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Integrated Landscape Approach: Closing the Gap between Theory and Application

Landscape Research Center, Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL, CH-8903 Birmensdorf, Switzerland
Bangladesh Rice Research Institute BRRI, Gazipur 1701, Bangladesh
Centre for Development and Environment and Institute of Geography, University of Bern, 3012 Bern, Switzerland
International Rice Research Institute IRRI, Dhaka 1213, Bangladesh
Nepal Centre for Contemporary Research NCCR, Kathmandu 977, Nepal
Institute for Environmental Studies, VU University Amsterdam, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2017, 9(8), 1371;
Received: 28 June 2017 / Revised: 29 July 2017 / Accepted: 1 August 2017 / Published: 3 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Landscape Management)
PDF [899 KB, uploaded 7 August 2017]


Recently, the integrated landscape approach has gained increasing interest of the scientific community, as well as of organizations active in the field of sustainable development. However, the enthusiastic welcome is challenged by little consensus on theory, terminology and definitions. Moreover, the operationalization of the approach into practice is a major challenge. In this paper, we present a framework to operationalize the integrated landscape approach in practice by putting a long-term collaboration between scientists and various stakeholder at center stage. Based on encompassing understanding of landscape-level processes and interactions, four pillars addressing different steps of a joint-learning circle are described and illustrated with examples. We consider the integrated landscape approach to be a prime way of targeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), but novel forms of collaboration between scientists and other stakeholders based on long-term commitments will be needed for operationalization in practice. View Full-Text
Keywords: land change science; joint learning; transdisciplinarity; SDGs; indicators; stakeholder involvement; monitoring; modelling land change science; joint learning; transdisciplinarity; SDGs; indicators; stakeholder involvement; monitoring; modelling

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Bürgi, M.; Ali, P.; Chowdhury, A.; Heinimann, A.; Hett, C.; Kienast, F.; Mondal, M.K.; Upreti, B.R.; Verburg, P.H. Integrated Landscape Approach: Closing the Gap between Theory and Application. Sustainability 2017, 9, 1371.

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