29 November 2016
Global Landscapes Forum Features Climate and Forest Initiatives
UN Photo/Gill Fickling
story highlights

The Global Landscapes Forum (GLF), held at the margins of the UN Climate Change Conference in Marrakesh, discussed solutions and initiatives to combat climate change, tackle development challenges and achieve global goals through sustainable land use.

The German government announced it will provide support for the next four years and organize the Global Landscapes Forum meetings in Bonn, starting in 2017.

Six initiatives, platforms and cutting-edge tools, including the Global Peatlands Initiative and the Borneo Mapping Tool were announced at the GLF.

16 November 2016: The Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) gathered more than 500 experts, stakeholders and government representatives at the sidelines of the UN Climate Change Conference in Marrakesh, Morocco, to discuss solutions and initiatives to combat climate change, tackle development challenges and achieve global goals through sustainable land use.

Held on 16 November 2016, the Marrakesh edition of the GLF featured a major announcement by the German government that it will provide support to the Forum for the next four years and organize its meetings in Bonn, starting in 2017. Participants also witnessed the launch of six initiatives, platforms and cutting-edge tools. These included the Earth Innovation Institute’s ‘Protect to Produce,’ the first information exchange and interactive online platform connecting buyers and sellers of sustainably produced commodities; and the Global Peatlands Initiative, a UN Environment-led effort to save the world’s peatlands and their carbon stocks, which measure up to 100 times greater than tropical forests. The Global Peatlands Initiative aims to increase the conservation, restoration and sustainable management of peatlands in countries with significant peat deposits, delivering benefits for agriculture, biodiversity and climate.

The meeting also showcased the Climate Resilience through Sweet Potatoes initiative, launched by the International Potato Center and meant to secure the nutrition of vulnerable populations during natural disasters; the African Palm Oil Initiative, a commitment by nine African countries to make the palm oil industry sustainable; and the Borneo Mapping Tool, a satellite and data map developed by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) of the CGIAR Consortium in Indonesia. The Tool offers the first significant opportunity to differentiate between oil palm and pulpwood companies that practice deforestation versus those that do not. The Five Great Forests Initiative, a conservation initiative led by the Wildlife Conservation Society and supported by the MacArthur Foundation, was also announced. It aims to protect the world’s last intact primary forest landscapes, including in the Amazon, Congo Basin, tropical Southeast Asia and Melanesia, boreal North America and boreal Russia. These forests are considered globally irreplaceable for their contribution to climate change mitigation, biodiversity and for their ability to sustain imperiled cultures.

The Global Landscapes Forum was launched in 2013 in Warsaw, Poland, by CIFOR, the World Bank and UN Environment. It provides a science-led, multi-sector and independent platform with a view to sharing knowledge and developing initiatives that build more resilient, diverse, equitable and productive landscapes. The landscape concept encompasses forests, farms, waterways and human settlements. The GLF has already served as a platform for government and corporate pledges to restore 148 million hectares of degraded lands in Africa, Asia and Latin America. It aims to raise that figure to 400 million hectares by 2020. In Marrakesh, other governments and organizations expressed interest in supporting the Forum’s operations and regional forum events, outreach and engagement with additional funds. [Global Landscapes Forum Webpage] [Initiatives Launched] [Recordings of the Proceedings] [CIFOR Blogpost on the Landscape Approach]

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