dimanche 6 octobre 2013



FAO published this year a full document entitle “Climate SMART Agriculture: Sourcebook" in which the managing strategies of landscape for climate smart agriculture is well developed. Before I give you the main context on this chapter 2, let know understand well what “landscape” is?

The Council of Europe (COE) defines a landscape as “an area, as perceived by people, whose character is the result of the action and interaction of natural and/or human factors” (COE, 2000). Cultural landscapes have been defined by the World Heritage Committee as “distinct geographical areas or properties uniquely representing the combinedwork of nature and of man, illustrative of the evolution of human society and settlement over time, under the influence of the physical constraints and/or opportunities presented by their natural environment and of successive social, economic and cultural forces, both external and internal
Agricultural landscapes can be described in terms of the three elements: structure, which concerns the interaction between environmental features, land-use patterns and human-made objects; functions, which are the provision of environmental services for farmers and society; and the values society puts on agricultural landscapes and the costsof maintaining and enhancing landscape provisions by agriculture

 Current pressures and constraints of the natural resource base 

All civilizations are based on human-managed farming, forestry and fishery systems. Converting land from forests to fields and pastures has on occasion created more diverse ecosystems. In many areas, however, it has also led to environmental degradation, loss of many vital environmental services and the loss of biodiversity. To date, agricultural expansion has cleared or converted 70 percent of grasslands; 50 percent of savannahs; 45 percent of temperate deciduous forest; and 27 percent of tropical forests.

Climate change threatens ecosystems

Climate change is affecting production systems, disrupting the functioning of ecosystems and increasing the pressure on ecosystem services. In some areas, climate change may also lead to new production possibilities as the long-term impacts may open up new options for agriculture. The frequency of extreme weather events, such as droughts and floods, are predicted to increase. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the impacts of climate change and associated costs will fall disproportionately on developing countries and may undermine the achievement of the global goals of reducing poverty and safeguarding food security (IPCC, 2001). The 2011 drought in the Horn of Africa, which threatened 12 million people with malnutrition, disease and loss of livelihoods, is a recent example of an extreme weather event.

Mitigation co-benefits

Many agricultural and land management systems and practices (e.g. sustainable land management, agroforestry and integrated food-energy systems) are climate smart. They increase the carbon content of the soils and aboveground biomass and enhance productivity and resilience. Mitigation co-benefits can be enhanced through integrated landscape management by seizing mitigation opportunities of any particular landscape through increased biomass production.

Strategic steps towards a landscape approach 

In a landscape approach, the management of production systems and natural resources covers an area large enough to produce vital ecosystem services, but small enough to be managed by the people using the land producing those services. However, there are many definitions of the term ‘landscap'.

Land use planning and decision-making processes

Managing landscapes demands an understanding of how the needs of local communities can be addressed without eroding biodiversity and disprupting the functioning of ecosystems. To achieve successful outcomes, the people who have an impact on the landscape must come together to plan and negotiate acceptable  practices and management actions.

Landscape management and implementation

Adaptive capacity is the key to implementing landscape management plans and strategies. Since landscapes change and evolve over time, the objective of sustainable management is not to maintain the status quo but to ensure the continued and growing supply of goods and services by practicing adaptive management. Adaptive management for climate-smart agricultural landscapes should be characterized by a sound understanding of ecosystem dynamics and take a flexible approach to governance that considers policies as works in progress and management actions as experiments that encourage learning and adjustment. 

Promoting landscape governance through policy and finance options 

Expanding landscape management approaches so that they become significant on a global scale will require sharing and expanding the knowledge-base regarding the uses of natural resources and strengthening institutional capacities. A good example of a harmonized approach is the development of the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) mechanism. REDD+ policies address different drivers of deforestation both within and outside the forestry sector.

Measuring and monitoring landscapes for multiple objectives 

It is necessary to measure and monitor the multiple benefits of interventions designed to establish climate-smart landscapes. A landscape approach for measuring and monitoring biodiversity, climate change mitigation, ecosystem health and local livelihoods, which focuses on large, ecologically and agriculturally diverse areas, can help to ensure that impacts are truly being felt on the ground and that the tradeoffs being made are acceptable to all stakeholders.

FAO Key messages:

  • Managing agriculture, forestry and fisheries at a landscape scale is key to achieving sustainable
  • Appropriate land-use planning and decision making at the landscape level should be based on a participatory, consensus-based and people-centred approach.
  • Production sectors are often managed in isolation from each other, and this can be counterproductive. Coordination at the landscape level facilitates the integrated management of production systems and the natural resources that underpin ecosystem services needed for all sectors. Climate-smart agriculture, which follows a landscape approach, can address the challenges involved in intersectoral natural resources management.
  • Measuring and monitoring the multiple benefits of climate-smart landscapes is essential for tracking the impact of intersectoral efforts.
  • Scaling up CSA and moving from pilot projects to large-scale programme and policies by applying a landscape approach requires a diverse range of strategies and practices. It is important to create awareness and partnerships between sectors, mainstream CSA into policies and build capacities at all levels. These activities must be supported by an enabling policy and market environment.
The landscape approach is key to achieving the multiple objectives of CSA. In a landscape approach, the management of production systems and natural resources covers an area large enough to produce vital ecosystem services and small enough so the action can be carried out by the people using the land and producing those services.

Read more about example of landscape approaches and download the full document by clicking here

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