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April 2020
Welcome to the inaugural COLANDS newsletter, bringing together web articles and blog posts written by COLANDS team members; reports on team meetings and events; highlights of recent publications with relevant research on landscape approaches and related issues; photos, videos, as well as news media reports. We welcome comments.

Kalomo District diary: Resolving competing claims through integrated landscape approaches

It quickly becomes very clear to visitors that agriculture is the backbone of the economy in the Kalomo District of southern Zambia. Arrivals are greeted with the simple but bold billboard announcement: “Welcome to Kalomo District. Our wealth is in maize and cattle.” That declaration is supported by stories from long-time residents of the many villages dotting the district, who reminisce about its glory days when farmers thrived with good maize harvests from the fertile soil and large herds of cattle.
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COLANDS at GLF Accra: Balancing development and conservation needs of stakeholders in a shared landscape

Integrate knowledge holders. Understand power relationships and address imbalances to ensure marginalized groups are heard. Promote transparency in decisions and actions in landscape restoration work. Those were some key ideas flowing from a workshop for practitioners.
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Kapuas Hulu diary: Resolving land-use conflicts for better land-use outcomes

In the biodiversity-rich Kapuas Hulu district of Indonesia’s West Kalimantan region, three Indigenous communities whose livelihoods are based on fishing, farming, and non-timber forest products have been trying for years to resolve land-use conflicts worsened by climate change.
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Pooling knowledge in tropical landscapes key to resilience

The active involvement of everyone living and working in a tropical landscape – from local communities and governments to the private sector and researchers – may be the only way to ensure equitable, sustainable development and landscape resilience, says a new research paper.
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A brief explainer of the landscape approach

To understand the landscape approach, begin by stretching your mind wide to create space for a broad range of disciplines. You’ll also need to have a great deal of patience, because when it comes to the pace of implementing a landscape approach, it’s more in line with evolution than with revolution.
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Global Landscapes Forum salutes U.N. Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030

The landmark Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030 declared on 1 March 2019 by the United Nations to accelerate the restoration of degraded ecosystems, is part of a long-term effort by the Global Landscapes Forum (GLF), its partners and charter members.
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Turning research into practice: landscape approach takes off

Although the term “landscape approach” initially left some people scratching their heads, over the past six years it has gelled into a much-lauded concept for sustainable land management in the agroforestry sector and beyond.
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Making connections: New funding opens dialogue on landscape approach efforts

Over the past six years, conversations on sustainable forest management activities focused on transforming the way the international community addresses poverty, food insecurity, climate change and biodiversity loss have coalesced into the Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) movement.
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Before a landscape approach, an integrated initiative to try

At the landscape level, tackling one problem invariably involves trade-offs with another. But landscape approaches – are increasingly acknowledged as a way to address biodiversity loss, climate change, food insecurity, poverty and other issues in unison rather than in isolation.
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The COLANDS project team in Zambia has, through numerous consultations and interviews, learned a significant amount concerning current challenges facing residents of the regions involved in the project. Contested access to resources in Kalomo district, as well as degraded or low-quality resources, are central issues that also trigger concerns for biodiversity and wildlife conservation. Disputes across multiple scales involving chiefdoms, district authorities, government departments and villages over power-sharing and landscape management create stress and conflict, as do changes to, or reductions in, important cultural practices and belief systems that affect approaches to land management.

To improve understanding, team members have engaged with numerous stakeholders, particularly smallholders, villagers and their leadership including chiefs, village headmen and village secretaries in Kalomo and Choma districts. Training sessions with village-based research assistants in research skills have been organized, while scoping missions by the project’s two PhD candidates in Kalomo have added to the knowledge base. Water flow assessments in the Kalomo’s Nanzhila River catchment were made and Eco-Surveys conducted in Malende (sacred grooves) in villages within the Chikanta and Siachitema chiefdoms. In some cases, the Malende are under threat from commercial development.

To begin 2020, the team organized a Theory of Change workshop at Twin Cave Lodge in Choma district in February attended by over 30 stakeholders with a vested interest in the future management of Kalomo district. Participants reflected on the current unsustainable land-use governance and practices that are contributing towards tensions between individuals and institutions, before generating the potential pathways that could lead to more sustainable and equitable landscape management. The team plans to distribute this information to other stakeholders in the landscape and use it as a basis to develop training manuals, action plans, and verifiable monitoring and evaluation frameworks for the district.

The Zambia team is preparing for a stakeholder platform event concerning contested landscapes in the Kalomo Hills Local Forest Reserve.
  • September 2020: CIFOR AGM, COLANDS team meeting (tentative).
  • September 15-17, 2020: Nairobi, Kenya - Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA) scientific conference.
  • November 14-15, 2020: Glasgow - Global Landscapes Forum, University of Glasgow [postponed].
Failure in conservation projects: Everyone experiences it, few record it
We’ve all had duds. We’ve worked on projects far longer than we would have liked to and failed. We’ve agonized over missteps. We’ve learned from roadblocks — sometimes we’ve not. Yet it’s the successes we love talking about. Conservation is no different.
CIFOR redoubles efforts to promote sustainable landscapes in Ghana
Ghanaian landscapes are marked by multiple and competing resource frontiers, from the cocoa-forests and oil palm belts in the high-forest zone (HFZ) to converging shea parklands and pastoral lands of the northern savannah.
This project is working with CIFOR, the Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) and other partners to conduct innovative research related to landscapes, including forestry and other productive processes; as well as the essential work of engaging multiple stakeholders.
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