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Principle 4: The Multi-Functionality Principle

To support social and ecological objectives, landscapes must be deliberately managed for ‘multifunctionality’ to generate multiple outputs in a sustainable manner with the least trade-off costs and where possible maximised synergies.

The land, water and other resources in a landscape may provide a diverse range of consumable and marketable products that can support local livelihoods and also feed global markets. Rural landscapes also provide valuable ecosystem services and may be essential for conserving biodiversity. Multi-functionality can occur in a spatially integrated or segregated way, the latter potentially leading to a risk of loss of ecological connectivity. Cost-benefit analysis of the various functions and trade-offs and/or synergies between these provides the basis for objectively defining management objectives.

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