A Multifunctional ‘Scape Approach for Sustainable Management of Intact Ecosystems—A Review of Tropical Peatlands

Bradley Hiller, Judith Fisher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Nature is declining globally at unprecedented rates with adverse consequences for both ecological and human systems. This paper argues that only transformative change—a fundamental, system-wide reorganization—will be sufficient to arrest and reverse this loss and to meet globally agreed development goals, including the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. In search for a credible platform to help facilitate such transformative change, this paper explores the potential of multifunctional ‘scape approaches to improve sustainable management outcomes at scale. Beyond a current international focus on nature restoration, this paper emphasizes the urgency and criticality of confirming approaches for sustainably preserving large ‘intact’ natural areas. Through a semi-systematic review of contemporary academic and gray literature and derivation of a theory of change, the authors consider tropical peatland systems—which can interconnect multiple ecosystem types and be of global biodiversity and carbon sequestration significance—to help derive potentially broader sustainable ecosystem management lessons. Beyond identifying key considerations for implementing multifunctional ‘scape approaches, the paper recommends further work to deepen understanding of the multidimensional ‘value’ of nature; strengthen governance frameworks; empower indigenous peoples and their knowledge sharing and community management; align nature-positive and climate-positive goals; and mobilize commensurate business and financial support.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2484
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023


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