The Landscapes Community of Practice

The Landscapes Community of Practice focuses on how ASA practices contribute to landscape restoration. We share experiences, results, challenges and lessons encountered on our journey to implement ASA in critical landscapes.

Natural resources are threatened in countries around the world, especially in areas that practice what is considered to be unsustainable agricultural. Extractive agriculture degrades soil and reduces vegetative cover, which causes the land to be less productive and more vulnerable to extreme weather events. Unsustainable agricultural practices in watersheds negatively impact water resources by reducing the amount of water that infiltrates into the soil and recharges streams. Water contamination due to soil erosion or excessive use of agro-chemicals is also another serious problem. When the management of agricultural landscapes is unsustainable, not only does the land suffer, the economic and social systems of all those who live and depend on it suffer as well.

The good news is that we can restore natural resources, kickstart economic and social development and enhance the wellbeing of thousands of people by changing the way agriculture is practiced and agricultural landscapes are managed. And we’re on the right track. CRS’ global strategy, “Vision 2030,” embraces the goal of cultivating flourishing landscapes and building resilient communities for that very same reason, and we believe ASA plays a critical role in that landscape restoration agenda.

CRS’ partners in the Agricultural Landscape Restoration Initiative in El Salvador, known locally as “Raíces,” define agricultural landscape restoration as:

The continual improvement of degraded land and water resources at multiple scales by implementing water-smart agriculture and environmental conservation to restore key ecosystem services and foster economic growth in ways that lead to integral human development.

Based on this definition, the team also developed a set of principles and approaches to guide the way the program works in the field.

Four Approaches Six Principles
1. Prioritize cover crops and soil fertility management through water-smart agriculture

2. Restore water resources through sustainable agriculture and environmental conservation practices

3. Rejuvenate the landscape, and engage youth at every stage and level of the effort

4. Build a dynamic agriculture economy, based on principles of a social economy

1. Keep it simple

2. Human dignity and empowerment

3. Cultivate a shared vision for agricultural landscape restoration

4. Work at scale, in multiple dimensions

5. Co-investment and co-responsibility with multiple actors

6. Continuous learning and agility

Click here to see the full document. Follow us and contribute to the Landscape Community of Practice through the AguaVerde blog. Don’t forget to use the tag “Landscapes.”