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A climate-smart landscape optimises the spatial configuration of land management and land use, enabling synergies between climate mitigation and adaptation to climate impacts on production, natural risks, biodiversity and cultural values.

Imagining and implementing climate-smart landscapes for different New Zealand regions requires understanding the nature, location and spatial arrangement of land management and land use options that could support these multiple objectives. 
 
Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research provides the ecological process understanding and evidence for climate-smart landscape configurations. 
 
We characterise adaptation services in New Zealand, which are the biodiversity components, ecological spatial and temporal processes that can be managed and governed for supporting people through ecological resilience, mitigating climate change and natural risks, and providing novel material and non-material resources as climate change transforms ecosystems. 
 
By combining field data, remote sensing and modelling we understand how the spatial configuration of land uses and management regimes determines the trade-offs and synergies among multiple adaptation services. We use this understanding to model templates for climate-smart landscapes - those spatial configurations of land use and management which can reduce trade-offs and increase synergies within a certain landscape. 
 
Using these templates in collaboration with social scientists, we work with stakeholders and decision-makers to co-design adaptation pathways toward acceptable and feasible climate-smart landscapes.