Poverty, food insecurity, biodiversity and habitat loss are persistent global challenges that are further exacerbated by the impacts of climate change. These challenges are particularly hard felt in the tropical landscapes of the global South where tensions between local socio-economic and international environmental commitments are pervasive. Due to the apparent failure of sectorial approaches to address such challenges, more holistic strategies are being increasingly promoted. Integrated landscape approaches are one such example; essentially a governance strategy that engages multiple stakeholders to reconcile societal and environmental objectives at the landscape scale to identify trade-offs and potential synergies for more sustainable and equitable land management. Integrated landscape approaches have been widely endorsed in the international and national policy arena, within academia, and in the discourse surrounding conservation and development funding. However, despite strong scientific theories and concepts, the implementation, and particularly evaluation and reporting, of integrated landscape approaches in the tropics remains poorly developed.
The COLANDS initiative represents an explicit attempt to contribute towards the evidence base by operationalizing integrated landscape approaches in Ghana, Zambia and Indonesia. In this regard we aim to provide regular, honest reporting of progress. This book details the experiences of researchers engaged in these landscape-scale initiatives across the first two years of implementation.
With dedicated chapters on current progress, biodiversity, methods and evaluation the book provides useful tools and resources for research and implementation. Furthermore, we consider the complex socio-political challenges associated with landscape approaches with chapters focussed on how to effectively engaging stakeholders and understanding the national policy environment. We then provide profiles of the sites in each of the three countries and describe the historical context, current status and potential for more integrated landscape governance. This book explores the techniques and strategies that can be deployed to improve the governance and management of land and natural resources and better reconcile conservation and development objectives in tropical landscapes undergoing rapid change.