Landscape-scale conservation is an approach to conservation that considers and manages the ecological, social, and economic aspects of a particular landscape or geographic area as a whole. It involves the protection and management of natural resources, habitats, and ecosystems across large spatial scales, typically spanning multiple jurisdictions and land ownerships.
The key principles of landscape-scale conservation include:
Recognising the interconnectedness of habitats and ecosystems within a landscape and ensuring the continuity of ecological processes, such as the movement of species, flow of water, and dispersal of seeds.
Involving a wide range of stakeholders, including government agencies, local communities, landowners, non-profit organisations, and scientists, in the planning and implementation of conservation strategies. Collaboration helps to build consensus, leverage resources, and coordinate actions across different sectors.
Employing a flexible and iterative approach to conservation that incorporates new information and allows for adjustments over time. Adaptive management involves monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of conservation actions and using that knowledge to refine strategies and improve outcomes.
Recognising that landscapes provide a range of services and benefits to both human communities and natural systems. Landscape-scale conservation aims to integrate conservation goals with other societal objectives, such as sustainable development, climate change mitigation, water resource management, and cultural preservation.
Conducting scientific assessments to identify key conservation areas, ecological corridors, and critical habitats within a landscape. This involves mapping and analysing data on biodiversity, ecosystem services, land use, and other relevant factors.
Establishing a network of protected areas that are strategically located to ensure representation of diverse ecosystems and species. These protected areas may include national parks, wildlife refuges, nature reserves, and other conservation designations.
Implementing habitat restoration projects, such as reforestation, wetland rehabilitation, or invasive species removal, to improve ecosystem health and enhance biodiversity within a landscape.
Promoting sustainable land use practices, such as sustainable agriculture, forestry, and fisheries, that minimise negative impacts on ecosystems while supporting local livelihoods and food security.
Influencing policy development and land-use decision-making processes to integrate conservation objectives into broader land and resource management strategies. This can involve advocating for supportive legislation, regulations, and financial incentives for landscape-scale conservation.
Raising awareness among the public, landowners, and stakeholders about the value of landscapes and the importance of conservation. This includes promoting environmental education, capacity building, and community engagement initiatives.
By considering the broader context and working at a landscape scale, conservation efforts can be more effective in preserving biodiversity, maintaining ecosystem services, and promoting sustainable development for both present and future generations.