Designing an Index to Reveal the Potential of Multipurpose Landscapes in Southern Africa | Land Portal

Resource information

Date of publication: 
December 2013
Resource Language: 
ISBN / Resource ID: 
10.3390/land2040705
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Copyright details: 
© 2013 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article.

Multipurpose mosaic (“ecoagriculture”) landscapes can serve the purpose of land sharing to combine objectives of agricultural production and biodiversity conservation. Rewarding the people who shape and maintain those landscapes could act as a mechanism to generate added-value representing an indirect payment for ecosystem services. We investigated the feasibility of such an approach in two areas in Southern Africa differing in spatial configurations, history and socio-economic context. We designed and tested a composite index describing the state of each landscape in terms of ecoagriculture criteria (conservation, production, institutions and livelihood) and ecosystem services (provisioning, regulating and cultural services). The resulting index is made up of different sets of data each comprising 40 scores, obtained from stakeholders’ participatory interviews. Ecosystem services are in general assigned more importance than ecoagriculture criteria. In both cases, cultural services receive the highest scores, whereas the lowest ones are attributed to the livelihood and institutions in the Zimbabwean and South African sites, respectively. Index values reveal that the South African site, where there is more integration between land-use units, does better in terms of a landscape performing multiple functions. Provided relevant stakeholders are involved and a certification mechanism is developed, the landscape labelling index can be used to recognize and reward the value of outstanding rural landscapes.

Authors and Publishers

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

Torquebiau, Emmanuel
Cholet, Nathalie
Ferguson, Willem
Letourmy, Philippe

Publisher(s): 

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