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Event Forests: Are we on the right track? Unravelling the landscape approach

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Unravelling the Landscape Approach: Make better policies for people and the planet - Are we on the right track?
This seminar aims to unravel what comprises a ‘landscape approach’. We will assess what this means in different situations and for different actors (local people, policy makers, the private sector, knowledge institutions, etc.). Expert speakers will present an overview and compelling cases of successes and failures where a landscape approach was– or was not –applied. From these and subsequent panel and plenary discussions we will identify lessons learnt and key issues
to be addressed. The aim is to define and refine the meaning and use of the landscape approach.
Date/time: Wednesday September 17, 2014
12:00 - 17:00 hours

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Period 17/09/2014
Event location Hof van Wageningen Conference Centre Lawickse Allee 9, 6701 AN Wageningen
Host Tropenbos, Univ. Utrecht, WUR, Ver. Tropische Bossen
Event URL
Contact person Herman Savenije
Email address:
Phone: +31 317702024
Theme(s) Ecosystems , Others
Target group(s) Adults
Type Meeting (seminar / conference / symposium / festival) Meeting (seminar / conference / symposium / festival)

The landscape approach has been widely embraced during recent years as a new paradigm or integrated vision. The aim? To ensure that land use planning, policies and management decisions maintain the resilience, productivity and sustainability of landscapes for the benefit of all the people who depend upon them. It is based on the concept that landscapes are multifunctional, dynamic and evolving entities composed of a mosaic of different uses (agriculture, forests, mining, urbanization…) which are highly interdependent.

Isolated sector-based solutions no longer work. Claims on the same pieces of land – economic, social, and environmental – are increasing. There is an enormous range of stakeholders – global, national, local – which make decision-making ever more complex.

Conflicting demands also highlight the very political nature of landscapes and the need for transparent and democratic governance structures that ensure that less powerful actors are actively engaged, and derive fair and equitable benefits. Indigenous peoples, forest-dependent communities and small scale family farmers are particularly susceptible, and concern is voiced that the approach, although aimed at supporting them, can also be used to further marginalize them.

The landscape approach as a concept appears plausible and attractive, but several questions remain as to its effectiveness in the real world. Why did the landscape approach arise? Do we have the same understanding on what it is? How does it differ from related approaches like land use planning, integrated land management or gestion de terroir? For what purposes and what situations is it most useful? What problems are solved by a landscape approach? And for whose benefit? What are the scope and limitations of the approach? Under what conditions is it workable and when is it not?

These questions will be addressed in the seminar.

This is the eighth in a series of annual seminars on Sustainable forest management in the tropics. Are we on the right track? This year it is jointly organized by Utrecht University (Prince Bernhard Chair), Wageningen University (Forestry groups), ILEIA, Tropenbos International, the Dutch Association of Tropical Forests (VTB), and the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Ministry of Foreign Affairs.