A landscape for everyone: integrating rights-based and landscape governance approaches


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A landscape for everyone: integrating rights-based and landscape governance approaches
Walters Gretchen
IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature
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Blomley Tom
Within a landscape of overlapping ecological,
social and economic priorities, plans and
programmes aim to balance land use dynamics
to combine natural resource management with
environmental and livelihood considerations.
However, in striving to reach such a balance,
people and local institutions are often excluded
or forgotten. Many landscapes are not governed
equitably and those within the landscape may
not know their rights, how to exercise them or
lack legal tenure over their land.
The integration of rights-based and landscape
scale approaches to conservation and
sustainable natural resource management
leads to better landscape governance. Through
evidence from several countries – in the areas
of reducing emissions from deforestation and
forest degradation (REDD+), protected area
conservation and sustainable growth corridor
development – IUCN and partners demonstrate
that rights-based approaches (RBAs), when
integrated, adapted and adopted across
societal levels and across landscapes, improve
governance over natural resources. Although
each approach is applied effectively in many
circumstances, it is the combination of the two
that creates the most equitable outcomes.
By working across geographic and political
boundaries, landscape approaches integrate
the interests of different stakeholders. Adopting
such an approach requires looking at not
only the physical landscape and the people
in it, but also at the institutional conditions,
laws, policies and customs that shape how
people use natural resources in the landscape.
Whereas RBAs ensure that both procedural and
substantive rights of natural resource users,
particularly marginalised communities, are
respected, protected and promoted. Integrating
the approaches balances the needs of different
interest groups in decision-making, including
those who have varying levels of influence
and political access, while also ensuring that
communal and individual rights are recognised.
Findings in brief:
•• For marginalised groups to engage effectively
in landscape-level decision-making and
defend their interests, it is essential that they
understand their legal rights;
•• For communities to hold leaders to account,
they must access information on how
decisions affecting their lives and resources
were made, and money was spent;
•• Where policies undermine rights-based
landscape governance, rights holders need
support to identify and negotiate policy
reforms that transfer resource management
responsibility locally, and improve
transparency and accountability at all levels;
•• Use of local language is essential to avoid
exclusion, and mass communication
channels are effective tools to reach and
inform marginalised groups in a landscape;
•• Effective institutions recognise the role of
power in shaping policy discussions, taking
deliberate measures to give voice and
representation to those marginalised from
decision-making processes such as women;
•• The application of a framework like IUCN’s
Natural Resource Governance Framework
helps to integrate rights into organisational
Challenges for integrating rights into landscape
approaches remain. For rights to be recognised
in landscapes, organisations, communities and
local governments need to continue to work
together to promote integrated and inclusive
conservation and sustainable natural resource
management governance systems.

governance, conservation, landscape, rights, landscape approach
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22/08/2019 16:34
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22/08/2019 16:35
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