The Institute for Landscape Conservation Design (i4LCD) uses the iCASS Platform in its approach to landscape conservation design.


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i = Innovation


Principle #1: Wicked problems are addressed through innovation.

Successful landscape conservation requires a design process that facilitates innovation: the exploration, development, and application of ideas that address wicked problems and improve human well-being. Innovation is the central attribute for iCASS, and it underpins all other aspects of the Platform. Check out an example of innovation in landscape conservation here.

i = Inclusive

C = Convene Stakeholders


Principle #2: Diverse social networks identify a shared vision for the landscape.

Convening a cross-jurisdiction, multisector body of stakeholders that represent the diversity of social values and interests in the landscape is central to the successful design of a social-ecological system. The purpose of being inclusive is to empower a broad coalition of stakeholders to create a shared vision of a landscape that is responsive to vulnerability and risk.

Principle #3: Inclusive, deliberative processes build trust and strong social networks that identify societal choices.

LCD is an inclusive, decentralized decision-making process grounded in open governance - participation, transparency, and collaboration. Bridging organizations are key to facilitating LCD. Check out an example of a bridging organization facilitating landscape conservation here

i = Interdisciplinary

A = Assess Current and Plausible Future Conditions


Principle #4: Multidisciplinary research teams advance social learning about the landscape.

Assessing the current, plausible, and desired future conditions of a multifunctional landscape is a complex task suited to no single discipline. Multidisciplinary research teams consisting of technical and non-technical stakeholders are needed to explore the transdisciplinary nature of, and issues associated with, landscapes.

Principle #5: Interdisciplinary assessment of social-ecological systems, model risk and vulnerabilities, and suggest opportunities to trend toward desired future conditions.

Developing interdisciplinary assessments to provide a holistic, systems-based perspective of stakeholder interests requires stakeholder engagement. Social, economic, and ecological conditions vary by region, and stakeholders are one of the most relevant sources of qualitative and quantitative information about them. Check out an example of assessing current and future landscape conditions here.

i = Interactive

S1 = Spatial Design


Principle #6: Stakeholders design landscape configurations that promote resilient and sustainable social-ecological systems.

Stakeholders and decision-makers who reflect the diversity of social values and interests on the landscape are essential when spatially designing configurations that promote sustainable social-ecological systems. No single institution possesses the ability to model and map priority locations to retain the diversity of societal values and stakeholder interests. An interactive, participatory approach is more effective.

Principle #7: Interactive modeling and mapping are used to develop a portfolio of spatial designs.

Use of decision support tools and applications, in conjunction with stakeholder charrettes, facilitates development of complex spatial designs and visual communication of priority land-use decisions. A spatial design portfolio contains model-based maps showing the potential locations of specific land-use or management activities, considering future scenarios. Check out an example of an interactive spatial design here

i = Informative

S2 = Strategy Design


Principle #8: Decision-makers identify strategies that further stakeholders’ shared vision for the landscape.

Inherent in strategy design is the recognition that siloed decision-making models are unable to sufficiently respond to the complexity and rate of change in social-ecological systems. Horizontal decision-making facilitates the development of information that is relevant across institutional boundaries, can inform collective action, and have collective impact. The purpose of strategy design is to translate science products into mutually reinforcing strategies that identify stakeholder roles in fulfilling a shared vision for the landscape.

Principle #9: Informed decision-making navigates development of a strategic plan.

Bridging organizations bring stakeholders together around science products and spatial prioritizations developed throughout the LCD process. In strategy design, stakeholders use that body of information to develop a common understanding of synergistic implementation approaches and the identification of adaptation strategies. These strategies are then compiled in a collaboratively developed strategic plan that guides stakeholder activities. Check out an example of a collaboratively-developed strategic plan for landscape conservation here.