Article II. Integrated landscape management in action: insights from twenty-three cases in Latin America and the Caribbean
Milder, Jeffrey C.
Estrada Carmona, Natalia
Hart, Abigail K.
Harvey, Celia Alice
DeClerck, Fabrice A. J.
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Integrated landscape approaches are being widely used across Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) to manage multi-functional landscapes for their potential to mediate between food production and conservation, while improving livelihoods and governance at a landscape scale. An initial survey of 104 initiatives across LAC has described the contexts, motivations, activities, participants and outcomes, however there is still poor understanding of the particular historical, social and economic forces that drive integrated landscape initiative (ILI) formation, the roles of pre-existing and newly established organizations in ILIs, the impact specific policies and financial mechanisms in sustaining them, and their perceived effectiveness in relation to stated objectives. To fill this gap, we interviewed 75 leaders and key stakeholders in a subset of 23 of the 104 surveyed initiatives, systematically selected for geographic diversity, range of management systems and range of investments and outcomes. We use an analytical framework developed from the survey and interview data to describe pathways for ILI development, as well as some potential pitfalls. Although we found a logical progression from establishing a landscape identity to perceiving outcomes at the landscape scale, in reality the levels of engagement are not always pursued or achieved sequentially. Results indicate that the creation or strengthening of the landscape identity occurs due to the conjunction of several factors such as land use change or response to crisis. We found that although local organizations play an important role in leading initiatives and providing continuity of management with a landscape, international or national organizations also offer key support through funding, technology and research. Activities are most often oriented toward building human capital and creating participatory 34 management plans, however they also include activities related to conservation and sustainable agriculture in targeted areas. ILIs report their greatest effectiveness as building human capital and establishing more effective mechanisms for governance. Policy mechanisms were found to be supportive in some cases and prohibitive in others. In some cases, policies granting legal status to initiatives were instrumental in ILI formation, in others, policies created perverse incentives, limiting ILI effectiveness. Financial support for ILIs was often fragmented and intermittent throughout levels of development. While long term funding was helpful in supporting ILI activities and establishing coordinating organizations, many ILIs established organizations and achieved outcomes through widespread volunteerism. Other limitations that ILIs face are a lack of law enforcement, low levels of governmental support, and intermittent participation or absence of key stakeholders. These 23 in depth cases enrich our understanding of ILI characteristics, and present a framework for looking at the patterns of their development, the roles of policy and finance mechanisms in the development process, and potential pathways that lead to landscape scale outcomes.