Ten Principles for a Landscape Approach to Reconciling Agriculture, Conservation, and Other Competing Land Uses

Ten Principles for a Landscape Approach to Reconciling Agriculture, Conservation, and Other Competing Land Uses


"Landscape approaches" in ecological restoration aim to provide tools and concepts for allocating and managing land that both provide social, economic, and environmental objectives in regions in which land use typically compete with environmental and biodiversity goals. This paper outlines the current consensus on landscape approaches. 

Research Goals & Methods

The goal of this paper is to provide an interpretation of the justification and conceptual underpinnings of the ten principles of landscape approaches that were adopted by the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice of the CBD in November 2012. To do so, the authors reviewed publications concerning landscape approaches.

Conclusions & Takeaways

The authors conclude that the landscape approach has recently been refined due to concerns with environmental and development tradeoffs. Still though, there are constraints to the approach, the worst of which is institutional and governmental obstacles. The authors recognize that the landscape approach is not a perfect solution for every situation, yet they stress that few alteratives are equally effective in addressing landscape challenges.



Sayer J, Sunderland T, Ghazoul J, et al. Ten principles for a landscape approach to reconciling agriculture, conservation, and other competing land uses. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 2013;110:8349–8356. doi:10.1073/pnas.1210595110.


  • Center for Tropical Environmental and Sustainability Science, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, James Cook University, Cairns, QLD, Australia;
  • Center for International Forestry Research, Bogor, Indonesia;
  • Department of Environmental Systems Science, Institute of Terrestrial Ecosystems, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule, Zurich, Switzerland;
  • Fauna, Forests and Nature Service, Couvet, Switzerland;
  • Institute of Tropical Forest Conservation, Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Kabale, Uganda;
  • School of Environmental Science and Management, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW, Australia;
  • People and Nature Borneo Futures Project, Consulting International, Jakarta, Indonesia
  • School of Biological Sciences, University of Queensland, St. Lucia, QLD, Australia;
  • Goods and Services of Tropical Forest Ecosystems Research Unit, Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement (CIRAD), Unité Propre de Recherche, Montpellier, France
  • Centre for Development Innovation, Wageningen University and Research Centre, AB, Wageningen, The Netherlands
  • EcoAgriculture Partners and Department of Natural Resources, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, 14853