UBC Forestry Professor and Team Among Lead Authors of International Collaborative Book: Operationalizing Landscape Approaches in the Tropics

Terry Sunderland headshot
Dr Terry Sunderland

UBC Faculty of Forestry Professor Terry Sunderland and his research team are among the lead authors of the book Operationalizing landscape approaches in the tropics, recently launched at the international Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) Biodiversity Digital Conference.

Upwards of 600 researchers from around the world attended the GLF Oct. 29, 2020 event that addressed everything from monitoring and evaluation strategies for both social and biodiversity impacts to effectively engaging multiple collaborators.

What Does Operationalizing Landscape Approaches Mean?

Simply defined, operationalizing landscape approaches is when multiple stakeholders come together to negotiate social and environmental concerns. Although there is developing recognition this integrated approach to addressing interconnected issues such as poverty, biodiversity loss and food security could be an effective solution to worldly land and resource management challenges, to date, few examples of putting this theory into practice exist.

Integrated landscape approaches, which can vary depending on geographical, social, political or economic context, is only starting to be put into practice even though there is growing consensus that sectorial responses to these issues aren’t working,” explains Sunderland who is also a Senior Research Associate at the Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), Indonesia. “The idea behind this approach is stakeholders come together to negotiate trade-offs and synergies, resulting in more sustainable and equitable land and resource management.

About Collaborating to Operationalise Landscape Approaches for Nature, Development and Sustainability (COLANDS)

Chronicling two years of research in Ghana, Indonesia and Zambia, the book details COLANDS, a collaborative initiative between CIFOR, the University of Amsterdam, and the University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Forestry, that highlights how an integrated landscape approach could address land and resource management challenges in these landscapes. 

Terry Sunderland with workshop group in Zambia
Terry Sunderland with workshop group in Zambia

COLANDS is committed to providing regular and transparent reporting of the approach in practice for other practitioners to learn from,” Sunderland adds.


CIFOR is a non-profit, scientific institution that conducts research on the most pressing challenges of forest and landscape management around the world. CIFOR’s headquarters are in Bogor, Indonesia, with offices in Nairobi, Kenya; Yaounde, Cameroon; Lima, Peru; and Bonn, Germany.

About Terry Sunderland

Terry Sunderland is a Faculty of Forestry Conservation and Sciences Professor at UBC. He also holds the title Senior Research Associate at CIFOR where he serves as Principal Scientist with CIFOR’s Forests and Livelihoods programme. Learn more about Sunderland’s UBC research.

About the Book

Operationalizing landscape approaches in the tropics chronicles two years of tropical research that explores the integrated landscape approach to reconciling multiple and conflicting land-use claims to better harmonize the needs of people and the environment. Read the book.

Details the cover of the book "Operationalizing Landscape Approaches" and how to download it. Towards the bottom of the image, are the contributors of the book.

To learn more about the research and the team behind it, watch out for our forthcoming Branchlines Winter 2020 article.

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