Science, Development, and Pizza Delivery

For the past seven years I have been working with an international agricultural research institute doing what is often called “research for development”, but I’m about to leave and embark on the next step in my career.  And so it seemed like the right time to reflect...

Communal Land Tenure is a Hammer

It has become accepted wisdom that effective land governance is an unavoidable prerequisite for investment in the future and secure land tenure is the cornerstone of land governance.  It is seen as a pillar in the fight against poverty and a precondition for...

Interconnectedness

We cannot segregate the human heart from the environment outside us and say that once one of these is reformed everything will be improved. Man is organic with the world. His inner life moulds the environment and is itself also deeply affected by it. The one acts upon...

Are all ecosystems meant to be forests?

Are all ecosystems meant to be forests? The implied answer to this question, embedded in the way that the increasingly influential sustainable landscapes movement describes itself, is apparently “yes”.  The title of one of the leading initiatives—the Global...

Living Skies, the First Leopard, and Values

Think of a place, a landscape, that is important to you in some way.   Seriously.  Don’t read on until you’ve thought of that place. Ready?  Okay… For me, the first place that comes to mind is a landscape in the Canadian prairies.  Although I grew up in the city,...

“Stakeholders” and the Spirit of Landscape Approaches

Landscape approaches For several years, the signposts marking the professional path that I was on were labelled with terms such as community-based natural resource management, community-based conservation, and land tenure. Recently though I turned onto a path marked...