPLEMENTATION • The on-going development of theory and conceptualization may be stimulating time lags • The proliferation of terms associated with landscape approaches may be impeding policy and practice progress • Operating silos persist at all levels and scales • Engaging multiple stakeholders is all too often seen as a box-ticking exercise to satisfy project requirements • Monitoring remains the least well developed area of landscape approach application
  17. 17. KEY MESSAGES Optimizing adoption of landscape approaches: • Evaluating progress within a landscape is fundamental to determining where gains or losses are being made • Hybrid, multi-level and cross-sectorial governance structures that integrate internal traditional knowledge and external institutional and financial support are increasingly preferable • Must acknowledge the need for contextualisation and not subscribe to panaceas • Inclusive, participatory stakeholder negotiation can help align local socio-cultural and global environmental concerns • Should recognise dynamic processes and perverse outcomes
  18. 18. CONCLUSIONS & RECOMMENDATIONS • Landscape approaches remain contentious and under-theorized – “old wine, new bottles?” • There is good evidence of landscape approaches being implemented within the tropics but weak evidence of effectiveness • Multi-level engagement seems fundamental to success but remains elusive • Attempts to implement must be contextualized and willing to embrace complexity • Metrics need to continue to develop • Move beyond “projects” to “process”
  19. 19. THANK YOU @TCHSunderland