Training Workshop on ‘Integrated Curriculum for Strengthening Landscape Governance’

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Background

Transboundary landscapes provide a platform for collaboration among countries sharing similar landscapes divided by political boundaries to work together to conserve and develop these common landscapes. Several transboundary initiatives have been launched and are well underway in the fragile landscape of the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH). Studies and early implementation in these areas show that it may be possible to strike a balance between conservation and development, and mitigate competing claims on land use for the overall sustenance of numerous ecosystem services. However, this can only be done under the condition that they are carefully designed and facilitated, and take into account the multi-functionality of the landscape, as well as the basic principles of  the sustainable management of natural resources, stakeholder involvement, and inclusive and informed spatial decision making. These are hence the basic ingredients of what is currently labelled ‘landscape governance’.

Landscape governance is a training and learning programme designed as a capacity-building trajectory for partners and lead agencies operating in the five transboundary landscapes identified by the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) so they can design, develop, facilitate and mainstream landscape governance mechanisms or its key elements, and enhance their landscape’s resilience in a sustainable and inclusive manner. Landscape governance provides an appropriate framework for the HKH transboundary programme as it enables the establishment of multi-stakeholder planning mechanisms integrating different land uses, while being embedded in policy frameworks and markets at multiple levels and scales. This offers scope for the development of institutional mechanisms connecting the various Transboundary Cooperation Initiatives at ICIMOD, while maintaining each country’s national sovereignty, policy frameworks, cultures, and modes of governance. 

Rationale

The rationale for developing a Landscape Governance Learning Journey is to design a capacity building trajectory for partners and lead agencies operating in the five transboundary landscapes to design, develop, and facilitate landscape governance mechanisms to enhance their landscape’s resilience in a sustainable and inclusive manner. 

Wageningen University’s Centre for Development Innovation (CDI) will facilitate the meetings, with the help of ICIMOD staff. CDI, in collaboration with the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and the International Council for Research in Agroforestry (ICRAF) at CIFOR centre, organized a two-week international course on “Governance of Landscapes, Forests and People” conducted in Bogor, Indonesia, from 24 August–4 September 2015. The aim of the course was for practitioners and professionals to adopt an integrated perspective on landscape approach, and look beyond conventional conservation approaches to a more holistic integrated ecosystem mindset.

CDI and ICIMOD under a new collaboration then conducted their first workshop in July 2016 involving ICIMOD’s major implementing partners of the Transboundary Landscapes Programme. The ‘Landscape Governance Initial Planning and Preparation Workshop’ was held at the Godavari Knowledge Park in Kathmandu from 6–8 July 2016 to define and understand landscape governance, and identify the core capacities professionals need and should possess to be able to facilitate landscape governance on the ground. The first landscape governance curriculum was drafted during this workshop. The curriculum was built on the capacity to act and commit, achieve coherence, deliver on development objectives, adapt and self-renew, and relate to external stakeholders. 

A second workshop, ‘Regional Training of Trainers (TOT) on Transboundary Landscape Governance’, was held in Chitwan, Nepal, from 25 September–5 October 2016. The workshop was organized to train trainers from different countries and organizations for further uptake of capacity-building on landscape governance in respective countries, thus facilitating mainstreaming. During the workshop, the draft curriculum was revised with contributions and inputs from a larger group of experts and professionals working in ICIMOD’s five transboundary landscapes. A more solid and detailed framework with five modules was developed during the September workshop.

Participants from Bhutan (UWICE, GNHC and the Departments of Livestock and Nature Conservation) contributed to drafting the modules during this TOT. As an output of this TOT, ICIMOD identified two institutions to mainstream this curriculum under an ICIMOD-CDI collaboration. The Ugen Wangchuk Institute for Conservation and Environment (UWICE), Bhutan, is one of the potential institutions that will take this course forward. UWICE is developing a two-year diploma course in July 2017. ICIMOD and CDI seek this as an opportunity to collaborate with them to include Landscape Governance TOT.

Objective(s) of the Training

The main aim of the training is to share the manual developed by ICIMOD, CDI and partners, and to enhance the capacity of its partner, UWICE, in implementing Landscape Governance training sessions in its future programmes.

ICIMOD, in association with CDI, intends to bring together key stakeholders from the Bhutan Landscape linked to Transboundary Management and Natural Resource Management:

  • Familiarize trainers and stakeholders on Landscape Governance;
  • Train and build the capacities of facilitators and trainers from UWICE and other stakeholders in relation to conducting future courses; and
  • Tailor and refine the manual per the recommendations made in a Bhutanese context.