Launch NLandscape: a practicioners network on landscape approaches
The Food & Knowledge Business Platform is supporting NLandscape, an informal network of over 20 Dutch environmental and developmental organizations who apply integrated landscape approaches and thinking to complement and strengthen their project design and implementation.
Integrated landscape approaches look beyond the value chain and recognize the interdependent multi-functionality of landscapes as a key entry point for understanding the complex challenges faced by food insecure societies. Stimulating cross-sector collaboration and decision-making, landscape thinking enables better understanding and alignment between agricultural development objectives and environmental protection and regeneration goals.
Many Dutch organizations are now applying landscape approaches around the world and building an evidence base that illustrates the benefits of a spatial focus. Widening a project’s focus beyond a specific crop, commodity or landscape function such as water, enables the recognition of differing and often competing priorities of specific stakeholders. Such an awareness enables the design of interventions which are more relevant for more people, which incorporate adaptive and inclusive governance arrangements and whose impacts are more sustainable.
The primary goal of the NLandscape network is to facilitate the sharing of experiences among Dutch partners. The 20+ members of the network take it on themselves to contribute actively by sharing cases, success and challenges. The shared hope is to increase the collective contribution to the creation and management of healthy and productive landscapes.
Through digital channels and face-to-face knowledge events, the network’s members share the specific models, approaches and activities they engage in; enabling peers to learn the do’s and don’ts; what works and what doesn’t, and why. Members nominate knowledge event topics based on their own needs and what they see happening in the countries they work in. Members self-organize, plan and execute the events, sharing resources and their own time.
Across 2017, three knowledge events have been held. For landscape business, members looked at inclusive business models which align and add to public, social and financial values. On landscape finance, members explored innovative financing mechanisms which are needed to fund long-term landscape interventions with plural pathways, often higher risk and distant yields. And on November 20, members will explore the complementarity and added value of looking at the multi-functionality of landscapes and gender issues as mutually reinforcing perspectives in the design of landscape initiatives. More information on this session can be found here.
Strengthening knowledge and practice
The sharing of experiences among the members creates its own innovation space. Reflection, debate and synthesis leads to new ways of seeing issues and new solutions to overcome challenges. Supported by a secretariat, the network uses its interactions to generate case studies as well as tools for thought and action to guide activities. Members promote these outputs to organizations within their networks and beyond, meaning that from a relatively small and informal setting, the wider body knowledge on landscape approaches is strengthened.
In 2018, the network will look at the governance arrangements needed to achieve and maintain sustainable landscape impacts, as well as explore and document the key contribution of landscape approaches to integrated water management, landscape restoration and global food and nutrition security targets.
Learn more and join up at www.nlandscape.nl