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© 2015 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht

Multi-functional landscapes from the grassroots? The role of rural producer movements

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  • Springer Netherlands

Date

May 30, 2015

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Short Summary

This paper explores the role and recent evolution of producer movements in influencing multi-functional farm and landscape management, and suggests that producer movements are playing pivotal roles in supporting landscape multi-functionality, not only through agroecological farming practices but also through off-farm efforts to conserve ecosystems and support multi-stakeholder landscape planning.

Summary

Producing multiple benefits

Around the world, agricultural landscapes are increasingly seen as “multi-functional” spaces, expected to deliver food supplies while improving rural livelihoods and protecting and restoring healthy ecosystems. To support this array of functions and benefits, governments and civil society in many regions are now promoting integrated farm- and landscape-scale management strategies, in lieu of fragmented management strategies.

Leaders, rather than targets

While rural producers are fundamental to achieving multi-functional landscapes, they are frequently viewed as targets of, or barriers to, landscape-oriented initiatives, rather than as leading agents of change. In reality, however, rural producers in many areas have embraced elements of multi-functional land management.

This paper explores the role and recent evolution of producer movements in influencing multi-functional farm and landscape management.

6 case studies
A land reform movement in Brazil
Indigenous territorial development in Bolivia
Conservation agriculture associations in Canada
Environmental cooperatives in the Netherlands
Indigenous and biocultural heritage associations in Peru
Landcare groups in the Philippines

Producer movements play a pivotal role

These experiences suggest that producer movements are playing pivotal roles in supporting landscape multi-functionality, not only through agroecological farming practices but also through off-farm efforts to conserve ecosystems and support multi-stakeholder landscape planning. On the other hand, interests of producer movements are not always fully aligned with multi-functional landscape management approaches. The contribution of producer movements to multi-functional landscapes depends on these movements including farm and landscape stewardship in their values and goals, and having the political support and capacity to engage meaningfully in multi-stakeholder processes.

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