Research and piloting of sustainable multifunctional landscapes

The landscape approach is an important tool to see drivers of deforestation in a holistic and integrated way. Under the grant QZA-13/0564 the World Agroforestry Centre has conducted research and capacity building related to sustainable multifunctional landscapes.


World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), Kenya (International Research Organization)

Their research and tools has been taken up by governments in Peru, Indonesia and Cameroon.

The purpose of the project was to contribute to the development and promotion of sustainable multifunctional landscapes that are climate smart (reduce emissions and human vulnerability by facilitating adaptation to climate change); are eco‐ efficient (deliver on ecosystem services) and development friendly (enhance peoples’ livelihoods), through action research on landscape approaches to emission reductions with sustainable benefits that are done in an effective, efficient and equitable manner.

Why did Norway decide to support this project?

Drivers of deforestation is often found outside the forest, such as agriculture. To achieve success one must address the drivers of deforestation in a holistic and integrated approach. REDD+ provides a platform to build an approach to multiple problems and multiple benefits. In the project countries, REDD+ Readiness and adaptation to climate change were seen as two different work streams, while they are in practice often closely related, as with farming. To achieve integrated and inclusive processes, all stakeholders must be included. The project hoped to demonstrate, pilot and share lessons on integrated and inclusive landscape processes, as a “proof of concept”.

Norad and the Ministry of Environment viewed the project proposal positively and saw ICRAF as an important and solid partner. The Secured landscapes project built on the two previous Norad- funded projects, GLO-09/725 and QZA-10/0359, which showed satisfactory progress. The project took the REALY projects’ results forward and added further value to the landscape approaches to REDD+. An evaluation of the Norad/CFI-funded projects gave ICRAF and the REALU projects good reviews.

The project had 4 planned outcomes:
  1. Methods, policy and investment guidance. Local and national readiness for landscape approaches enhanced by the availability and use of tools, methodological, policy and investment guidance.
  2. Piloting of Initiatives (demonstration). International experience and lessons in landscape approaches to emission reductions with sustainable benefits increased through learning-by-doing in 4-5 demonstration/ pilot landscapes
  3. Nesting strategies and policies. Critical enabling policy and institutional environment for landscape approaches enhanced at national and sub-national levels through proper guidance on development of policy and investment schemes in the context of nested REDD+
  4. Knowledge to action. Local investment options and knowledge uptake for sustainable multifunctional landscapes improved through the facilitation and promotion of public-private partnerships and science-policy dialogues, awareness raising and capacity building programmes.


ICRAF developed four key frameworks, tools, and methods for efficient, effective and equitable landscape based emission reduction strategies. One of the tools, the Land-Use Planning for Low Emission Developing Strategies (LUWES tool) has been adopted by the government of Indonesia and Peru. The framework and tools have been frequently downloaded since they were published. Project targeted 1 210 862 hectares of landscape covered by forest, and 660 234 hectares of land covered by sustainable land use plans, in Cameroon, Peru, Vietnam, Indonesia and DRC.

According to calculations by the LUWES model, the estimated potential emission reductions over one-year time are 6 081 361 tons of CO2. The pilots have tested various incentive scheme models. The governments in Indonesia, Peru and Cameroon has taken an interest in the LUWES tool. In Indonesia the National Planning Board for Development adopted the tool, and it has been used by 33 provincial governments to plan actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It was also adapted as a national standard as part of Indonesia’s Indicative Nationally Determined Contributions. In Peru and Cameroon, the governments have requested more information about the tool, and training on how to use it. In Peru, the landscape approach is a main approach for Peru’s national strategy to address climate change, and ICRAF is seen as a leading expert, as demonstrated by an MOU between ICRAF and Ministry of Environment (MINAM).

ICRAF has developed models for public- private partnerships, and had one case from Indonesia where ICRAF has conducted a References Emission Level calculation for a company in Jambi Province, and the company has defined mitigation action in their concession spatial planning and annual workplan.

The report can demonstrate results on all the outcome indicators, and the achievements mentioned above are highly relevant. However, the lack of a baseline and targets makes it hard to assess the extent of the progress made.

The report indicates that the more results were achieved in Indonesia, Peru and Cameroon than in Vietnam and DRC. Norad notes that particularly in DRC few achievements have been made.

The project has tested 5 different incentive schemes, but they are small in size, and it is unclear what global lessons learned they have generated. The project has established one partnership with a private company. The private-public partnerships were an important part of the project, and results in one out of five project countries may be less than what could be expected. ICRAF explains that the development of jurisdictional NAMAs in Peru was prioritized over private sector engagements.

Norad concludes that ICRAF has partially achieved the expected outcomes of the project. We see potential for ICRAF to build on the research conducted in this project in their work on REDD+ and climate change.

Lessons learned

Agroforestry takes a few years before producing crops. To make it financially viable to farmers they require public financial support in the initial stages. For sustainable land use to be an attractive investment for private investors, public-private collaboration is required.

There have been disconnects and counter-productive actions by multiple actors at different levels in all the project countries. These different levels must be linked if a sustainable landscapes approach is to work.



The result descriptions are based on the information provided by the organisations. Their presentations and conclusions do not necessarily reflect the views of Norad. Norad has not verified all results reported.

Published 23.10.2013
Last updated 20.06.2018