Science and Knowledge


The Science and Knowledge Working Group of the Landscapes for People, Food and Nature Initiative works in four main areas:

  1. Supporting the Initiative’s Global Review of integrated landscape approaches;
  2. Defining and promoting good landscape science;
  3. Conducting landscapes science;
  4. Supporting the development of knowledge systems for sustainable landscape management.


Supporting the Global Review of Integrated Landscape Approaches

The Global Review entails a series of knowledge products that synthesize the state of knowledge and identify gaps in understanding landscapes, designed to build and communicate the evidence base and key perspectives about integrated landscape approaches. The continental reviews for Latin-America and Africa are completed and the working group is starting to build the evidence base for Asia. Other knowledge products recently completed include a review of the multi-functional outcomes of five illustrative agro-ecological intensification systems and a review paper on landscape approaches to climate-smart agriculture.

Several other Global Review products are well underway, including:

  • a synthesis of landscape approaches to climate change adaptation;
  • a case analysis of costs and needs to operationalize climate-smart landscapes in Kenya;
  • a review of landscape approaches to conservation and use of agro-biodiversity;
  • an assessment of the contribution of producer movements to integrated landscape management;
  • a synthesis of integrated landscape management for `urban foodsheds’; and
  • a paper considering the agenda for plant breeding for multi-functional landscapes.

Defining and Promoting Good Landscape Science

To pursue this outcome, working group members are involved in several key scientific events.

In 2013 the working group co-organized a session on Ecosystem Services and Resilience during the annual Ecosystem Service Partnership conference in Bali, Indonesia. This session is based on a paper in which the authors present and discuss a framework that should support multifunctional landscape planning and management under changing conditions. The working group also contributed to the Wallace Conference on climate smart territories organized at CATIE, Costa Rica in September 2013.

Working group members are co-organizing an Ecological Society of America Emerging Issues conference. This conference will bring together leading landscape scientists from multiple disciplines to take stock of the state of landscape science and develop principles and research priorities for advancing this field to support integrated landscape management on the ground. The take stock of the current advance of science, the working group is currently writing a paper that summarizes the state-of-the-art of landscape science for sustainable rural development. This paper will also serve as a background document for the different conference contributions.

Conducting Landscape Science

The working group is in the process of identifying a set of networked sites at which to conduct landscape research to test a meta-hypothesis on the role of landscape governance strategies leading to effective multifunctional landscapes.

Supporting the Development of Knowledge Systems for Sustainable Landscape Management

The Landscapes for People, Food and Nature Initiative is currently defining its potential role in the international Knowledge Systems for Sustainable Landscape Management partnership. The partnership focuses on improving data-driven systems to support landscape management and decision making. Our role could entail characterizing the specific stakeholder needs for knowledge systems, linking these needs to new technologies for data acquisition, management, and user interface to develop demand-driven knowledge systems, and testing these in at least one LPFN Focal Landscape.


Partner With Us

The Science and Knowledge Working Group welcomes engagement from scientists and practitioners related to the above themes and welcomes suggestions for landscapes for conducting our research activities together with research partners and different stakeholder groups. To get involved, email Abigail Hart at ahart[at]ecoagriculture[dot]org.

To stay up to date on the latest advances in integrated landscape management, check out our blog.