Researching local perspectives on biodiversity in tropical landscapes: Lessons from ten case studies

Manuel Boissière, Marieke Sassen, Douglas Sheil, Miriam Van Heist, Wil De Jong, Robert Cunliffe, Meilinda Wan, Michael Padmanaba, Nining Liswanti, Imam Basuki, Kristen Evans, Peter Cronkleton, Tim Lynam, Piia Koponen, Christiana Bairaktari

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


CIFOR's Multidisciplinary Landscape Assessment approach. The Multidisciplinary Landscape Assessment (MLA) approach, initiated in 1999 by researchers at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) in collaboration with various partners, combines a technical survey of species, habitats and landscape locations with an assessment of their significance to local people. It fits the CIFOR mission to conduct research relevant to improving natural resource management and benefiting people. Its main claim to distinctiveness lies in its multi-disciplinary range of methods. The MLA landscape is defined by the people that live in it: how they define its land and vegetation types, the way they relate to it and use it: ‘a holistic and spatially explicit concept that is much more than the sum of its components: terrain, soil, land cover and use, […] a cultural construction’ (Sheil et al., 2003). The geographical scale of the landscape depends on the distances or (territories) that people cover to meet their livelihood needs. None of the studies explicitly explored local communities' concepts of ‘biodiversity’ and the term was never used with them. Rather the emphasis was on the environment and landscape in which people lived. Since the first survey was conducted, others have used the approach in similar surveys. This chapter describes the basic methods; then compares the application and outcomes of the approach in ten case studies. The basic approach The approach and initial methods were developed during an extended two-month workshop and field trial in Malinau, East Kalimantan.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTaking Stock of Nature
Subtitle of host publicationParticipatory Biodiversity Assessment for Policy, Planning and Practice
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages29
ISBN (Electronic)9780511676482
ISBN (Print)9780521876810
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Researching local perspectives on biodiversity in tropical landscapes: Lessons from ten case studies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this