Working Definitions

Landscape Mosaics

Landscape mosaics are complex landscapes influenced by human activities thus including many different types of land uses and habitats. The term is often used when one wants to analyze the interactions between different land uses, especially with tree covers, and movements of living organisms through the various types of habitats, including those managed by people such as agroforests, plantations and utilized forests. Despite the increasing recognition of the influence of landscape mosaics on biodiversity conservation, conventional approaches to biodiversity conservation and governmental regulations are still regularly based on the segregation of protected areas and biodiversity corridors from other types of land use.

Multiple Values of Biodiversity

The United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity 1992 defines biodiversity as encompassing “the variability among living organisms from all sources including, inter alia, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and their ecological complexes if which they are part; this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems”. In reality, multiple values can be assigned to biodiversity: those of direct use, indirect use and non-use. Local values often correspond to the direct use of species, e.g. for commercialized non-timber forest products, for food and medicine. The indirect use values are mostly associated with environmental services that biodiversity may enhance, such as agricultural protection from pests and disease, pollination, biodegradation and fertilization. The non-use values include the option value of future use of biological resources and the concept of intrinsic existence value of biodiversity. The Landscape Mosaics project proposes to approach (and assess) biodiversity from three different perspectives: what matters for local people (generally direct use, possibly indirect), for conservation agencies (often non-use values) and for scientists (information related to research questions, standard and comparable observations).


The Landscape Mosaics project will address the integration of these livelihoods into landscape mosaics via the Sustainable Livelihoods Framework. “Livelihood” will be considered not only as an activity carried out to earn an income, but as encompassing all the elements that affect a household’s ability to ensure a living: the natural, physical, social, financial and human assets possessed or accessed. Through using an integrated conservation and development approach, the project will measure the following impacts on local communities:

  • Natural Capital – the biophysical environment;
  • Human Capital – health, education and skills of the local population;
  • Social Capital - networks between individuals, relationships of trust and reciprocity;
  • Physical Capital – physical infrastructure, plantations and other forms of built assets; and
  • Financial Capital – the savings and remittances that can be used to fund improvements in the other forms of capital.
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