Assessing Landscape Resilience: Best Practices and Lessons Learned from the COMDEKS Programme

RI Publication_coverThe aim of this publication is to summarize the key lessons learned and illustrate the best practices drawn from the practical applications of the Indicators of Resilience in Socio-ecological Production Landscapes and Seascapes (SEPLS) and other allied tools for community consultation during more than five years of field experience in the COMDEKS Programme.

The publication contains four chapters:

Chapter 1 introduces COMDEKS, the resilience indicators, and how they are applied in the Programme’s community-based landscape approach for conserving ecosystems and biodiversity, and promoting sustainable livelihoods. Chapter 2 extracts best practices in indicator use and community consultation, highlighting various examples from on-the-ground initiatives and their application of the resilience indicators.

Chapters 3 and 4 discuss key lessons learned from these community-based landscape perspectives, examining indicator strengths and challenges in their application, and define recommendations for the continued improvement of this tool, as well as their use in decision- and policy-making processes.

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Community Action to Achieve the Aichi Biodiversity Targets: The COMDEKS Programme

This booklet highlights COMDEKS contributions to achieving the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, as well as the critical role that local communities play in ecosystem protection and biodiversity conservation.

The publication contains two parts:

Part 1 introduces COMDEKS and its community-based landscape approach for conserving ecosystems and biodiversity and promoting sustainable livelihoods. It outlines the rationale for why community action is vital to conserving biodiversity in rural landscapes outside of Protected Areas.

Part 2 portrays how COMDEKS has contributed to achieving all five of the Strategic Goals of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and many of the individual Aichi Biodiversity Targets, showcasing a variety of best practices and results from supported projects.

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Governance of Socio-Ecological Production Landscapes: A Guidance Note and Self-Assessment Tool

This publication provides guidance to organizations involved in landscape approaches on how to understand and improve the governance setting of the landscape, with a focus on the community perspective.

The document contains two parts:

Part 1 of the document is a general guidance note that provides an overview of the importance and challenges of governance in socio-ecological production landscapes; guidance on how to integrate governance into the planning and execution of strategic landscape processes; and examples of measures to support local communities in their efforts to improve the governance of their socio-ecological production landscapes.

Part 2 is a governance self-assessment tool that communities, and their supporting organizations, can use to understand and analyze governance processes in their landscape, and to reflect on possible actions.

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Landscape Governance in Socio-Ecological Production Landscapes and Seascapes: Experiences from the COMDEKS Programme in Ecuador, Ghana, and Indonesia

This publication presents experiences from successful on-the-ground actions to maintain and rebuild socio-ecological production landscapes with particular respect to landscape governance, drawing on COMDEKS-supported projects in Ecuador, Ghana and Indonesia.

This publication has three principal parts:

(1) The introduction briefly outlines the importance of governance in socio-ecological production landscapes and seascapes;
(2)  Three case studies describe the socio-ecological landscape and its governance structure at the onset of each project, the COMDEKS landscape strategy and activities, developments in governance during the project, and finally lessons learned and challenges ahead; and
(3) The conclusions attempt to sum up the lessons learned and successful approaches from these COMDEKS experiences with respect to landscape governance.

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Developing and promoting agroecological innovations within country program strategies to address agroecosystem resilience in production landscapes: a guide

This guide provides conceptual and methodological elements for developing and promoting agroecological innovations within country strategies to address agroecosystem resilience in specific production landscapes. It is intended to serve as the basis for the implementation of the Innovative Agroecology component of the GEF Small Grants Programme in its 6th Operational phase, and to provide guidance for the agroecosystem outcome of the COMDEKS landscape approach.

The guidance note explains basic agroecological concepts, principles and its application in the design and management of biodiverse and resilient farming systems. Building on the COMDEKS landscape approach, the guide strengthens its agroecosystem component to more effectively build the social, economic and ecological resilience of production landscapes.

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A Community-based Approach to Resilient and Sustainable Landscapes: Lessons from Phase II of the COMDEKS Programme


This publication shows how much progress has been made in defining the goals, planning processes, funding mechanisms, and monitoring systems needed to make sustainable landscape management a reality. The case studies provide valuable examples of the COMDEKS approach and the improvements in ecosystem services, and rural productivity, income, and community empowerment that result.

The publication is comprised of two parts:

Part I summarizes the defining principles of the COMDEKS community-based landscape management approach, and sets out the step-by-step process used to apply the approach.

Part II presents up-to-date case material for each of the ten countries participating in Phase II of the COMDEKS Programme. This material describes the target landscapes, sets the local context of environmental, social, and economic conditions and challenges; describes the participatory landscape planning process; enumerates local program activities; and reports preliminary findings. Part II ends with a short consideration of what the COMDEKS Programme has achieved, how these insights can be applied both within and beyond UNDP, and the challenges that lie ahead for the COMDEKS community-based landscape approach.

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Communities in Action for Landscape Resilience and Sustainability: The COMDEKS Programme 

Communities In Action For Landscape thumb

This publication collates and analyzes results and lessons learned from COMDEKS countries through case studies of programme implementation in target landscapes and seascapes, detailing activities at the local level.

The Publication has three purposes:
(i) Set out the conceptual basis of the COMDEKS Programme and explain its community-led approach to landscape management;
(iii) Present ten case studies of target landscapes and communities that set the local context, describe programme activities, and report preliminary findings on the ground in ten countries participating in the first phase of the programme;
(ii) Summarize key messages gleaned from the overall Programme design and lessons learned during the community consultation and early implementation phases in target landscapes.

Click here to download a PDF version of the publication.


COMDEKS Brochure

brochure cover

This brochure provides background information on the COMDEKS Programme, its community-based landscape approach and some emerging lessons.

Community Development and Knowledge Management for the Satoyama Initiative (COMDEKS) is a global effort, implemented by UNDP, to empower communities to manage landscapes sustainably with the vision of realizing “societies in harmony with nature.” These landscapes and seascapes encompass many uses, from farming and fishing to forestry and livestock herding and provide an economic and cultural mainstay of rural life.

The COMDEKS Programme provides small-scale finance directly to community organizations in developing countries for joint activities that maintain and revitalize their critical production land and seascapes. COMDEKS also supports the dissemination of knowledge and experiences from on-the-ground actions to other community organizations and networks, as well as policy makers.

Click here to download a PDF version of the brochure. For the COMDEKS Brochure in single page format please click here.


Toolkit for the Indicators of Resilience in Socio-ecological Production Landscapes and Seascapes

Toolkit indicators pictureThe toolkit provides practical guidance for making use of the “Indicators of Resilience in Socio-ecological Production Landscapes and Seascapes (SEPLS)”, a tool for engaging local communities in adaptive management of the landscapes and seascapes in which they live. Developed by Bioversity International and UNU-IAS, the indicators are applied by the UNDP COMDEKS Programme to guide the assessment of socio-ecological production landscapes and seascapes.

The toolkit was developed by the United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS), Bioversity International, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as part of a Collaborative Activity under the International Partnership for the Satoyama Initiative (IPSI).

Click here to download a PDF version of the publication.

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