The Global Landscapes Forum (GLF), which convened the 6-7 December 2014 at the margins of the twentieth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP20) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), launched a number of major publications and initiatives while bringing together 1500 experts to discuss the role of landscapes approaches in addressing climate change and meeting sustainable development goals.
7 December 2014: The Global Landscapes Forum (GLF), which convened the 6-7 December 2014 at the margins of the twentieth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP20) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), launched a number of major publications and initiatives while bringing together 1500 experts to discuss the role of landscapes approaches in addressing climate change and meeting sustainable development goals.
High-level participants to the GLF emphasized the importance of scaling up investments in landscapes approaches in order to meet the coming climate and development challenges. Helen Clark, Administrator of the UN Development Programme (UNDP), discussed how landscapes approaches are reflected in proposed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and targets, including through the protection and restoration of ecosystems, the sustainable management of forests, biodiversity conservation and efforts to halt land degradation.
Ibrahim Thiaw, Deputy Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) recalled that landscapes are defined by the people living in them and, as such, landscapes approaches offer an effective way of managing local trade-offs and ensuring equitable outcomes that meet social and environmental goals. Finally, Eduardo Rojas, Assistant Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), emphasized the role of landscapes approaches in meeting the food and nutrition needs of the world’s expanding population. Furthermore, in his role as Chair of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF), Rojas recognized the importance of the GLF as a forum for the exchange of information and tools on the role of forests in supporting sustainable livelihoods and economic development while maintaining environmental health.
Publications presented at the GLF included a report on how small scale farmers and foresters are coping with climate change, prepared by the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) in collaboration with authors from 44 institutions. The report, ‘Climate Smart Landscapes: Multifunctionality in Practice,’ presents tools, methods and approaches that are being employed around the world in order to build sustainable landscapes that deliver multiple services and fill many needs for the people that live in them. Other reports launched on the occasion of the GLF include one on forest data by Global Forest Watch (GFW) and another on forest carbon markets from Forest Trends.
With regard to initiatives launched at the GLF, the governments of Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico and Peru, in collaboration with European donors and national and regional research organizations, issued the 20×20 commitment to restore degraded lands and forests. The initiative is supported by US$365 million in financing, including from private investors, and aims to begin the restoration process, including through the regional programmes Conservacion Patagonica and Bosques Modelo, on 20 million ha of land across the eight countries.
The GLF also offered an opportunity to present the results of a month long online discussion on the conditions required for successful large-scale land initiatives. The discussion, organized by Landscapes for People Food and Nature initiative (LPFN), the International Center for Tropical Research (CIAT) and the CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE), also explored incentives for investments in large-scale land initiatives and the institutional framework required for implementation.
The GLF consisted of more than 40 sessions with presentations and events coordinated by more than 60 organizations. The event was co-hosted by the Government of Peru, the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), UNEP and FAO. [Global Landscapes Forum Website] [UNDP Statement] [UNEP Statement] [FAO Press Release] [CPF Statement] [Bioversity International Press Release] [Publication: Climate Smart Landscapes – Multifunctionality in Practice] [International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Press Release] [CGIAR Research Programme on Water, Land and Ecosystems Blog] [IISD RS Coverage of Lima Climate Change Conference]