Three Key Pillars for Integrity-based Forest Landscape Management

Integrated landscape management of forest landscapes requires ecosystem integrity, effective planning and strong governance. Integrated landscape approaches to forest management are more holistic than conventional sector-based approaches and provide a more promising approach to sustainable management.

The sustainable management of forests is increasingly focused at a landscape level. Integrated landscape approaches to forest management are more holisitic that conventional sector-based approaches.They recognise the multiple land uses and stakeholders that use and affect forest landscapes. However, there is limited agreement on what an integrated landscape approach looks like, and how to develop and evaluate these approaches.

This paper synthesises existing principles for landscape approaches to identify three key pillars that underpin integrated landscape approaches:

  • Ecosystem Integrity
  • Effective Planning
  • Strong Governance

These three pillars can guide development and evaluation of forest management and provide a framework for Integrity-based Forest Management (INFORM).


Ecosystem integrity, effective planning and strong governance are three key pillars for integrated landscape approaches to forest protection and management

Ecosystem integrity defines the landscape and the benefits it provides. It depends on the ecosystem structure and function and the biodiversity of the landscape. Maintaining restoring ecosystem integrity is essential for sustaining the multiple, high quality ecosystem service benefits of primary forest landscapes. Ecosystem integrity provides the 'why?' of integrated landscape management.

Effective planning is essential to guide choices of land uses and activities to respond to current and future drivers of change. Effective planning processes are underpinned by shared learning, holistic integration and situated justice. Effective planning defines the 'what?' in integrated landscape management: what is important, what needs to be done.

Strong governance creates high integrity and legitimate decision-making about the forest and its landscape. Strong governance requires meaningful participation and productive deliberation. Strong governance is the 'how?' of integrated landscape management.

Article authors

Ed Morgan

Dr Ed Morgan is a Research Fellow at the Cities Research Institute, Griffith University. He is developing landscape planning for ecosystem-based climate change adaptation and forest protection.
Tim Cadman

Tim Cadman

Tim is an Adjunct Senior Research Fellow with the Law Futures Centre and the Institute for Ethics, Governance and Law at Griffith University, Queensland, Australia. Tim has been an academic researcher and teacher since 1996.
Dr Brendan Mackey

Brendan Mackey

Project Director and Director of the Griffith Climate Action Beacon at Griffith University, contributing to community planning and engagement in forest projects.


Morgan, E. A., Cadman, T., & Mackey, B. (2020). Integrating forest management across the landscape: A three pillar framework. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 64(10), 1735–1769.

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