Featured Publications:

Common ground: integrated landscape approaches and small and medium forest enterprises for vibrant forest landscapes

Riggs, R. A., J. D. Langston, L. Nerfa, A. K. Boedhihartono, C. Gaston, A. R. Herdianti, E. Valeri, and J. Sayer


Efforts to sustain multi-scalar benefit flows from forests increasingly concentrate on interventions in landscapes. Integrated landscape approaches have emerged as the dominant paradigm among international agencies for reconciling competing land uses. Small and medium forest enterprises receive growing attention for their ability to meet local development aspirations while supporting healthy forest ecosystems. Despite their prevalence in forest sustainability initiatives, landscape approaches and small and medium enterprises have not yet been integrated into a holistic framework. Here, we conceptually integrate the two phenomena using place as a guiding concept. We examined peer-reviewed literature to understand cultural, socio-political, and biophysical attributes and processes that influence outcomes of small and medium forest enterprises. We then held a series of seminars to discuss empirical and theoretical advances in landscape approaches and the role of small and medium forest enterprises. From this, we identified areas of complementarity, where investments might lead to mutual gains for prosperous and sustainable forest landscapes. We propose four overarching synergies between integrated landscape approaches and small and medium forest enterprises: (I) collective organization, decision-making, and action, (II) empowerment, rights, and tenure security, (III) coherent policy and commitment across governance scales, and (IV) managing for multiple functions and values within planetary boundaries. To increase understanding of these synergies in local contexts, researchers and practitioners could share lessons from place-based sustainability science, contributing to learning systems for inclusive benefit flows in forest landscapes.



Governing the landscape: potential and challenges of integrated approaches to landscape sustainability in Indonesia

Riggs, R. A., R. Achdiawan, A. Adiwinata, A. K. Boedhihartono, A. Kastanya, J. D. Langston, H. Priyadi, M. Ruiz-Pérez, J. Sayer, and A. Tjiu.


In recent years, landscape sustainability, the maintenance and improvement of biodiversity, ecosystem services, and human well-being in landscapes, has become a core objective of conservation initiatives. Yet efforts to promote sustainability often conflict with other landscape objectives. Globally, integrated landscape approaches have emerged as desirable processes for reconciling these conflicts. Integrated landscape approaches seek to foster improvements in landscape-scale governance to meet sustainability objectives. As scientific and political support for these new landscape approaches continues to advance internationally, there is a need to learn from the processes, constraints, and opportunities. We seek to enrich understandings of landscape approaches and their contributions to governance and sustainability through conserving biodiversity and maintaining ecosystem services. Focusing on eight case studies at different stages of development in Indonesia, we explore how practitioners influence landscape sustainability through integrated approaches. We used questionnaires and literature to collect information on objectives, attributes and challenges of landscapes approaches. We find landscape approaches in Indonesia closely reflect guidance principles. Emerging lessons from landscapes include adapting strategies to local priorities for inclusive problem-framing and engaging in nested learning systems. Aligning landscape actions with policy for coherent governance across scales remains a key challenge. Creating and maintaining governance that supports landscape sustainability is a core principle of landscape approaches. Establishing institutional arrangements for landscape sustainability will require working across legislative and political boundaries for coordinated action. We highlight the need to document and measure impact, and the potential for future learning from landscape sustainability science.

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Trandisciplinary Science for improved conservation outcomes

Margules, C., Boedhihartono, A. K., Langston, J. D., Riggs, R. A., Sari, D. A., Sarkar, S., Sayer, J.A., Supriatna, J., Winarni, N. L.

Environmental Conservation


Major advances in biology and ecology have sharpened our understanding of what the goals of biodiversity conservation might be, but less progress has been made on how to achieve conservation in the complex, multi-sectoral world of human affairs. The failure to deliver conservation outcomes is especially severe in the rapidly changing landscapes of tropical low-income countries. We describe five techniques we have used to complement and strengthen long-term attempts to achieve conservation outcomes in the landscapes and seascapes of such regions; these are complex social-ecological systems shaped by interactions between biological, ecological and physical features mediated by the actions of people. Conservation outcomes occur as a result of human decisions and the governance arrangements that guide change. However, much conservation science in these countries is not rooted in a deep understanding of how these social-ecological systems work and what really determines the behaviour of the people whose decisions shape the future of landscapes. We describe five scientific practices that we have found to be effective in building relationships with actors in landscapes and influencing their behaviour in ways that reconcile conservation and development. We have used open-ended inductive enquiry, theories of change, simulation models, network analysis and multi-criteria analysis. These techniques are all widely known and well tested, but seldom figure in externally funded conservation projects. We have used these techniques to complement and strengthen existing interventions of international conservation agencies. These five techniques have proven effective in achieving deeper understanding of context, engagement with all stakeholders, negotiation of shared goals and continuous learning and adaptation.

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Recent Publications:

Selected Publications:

  • Acheampong, E. O., Sayer, J., & Macgregor, C. J. (2018). Road improvement enhances smallholder productivity and reduces forest encroachment in Ghana. Environmental Science & Policy, 85, 64-71.
  • Barr, C. M., & Sayer, J. A. (2012). The political economy of reforestation and forest restoration in Asia–Pacific: Critical issues for REDD+. Biological conservation, 154, 9-19.
  • Boedhihartono, A. K. (2017). Can Community Forests Be Compatible With Biodiversity Conservation in Indonesia? Land, 6(1), 21.
  • Boedhihartono, A. K. (2017). Visualizing the Future We Want: Reconciling Art, Environment and Development. In The Aesthetics of Development (pp. 161-188): Springer.
  • Boedhihartono, A. K., Bongers, F., Boot, R. G., van Dijk, J., Jeans, H., van Kuijk, M., Koster, H., Reed, J., Sayer, J.,  Sunderland, T. (2018). Conservation Science and Practice Must Engage With the Realities of Complex Tropical Landscapes. Tropical Conservation Science, 11.
  • Boedhihartono, A. K., Endamana, D., Ruiz-Perez, M., & Sayer, J. (2015). Landscape scenarios visualized by Baka and Aka Pygmies in the Congo Basin. International Journal of Sustainable Development & World Ecology, 22(4), 279-291.
  • Boedhihartono, A. K., Gunarso, P., Levang, P., & Sayer, J. (2007). The principles of conservation and development: Do they apply in Malinau? Ecology and Society, 12(2).
  • Bull, G., Boedhihartono, A., Bueno, G., Cashore, B., Elliott, C., Langston, J., Riggs, R.A., Sayer, J. (2018). Global forest discourses must connect with local forest realities. International Forestry Review, 20(2), 160-166.
  • Bull, G., Elliott, C., Boedhihartono, A., & Sayer, J. (2014). Failures In Tropical Forest And Conservation Policy: What Is The Solution? In (pp. 1-4): Journal of Tropical Forest Science.
  • Chang, W.-Y., & Gaston, C. (2016). A trade flow analysis of the global softwood log market: implications of Russian log export tax reduction and New Zealand log production restriction. Forestry: An International Journal of Forest Research, 89(1), 20-35.
  • Chang, W.-Y., Wang, S., Gaston, C., Cool, J., An, H., & Thomas, B. R. (2019b). Economic evaluations of tree improvement for planted forests: A systematic review. BioProducts business, 1-14.
  • De La Roche, I., & Gaston, C. (2001). The future of wood products: What is the prognosis? The forestry chronicle, 77(6), 985-988.
  • Gaston, C. W. (2014). Visual wood product trends in North American nonresidential buildings. Forest Products Journal, 64(3-4), 107-115.
  • Langston, J. D., McIntyre, R., Falconer, K., Sunderland, T., van Noordwijk, M., & Boedhihartono, A. K. (2019a). Discourses mapped by Q-method show governance constraints motivate landscape approaches in Indonesia. PloS one, 14(1).
  • Langston, J. D., Riggs, R. A., Sayer, J. A., Margules, C., & Boedhihartono, A. K. (2019b). Science embedded in local forest landscape management improves benefit flows to society. Frontiers in Forests and Global Change, 2, 3.
  • Langston, J. D., Riggs, R. A., Sururi, Y., Sunderland, T., & Munawir, M. (2017). Estate crops more attractive than community forests in west Kalimantan, Indonesia. Land, 6(1), 12.
  • Laurance, W. F., Sayer, J., & Cassman, K. (2014). Agricultural expansion and its impacts on tropical nature. Trends in ecology & evolution, 29(2), 107-116.
  • Laurance, W. F., Sloan, S., Weng, L., & Sayer, J. A. (2015). Estimating the Environmental Costs of Africa’s Massive “Development Corridors”. Current biology, 25(24), 3202-3208.
  • Margules, C., Sayer, J., Boedhihartono, A. K., Sarkar, S., & Supriatna, J. (2015). A More Sustainable Development Approach for Eastern Indonesia? Indonesian Studies.
  • Rampengan, M. M., Boedhihartono, A. K., Law, L., Gaillard, J., & Sayer, J. (2014). Capacities in Facing Natural Hazards: A Small Island Perspective. International Journal of Disaster Risk Science, 1-18.
  • Riggs, R. A., Langston, J. D., Margules, C., Boedhihartono, A. K., Lim, H. S., Sari, D. A., Sururi, Y., Sayer, J. (2018a). Governance Challenges in an Eastern Indonesian Forest Landscape. Sustainability, 10(1), 169.
  • Sari, D. A., Margules, C., Boedhihartono, A. K., & Sayer, J. (2018). Criteria and indicators to audit the performance of complex, multi-functional forest landscapes. In Routledge Handbook of Sustainability Indicators (pp. 407-426): Routledge.
  • Sari, D. A., Sayer, J., Margules, C., & Boedhihartono, A. K. (2019). Determining the effectiveness of forest landscape governance: A case study from the Sendang landscape, South Sumatra. Forest Policy and Economics, 102, 17-28.
  • Sayer, J. & Campbell, B. M. (2004a). The science of sustainable development: local livelihoods and the global environment, Cambridge University Press.
  • Sayer, J., Endamana, D., Boedhihartono, A. K., Ruiz-Perez, M., & Breuer, T. (2016). Learning from change in the Sangha Tri-National landscape. International Forestry Review, 18(1), 130-139.
  • Sayer, J., Margules, C., & Boedhihartono, A. K. (2017a). Will Biodiversity Be Conserved in Locally-Managed Forests? Land, 6(1), 6.
  • Sayer, J., Margules, C., Boedhihartono, A. K., Dale, A., Sunderland, T., Supriatna, J., & Saryanthi, R. (2014). Landscape approaches; what are the pre-conditions for success? Sustainability Science, 1-11.
  • Sayer, J., Margules, C., Bohnet, I., Boedhihartono, A. K., Pierce, R., Dale, A., & Andrews, K. (2015). The Role of Citizen Science in Landscape and Seascape Approaches to Integrating Conservation and Development. Land, 4(4), 1200-1212.
  • Sayer, J., Sheil, D., Galloway, G., Riggs, R. A., Mewett, G., MacDicken, K. G., Arts, B., Boedhihartono, A.K., Langston, J.D., Edwards, D. P. (2019). SDG 15: Life on Land – The Central Role of Forests in Sustainable Development. In Sustainable Development Goals: Their Impacts on Forests and People (pp. 482-509). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Sayer, J., Sunderland, T., Ghazoul, J., Pfund, J.-L., Sheil, D., Meijaard, E., Venter, M., Boedhihartono, A.K., Day, M., Garcia, C., Van Oosten, C., Buck, L. E. (2013). Ten principles for a landscape approach to reconciling agriculture, conservation, and other competing land uses. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 110(21), 8349-8356.
  • Sayer, J. A., Margules, C., Boedhihartono, A. K., Sunderland, T., Langston, J. D., Reed, J., Riggs, R., Buck, L., Campbell, B., Kusters, K., Elliott, C., Minang, P., Dale, A., Purnomo, H., Stevenson, J., Gunarso, P., Purnomo, A. (2017b). Measuring the effectiveness of landscape approaches to conservation and development. Sustainability Science, 12(3), 465-476.
  • Weng, L., Sayer, J. A., & Xue, L. (2017). Will China redefine development patterns in Africa? Evidence from Cameroon. The Extractive Industries and Society, 4(3), 506-512.