Restoration opportunities as framework for effective landscape management

One characteristic of an “effective” practice is measurability. In a landscape, it would enhance the chance that a performance value can be managed (Stiglitz et al. 2010). Furthermore, conservation and development performance metrics do not assess landscape practices (Sayer et al., 2016) let alone their effectiveness. One reason is because, Conservation and Development, are two desirables; but often incompatible features in a landscape, between which some balance or compromise needs to be achieved in order to allow for landscape statuses assessments. Good at throwing up individual measures of effectiveness, these two desirables are weak on status measures of the entire landscape. So, is there a role for a landscape restoration opportunities framework for assessing effectiveness?

No universally accepted definition exists for “effective practice”. Wikipedia focuses on performance and defines effective practice as – a method or technique that has consistently shown results superior to those achieved with other means. The JISC (2009) defines effective practice as, employing a range of pedagogic skills to bring about the best possible learning for the widest variety of learners. Finally, the Brightspace Community (2018) proposes a consensus definition that; “Effective Practices are methods or techniques that have proven themselves in one or more scenarios to be effective at accomplishing a desired outcome.”

So, in other to address the issue of balance and compromise and improve appraisal of the status of the entire landscape, not just one or two discrete measures, Eco-Agriculture Partners and Cornell University (Buck et al., 2006) proposed the Landscape Measures Framework (LMF). It distinguishes four broad goals of landscape approaches comprising; Conservation, Production, Livelihoods, and Institutions.

But these goals are not intuitively measurable. So, one way to enhance their measurability, so the concept can more effectively serve landscape management would be; to identify and link them to proven proxies in an actual, tested and compatible methodology or framework. Here is where “restoration opportunities” or the ROAM can come in. Below is an effort to align the LMF (Buck, 2006) and the Tools of the Restoration Opportunities Assessment Methodology (IUCN & WRI, 2014).

Box 1, Table 4 and Figure 8 are used together and hopefully self-explicit. The mapping of two peer-reviewed concepts in Table 4 is unscientific, so open to further interpretations by the reader. However. Figure 8 is a Theory of Change and numbers – corresponding to ROAM tools have be inserted to further strengthen understanding. The TOC can be easily converted to a logical framework of activities, assumptions and outputs.