Using Integrated Landscape Management to scale Agroforestry: Examples from Ecuador – Ecoagriculture

Already in the late 1970s, EcoAgriculture Partners´ Sara Scherr and Louise Buck experienced the promise that agroforestry holds: improving livelihood security for smallholders, especially women and children. As they were working with the International Centre for Research in Agroforestry’ (ICRAF) in Kenya, they were studying and promoting agroforestry as an approach to farming that integrates production and conservation functions.

 

Since those early years, Sara and Louise have developed a passion for overcoming barriers to scaling the diverse, complex and widespread, multi-purpose systems that comprise the field of agroforestry. They have both invested much of their careers exploring the foundations of integrated landscape management (ILM) with partners around the world. They have found that ILM offers a strategy for scaling up agroforestry by mobilizing collaborative efforts among multi-sector stakeholders.  The strategy helps to overcome a persistent barrier in scaling agroforestry.

 

In their newest publication in Sustainability Science: ‘Using Integrated Landscape Management to scale Agroforestry: Examples from Ecuador’ the two collaborate with Luisa Truijillo (EcoAgriculture Fellow), Jefferson Mecham and Marie Flemming to explore the application of ILM in agroforestry initiatives in two landscapes in Ecuador: the Chocó-Andean Bio-Corridor (led by Ecuadorian society), and the Agenda for Transforming Production in the Amazon project (led by the National Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock). The study demonstrates how ILM helps to shape and support agroforestry scaling through five complementary mechanisms:

  1. Developing a shared vision for the landscape among diverse stakeholders,  
  2. Supporting community-engaged dialogue, planning, and decision-making,
  3. Recognizing diverse agroforestry practices as contributions to multiple landscape objectives,
  4. Fostering synergies between conservation and development values at the interface of farm and landscape planning,
  5. Facilitating multi-sector policy alignment and collaborative strategies for market transformation to support environment-friendly agriculture.

 

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