Landscape Mosaics of the CIFOR-ICRAF Biodiversity Platform

Published on 1 January 2010

Research Areas

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Start Date: 1 June 2007 | End Date: 31 December 2010


The project, “Integrating Livelihoods and Multiple Biodiversity Values in Landscape Mosaics (or the Landscape Mosaics Project in short)”, was the first project of the CIFOR-ICRAF Biodiversity Platform.

The project conducted research on socio-economic, governance and biophysical characteristics and dynamics of the five study landscapes and the interactions between these factors. It also investigated the potential for reward mechanisms for environmental services. The project aimed to inform and facilitate negotiation processes on natural resource use rights allocation between communities and district level and other key stakeholders in order to enable them to manage landscape mosaics more sustainably.

The project worked in the following study sites:

  • Tanzania: East Usambara Mountains, Tanga Region;
  • South West Cameroon: Takamanda-Mone Technical Operation Unit;
  • Sumatra, Indonesia: Bungo District, Jambi Province;
  • Northern Laos: Vieng Kham District, Luang Prabang Province; and
  • Eastern Madagascar: Manompana corridor, Soanierana-Ivongo District.

Within these countries, a landscape was selected that reflected a gradient from a densely forested protected area to land covers fragmented by agricultural uses. From these landscapes, three representative territories (villages) were selected in which the support to negotiations and empirical research took place.

The project was funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and supported by other donors such as the European Commission, the Governments of Finland, the Netherlands and Australia.

The Biodiversity Platform was launched in 2006 as a joint initiative of CIFOR and the World Agroforestry Centre. The Platform was launched in recognition of the role that multifunctional landscape mosaics have in preserving biodiversity conservation, both within and outside of protected areas. Tree cover in multifunctional landscape mosaics preserves important habitats and can play a crucial role in maintaining connectivity between large reserves, which has been demonstrated to be essential for the survival of many species. The occupation and use of these landscapes by many peoples, however, require that any conservation efforts in these mosaics consider the social dimensions of the use and conservation of biodiversity, in addition to their biophysical dimensions and dynamics.

Research Partners


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2 Responses to “Landscape Mosaics of the CIFOR-ICRAF Biodiversity Platform”

  1. Jan Beniest says:

    • Was or is there any collaboration in the area of capacity strengthening between the Lead Centre and the Partner Centre(s)?
    • If so, can you briefly describe this collaboration and highlight the drivers of success or failure of such collaboration?
    • If not, would it have been beneficial to collaborate in this area and how can/could that best be achieved?

    • Heini Vihemaki says:

      These responses are based on the experiences of one project staff only, and mostly related to the Tanzanian site.

      • Was or is there any collaboration in the area of capacity strengthening between the Lead Centre and the Partner Centre(s)?

      Response: The Landscape Mosaics project started 2007 and finished in 2010. In the overall project, CIFOR was the lead centre and ICRAF the partner centre. In Tanzanian site, the activities started in 2008, and were led by ICRAF, and implementation was mostly done through Tanzanian Forest Conservation Group (TFCG). My predecessor Salla Rantala (another Finnish JPO here at ICRAF) was coordinating the activities in Tanzanian site up to August 2009. There was some capacity strengthening in which both centres were involved or contributed to.

      • If so, can you briefly describe this collaboration and highlight the drivers of success or failure of such collaboration?

      Response. 1. A training on Participatory Action Research (PAR) for Tanzanian partners and collaborators, was organized in 2008 in the project site in Tanzania by Salla Rantala (site leader, ICRAF), and Carol Colfer, Theme Leader in governance issues, from CIFOR. The training was considered successful based on the participants feedback. There was a need for capacity building in PAR among the partners to enable the project to work according to its objectives, e.g. to build collaborative governance of natural resources. The Participatory Land use planning processes, and the stakeholders involved in conducting them, in the project area benefited from the PAR training. Yet, there were some more fundamental constraints in the operation of the local government (e.g. lack of resources to support and facilitate PAR in the long term, weak legal literacy among villagers) that will likely limit the scope of impacts of this capacity strengthening.

      2. A five days’ writing workshop organized by CIFOR (with funding from Japan) in Bogor, Indonesia, in October 2009, where two scientists/project staff from ICRAF (Salla and me), and one project staff member from our Tanzanian partner organization (TFCG) participated, and improved skills in scientific writing. The collaboration was successful in the sense that it led to writing of two book chapters that are included in the recently published book “Collaborative Governance of Tropical Landscapes” (2011 ed. by Pierce Colfer & Pfund, Earthscan), and contribution by some of the project stuff to other chapters as well. One of the book chapters involves both ICRAF and CIFOR staff.

      3. Building of a Landscape Mosaics project database to gather data and findings from all five project sites, to enable further cross-site comparisons. Once completed, this may lead to new publications involving staff from both centres, and otherwise contribute to capacity building of the scientists, students and those involved in using the database. The planning of the database contents was a collaborative process, in which staff from CIFOR and ICRAF and site partners (e.g. TFCG) participated. It was yet started in a rather late point of the project, which meant that there were some mismatch between the data collected and the requirements of the database. It would probably have been a good idea to develop the database simultaneously when designing the research methodologies and data collection. The database work is not yet finished and the work continues in CIFOR. The database has not yet been used much nor published in my knowledge. It is hard to fully assess the success at this point.

      4. Several students were conducting research and contributing to project activities, some of them directly working with CIFOR and ICRAF, and some with the partner organisations.

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