Monitoring inclusive and sustainable landscape governance

Monitoring inclusive and sustainable landscape governance

the Netherlands - 07 September, 2017

For successful sustainable landscape development, it is key to understand how governance processes are organised, and how this influences the decisions and behaviour of the actors in the landscape. Landscape governance, which we define as the rules and decision making processes of stakeholders in the landscape, relates to how different interests in the landscape are balanced in decision-making and how the rules stimulate the sustainable management of the landscape resources.

Tropenbos International is part of the Green Livelihoods Alliance (GLA), which aims to contribute to landscape governance that is more inclusive and more conducive towards sustainable landscape management. In 2017, in the context of the GLA programme, Tropenbos International and EcoAgriculture Partners developed a Landscape Governance Assessment methodology.

The purpose of the Landscape Governance Assessment is to facilitate learning and evaluation, both for the GLA in general and for the partners in specific landscapes. Through the assessment, we establish a baseline on the current status of governance in the GLA landscapes. By comparing the baseline to an endline in 2020, we hope to detect changes in governance and determine the contribution of the GLA programme. At the same time, the assessment workshop stimulates dialogue among stakeholders in the landscape, allowing them to learn about the rules and decision-making processes and to identify strategies towards improved governance.

The assessment is organised as a participatory workshop with various stakeholders from the landscape. Over the course of two days, the participants discuss questions related to the governance of their landscape, including:

  • Who can and cannot participate in decisions affecting the landscape?
  • How do people work together and share knowledge across the landscape?
  • To what extent do different stakeholders in the landscape coordinate their decisions?
  • How do stakeholders perceive sustainability, and how do rules promote sustainable landscape management?

Since July 2017, Landscape Governance Assessment workshops have been organised in nine countries - Viet Nam, Indonesia, Philippines, Ghana, DR Congo, Uganda, Nigeria, Liberia and Bolivia – by Tropenbos International in collaboration with the GLA partners in each country.

Participants of the workshop in Nigeria

During the workshops the questions from the methodology triggered relevant discussions among participants, often resulting in concrete ideas for follow-up. In several cases, the participants decided that there should be more structural interaction between stakeholders, for example through a multi-stakeholder platform.

In the coming months, Tropenbos International and EcoAgriculture Partners will assemble and analyse the results of the Landscape Governance Assessments, to further develop our understanding of the rules and decision-making processes in the landscapes. In addition, guidelines for the landscape governance assessment will be published, to allow for application of the methodology in other landscapes.  

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