Integrated landscape approach: Closing the gap between theory and application

Matthias Bürgi*, Panna Ali, Afroza Chowdhury, Andreas Heinimann, Cornelia Hett, Felix Kienast, Manoranjan Kumar Mondal, Bishnu Raj Upreti, Peter H. Verburg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Recently, the integrated landscape approach has gained increasing interest of the scientific community, as well as of organizations active in the field of sustainable development. However, the enthusiastic welcome is challenged by little consensus on theory, terminology and definitions. Moreover, the operationalization of the approach into practice is a major challenge. In this paper, we present a framework to operationalize the integrated landscape approach in practice by putting a long-term collaboration between scientists and various stakeholder at center stage. Based on encompassing understanding of landscape-level processes and interactions, four pillars addressing different steps of a joint-learning circle are described and illustrated with examples. We consider the integrated landscape approach to be a prime way of targeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), but novel forms of collaboration between scientists and other stakeholders based on long-term commitments will be needed for operationalization in practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1371
Number of pages1
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 3 Aug 2017


  • Indicators
  • Joint learning
  • Land change science
  • Modelling
  • Monitoring
  • SDGs
  • Stakeholder involvement
  • Transdisciplinarity


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