• Introduction

    It is widely recognized that effective conservation planning needs to consider both the ecological requirements of wildlife as well as the economic needs of people. Whilst protected areas still form the cornerstone of biodiversity conservation, for many wide ranging and migratory species, strict protection is often not possible over large spatial scales. Hence the concept of landscape planning, a mosaic of protected areas embedded in a matrix of multiple land-use types employing a variety of different management strategies. For example, the Ndoki-Likouala Conservation Landscape in Northern Congo encompasses two protected areas, and three major site based conservation projects implementing three different wildlife management strategies across contiguous zones that include (i) integral protection of wildlife and habitat in a core protected area, (ii) community based conservation and management of wildlife and other resources, and (iii) wildlife management and conservation in several surrounding commercial logging concessions (Stokes et al., 2010). Incorporating biodiversity friendly land use practices into actively managed buffer zones can, if well managed, protect critical habitats and contribute to the long-term conservation value of core protected areas (Stokes et al., 2010).

    The number of people on the planet has doubled since 1960, and demographers predict a world population of 9 billion by 2043(http://www.populationaction.org/Topics/7_Billion/Index.php accessed 27.10.11). Food demand is expected to grow even more rapidly as a result of growing urbanization and rising incomes (OECD-FAO, 2005). More land will be required to grow crops, even more so if biofuels become a greater contributor to energy needs. Feeding a population of 9 billion using current methods would mean converting another 1 billion hectares of natural habitat to agriculture, primarily in the developing world (Tilman, 2001). Agriculture dominates land and water use like no other human activity and global demand for agricultural products is projected to rise at least by 50% in the next two decades (Scherr & McNeely, 2007). As populations and economies grow around the world, meeting increased demand for natural resources and ecosystem services will require that many landscapes are managed through an integrated planning and management approach at the landscape level for achieving balanced development and conservation outcomes. In the face of these competing demands the challenge for land-use planners is to select and adopt the best land-use options to manage the development of land, planning for the needs of the community, region, and country while safeguarding natural resources.

  • How important is this threat compared to others?

  • Why is it a threat to great apes?

  • Is a lack of coordination in landscape planning dangerous for all species in the same way?

Compiled and edited 2011 by Kay H. Farmer
Reviewed by Hjalmar Kuehl, Josephine Head and Neba Funwi-Gabga

  • References