2021
  • Non-ICIMOD publication

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Integrated landscape approaches to building resilience and multifunctionality in the Kailash Sacred Landscape, China

  • Pei-li Shi
  • Cheng Duan
  • Li Wang
  • Ning Wu
  • Rajan Kotru
  • Janita Gurung
  • Summary

Climate warming-induced rangeland degradation in arid and semiarid steppe imposes substantial threats to the livelihoods of people. But this dilemma can be solved by combining all sectors of agriculture, animal husbandry and tourism through their complementarity, i.e. by adopting integrated landscape ecosystem-based approaches. A number of experiences and lessons have been achieved in a specific sector for its successful development, but not in the multiple social, economic, and ecological systems. In this study, we uses the perspective of integrated ecosystem management to strengthen crop-livestock integration and innovative livelihoods, and propose a multifunctional Kailash Landscape to activate the inter-linkage among agriculture, animal husbandry, and heritage pilgrimage/tourism in order to achieve multifunction of the socio-ecological system. A case study of Kailash Sacred Landscape Conservation and Development Initiative in China was quantitatively and qualitatively analyzed by land use and land cover change and its consequence on multiple ecosystem services. Integrated landscape management was found to be effective in building resilience of socio-ecosystems by reducing the vulnerability of traditional agriculture in terms of improving crop production and animal husbandry. A multifunctional landscape is expected to be integrated and build a resilient sector complementarity including farming, pastorism, environmental and socioeconomic function. The analyses show that integrated landscape approaches provide an effective perspective for sustainable socio-economic development in this sacred landscape. The findings highlight the importance of landscape-scale ecosystem-based adaptation to environment change.