On Landscapes – Part 1: Why are Landscapes Important?

25 October 2013

The Global Landscapes Forum is less than a month away, and it is time to prepare for lively debates on the what, why and how of landscapes. The landscape concept has stirred up lots of interest over the past year, but there have also been questions about what is meant by a landscape and how a landscape approach would actually work.

In a series of blogs over the coming days, I will recap some thoughts on landscapes that have emerged from my discussions with many different people. I am not aiming to be conclusive or even scientific in these blogs, but want to stimulate thoughts and comments ahead of the Forum.

To begin – Why is a “landscape” such an important concept?

The landscape approach is not new to development, conservation or research. Many, including CIFOR have emphasized the importance of working across sectors on the ground. What is new, however, is a broad, high-level interest in the approach. During the previous UNFCCC COP, we heard that the post-2015 climate agreement may integrate agriculture and forestry issues – a starting point for the Global Landscapes Forum. Furthermore, the work following Rio+20 on a post-2015 development agenda has frequently emphasized the need for cross-cutting solutions. It seems that the timing and awareness is ripe for new solutions and broader acceptance.

Read more from CIFOR here