December 26, 2012

Launching Landscapes for People, Food, and Nature

Rachel Friedman, University of Queensland

Leaders from around the world converged on Nairobi in March to discuss the meaning, merits, and the modality for successful implementation of integrated landscape approaches in agricultural production systems. In those early days of 2012, and the infancy of the Landscapes Blog, a series of thought pieces framed the issues and laid the foundation for building an understanding of landscape approaches and applying the principles in practice.

The landscapes between Guiyang and Zhenyuan China. Photo by Eric (lacitadelle) on Flickr.

The landscapes between Guiyang and Zhenyuan China. Photo by Eric (lacitadelle) on Flickr.

These ranged from an introduction of the Initiative and the Blog to addressing the burning question of what we actually mean by ‘Landscapes for People, Food, and Nature‘. With some history and a little perspective on the convergence of different communities of practice, 78 terms were identified under the umbrella of a landscape approach. In the Blog’s first week, a World Agroforestry Centre post placed agroforestry, the integration of trees on farms for economic, environmental and social benefits, in the context of a landscape approach. Another Co-Organizer, Conservation International, discussed ecosystem-based integrated approaches to sustainable food production — developed with local stakeholders and tailored to local conditions — in order to conserve biodiversity in agricultural landscapes while meeting the needs for food production.

The overarching theme, as expressed in a post by Bioversity International, is that a landscape approach can help reconcile the objectives of agricultural production and nature conservation in more diverse agricultural landscapes instead of trying to separate production and natural systems. Over the course of the past year, the Landscapes Blog has helped to illustrate the specifics on policy, institutions, and cases in practice to demonstrate this point.

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