As more of the world’s forests rapidly disappear and become increasingly fragmented, conservation efforts have focused on establishing protected areas to conserve these key ecosystems that support a diverse array of flora and fauna. More recently, conservationists and scientists have observed that protected areas are necessary but not sufficient for the conservation of biodiversity. In this context, the role of multifunctional landscape mosaics including and surrounding protected areas has become increasingly important for conservation. These landscapes include everything from agricultural land, agroforests, and settlements to patches of remaining forest dotting the terrain. What has shaped, and continues to shape, these mosaics are human activities, most commonly communities who are driven by their needs to sustain their livelihoods often in the face of poverty. These landscapes are also affected by the government laws and policies regarding land management and biodiversity conservation which determine how and for what these lands can be used.

The evolution of these mosaics, therefore, needs to be understood from a dynamic point of view, considering all the elements that shape them in a certain length of time. This requires effective tools to monitor the changes in biodiversity and livelihoods in these mosaics which are in or near to protected areas.

It is because of the need to develop an integrated strategy to address these complex and often conflicting ecological and social dynamics that the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and the World Agroforestry Centre launched the Biodiversity Platform in 2006. In June 2007, the Biodiversity Platform launched its inaugural project: Integrating Livelihoods and Multiple Biodiversity Values in Landscape Mosaics in five tropical countries with high levels of biodiversity.



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