Conclusions from the FAO-EcoAgriculture Landscapes RoundTable: Insights on the African Landscapes Action Plan, Phase 3 – Ecoagriculture

25 June 2020 – FAO North America and EcoAgriculture Partners hosted a virtual Landscape Roundtable on the African Landscape Action Plan (ALAP): Phase 3, which lays out a strategy for achieving sustainable development in Africa through integrated landscape management (ILM).

 

The Roundtable panelists included seven African landscape leaders (click here for their short biographies) of the November 2019 African Landscape Dialogue in Arusha, Tanzania.  They provided insights on recent progress and the recommendations for action developed during the Dialogue, around landscape partnerships and governance, achieving biodiversity conservation and climate-smart agriculture (CSA) through ILM, business and finance, land use planning, and national policy.

 

The Landscape Roundtable is part of an on-going series of discussions focusing on agriculture, landscapes and climate change jointly organized by EcoAgriculture Partners and FAO North America since 2009. While the roundtable takes place in Washington, DC, this webinar engaged a global audience and included a dynamic Q&A session with participants, as well as an interactive ‘chat’.

 

A plan within the context of African development

Vimlendra Sharan, Director of the FAO Office in North America opened the session, placing the discussion in the context of African economic development, food security and environment, and the challenges of the COVID pandemic.  “The plan itself is a blueprint for sustainable rural development in direct response to the challenges of climate change and rapid population growth on a continent where two-thirds of the workforce is engaged in agriculture.” He further added, “We must understand that only broad coalitions, active partnerships and dedicated investments will ensure that this agenda is achieved.”

 

Sara Scherr, President and CEO of EcoAgriculture Partners, moderated the discussion. Her opening comments provided the history of the ALAP explaining, “in 2014 several hundred landscape leaders from all across Africa came together in Nairobi, Kenya to reflect on how it would be possible to achieve goals in their landscapes through smart collective action.” The event in Nairobi produced the initial African Landscape Action Plan, which was later formally endorsed by the African Union. The second Dialogue in 2017 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia produced and updated ALAP Phase 2. ALAP Phase 3 represents the most recent and up to date collaboration of African landscape leaders and practitioners promoting sustainable development through integrated landscape management.

 

Five key recommendations

Louise Buck, Director of Collaborative Management at EcoAgriculture Partners and faculty member of Cornell University, presented five key recommendations proposed in ALAP Phase 3 to (1) strengthen landscape partnership and governance, (2) adapt land use planning and property rights to strengthen landscape action, (3) mainstream biodiversity conservation and climate-smart agriculture through integrated landscape management, (4) mobilize business and finance in support of sustainable landscapes and (5) advance national policy for sustainable landscapes.

 

Input from the panelist and country-specific examples

The seven panelists represented a broad coalition of actors in different sectors, geographies and specializations focused on collaborating with each other and other actors to promote ILM in Africa. In addition to highlighting specific elements of the ALAP-3, they provided specific examples from their countries.

 

John Recha of the CGIAR research program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS)  discussed the powerful role of African landscape initiatives in advancing CSA and climate-smart landscapes. Recha emphasized that CSA is not a “one size fits all” approach and that “Partnerships are key to taking climate-smart agriculture to scale within Africa to be able to address perennial food insecurity as well as low productivity.” As an example of this, Recha described the implementation of a “Climate Smart Village” program where participatory methods and technologies are used to explicitly scale up CSA and influence policymakers.  

 

John Ajjugo, of the Horn of Africa Regional Environment Centre and Network, provided insight into how biodiversity activities in African landscape initiatives need to be viewed in a more integrated way. Integrated land-use plans, for instance, take into consideration the ideas of communities who depend on land for agricultural activities while balancing the needs of protected areas for biodiversity conservation. Ajjungo discussed how this topic extends beyond rural areas as the importance of biodiversity in urban areas is increasingly recognized through, for example, urban tree planting and botanical garden development programs.

 

Focusing on the themes of business and finance were Nancy Rapondo of Solidaridad and Mao Amis of the African Centre for a Green Economy. Rapondo discussed the importance of businesses being more actively engaged in landscape initiatives so that they are “asking themselves, if there is a change in the landscape or if the landscape has been transformed, then how have they [the business] contributed to that and how can that be attributed to the work that they are doing.” She further emphasized that “as practitioners, it is important that we support businesses to go through this level of thinking.” To demonstrate this, Rapondo described the work Solidaridad is doing in the Mt. Kilimanjaro area of Tanzania to form a multi-stakeholder platform in which investors and the business community have had an active and engaged role in.

 

Amis highlighted the significant progress that has been recently been made in landscape finance, citing funds that have specifically been made for landscape-scale investments. Challenges still remain in that there is a bias towards large-scale commercial operators “so small scale farmers are not seeing investments trickling down to them,” as Amis points out. Additionally, there is a challenge of building bankable business models around themes like restoration while also mitigating and sharing risk.

 

Closely intersecting all of these themes but often not adequately considered, is youth and gender inclusivity as discussed by Njeri Kimotho of Solidaridad. Kimotho recognized the basic elements of power relations in governance systems as “power over rather than power with” and that to overcome this “we need to look for solutions that are targeted to take everybody along and not to come to the table with a hidden agenda but really make it explicit that it is a journey for everybody.”  In the context of African landscapes, this is especially relevant for issues surrounding land tenure and property rights.

 

Lastly was Mponda Malozo of the FAO Office in Tanzania, and Luc Gnacadja, the former UN Assistant Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the UNCCD, who provided their insights on policy in relation to African landscapes. Malozo discussed how landscape approaches are increasingly being used to meet the overarching goal of FAO to achieve actual food security for all and to support the realization of the right to adequate food. He highlighted the work of FAO supporting the Government of Tanzania in innovative land-use planning systems that support ILM.

 

Read more...

Go back

Partners News

Final Reports: United Nations Biodiversity Summit

The Summit focused on the theme “Urgent Action on Biodiversity for Sustainable Development,” to highlight the urgency of action at the highest levels in support of a post-2020 GBF that contributes to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2030 Agenda) and places the global community on a path towards realizing the 2050 Vision for Biodiversity, “Living in harmony with nature.”

The Evolving War on Illegal Wildlife Trade - IISD

Illegal trafficking and unsustainable trade in wildlife are causing unprecedented declines in some species. They can also potentially lead to the spread of zoonoses, such as SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19. While the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora has been in force since 1975, there are growing calls to build a stand-alone international instrument to address illegal wildlife trade and crime.

How to Make Climate Risk Insurance Better Meet the Needs of the Vulnerable? – IISD

When climate risk insurance (CRI) schemes first started gaining popularity ten years ago, many believed they would be a solid solution to help vulnerable communities financially manage natural hazards and adapt to climate change. However, over the past decade implementers have learned that changes to existing approaches are required to better meet the needs of the target populations.

Leaders Stress Importance of Transparency and Trust in Pandemic Recovery Efforts – IISD

“Spend what you need to, but you need to keep the receipts.” Speaker after speaker elaborated on this theme and its objectives during a discussion organized by the Open Government Partnership on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly’s 75th session. Principles such as transparency, accountability, participation, trust, communication, and inclusion were highlighted as critical components for the effective governance of stimulus packages and efforts to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Brief Explores the Role of the Governance in Protecting Global Biodiversity –IISD

A policy brief from the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) emphasizes that reversing the alarming rate of biodiversity loss requires a significant policy shift away from business as usual. The coming decade is of utmost importance for global governance of biodiversity, the authors stress.

UNCCD meets with LAC representatives to discuss future cooperation in land restoration – unccd

The UNCCD Executive Secretary Mr. Ibrahim Thiaw held a virtual meeting with the Minister of Environment and Natural Resources of Nicaragua Ms. Sumaya  Castillo, the Executive Secretary of the Central American Commission for Environment and Development (CCAD) Mr. Salvador Nieto, and the special envoy for LAC, Mr. Edgar Gutierrez, to discuss a future cooperation cooperation agreement and review land restoration activities in the region.

UNCCD and the IIASA enter partnership to support science, technology and innovation – unccd

Bonn, Germany/Laxenburg Austria – UNCCD and the International institute of applied systems analysis (IIASA) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on 30 September 2020 to promote the application of integrated system analyses in support of science, technology and UNCCD implementation. This MoU builds on shared priorities and strategic vision of both institutions to advance transformational changes that help achieve sustainable development goals, in particularly SDG15.3 on Land degradation Neutrality.

National workshop on certification and traceability in the DRC in Kinshasa. – ATIBT

This workshop was organized by the Federation of Timber Manufacturers (FIB) in collaboration with ATIBT through the FLEGT REDD, FLEGT IP and FLEGT certification projects, namely "Improving the integration of third party verified certification into FLEGT-REDD processes", projects awarded to ATIBT aimed at improving the legal level of companies through professional associations, project partners, and through the promotion of third party verified certification, to prepare them for the implementation of FLEGT VPAs.

Tree planting is critical for sustainable future but can’t fix climate change on its own – CIFOR

Around 40 kilometers south-west of the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, native and exotic trees stand side by side on 8 hectares of the Suba Forest. Surrounded by tall junipers and idyllic mountains, this group of seed orchards is just one of many that serve as incubators for the country’s impressive landscape restoration efforts.

UN Biodiversity Summit Supports 2030 Agenda-aligned Post-2020 Framework –IISD

The first UN Biodiversity Summit highlighted the urgency of action at the highest levels in support of a post-2020 global biodiversity framework that contributes to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and places the global community on a path towards “living in harmony with nature” – the 2050 Vision for Biodiversity.

FAO Director-General calls for transformational change in the way we manage our forests and food systems that depend on them – FAO

5 October 2020, Rome - Transformational change is needed in the way we manage our forests and their biodiversity, produce and consume our foods and interact with nature, if we want to build back better after the COVID-19 pandemic and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. This was the key message of a speech delivered today by FAO Director-General QU Dongyu at the 25th session of the Committee on Forestry (COFO).

The status of the forest elephant in the world heritage Dja Faunal Reserve, Cameroon

Our forest elephant dung-based distance-sampling survey of the 5,260 km2 World Heritage Dja Faunal Reserve (DFR) in Cameroon systematically covered 298.2 km of line transects with a further 1,681.4 km covered as recces. The population estimates of 0.042 individuals/km2 (CV: 19.4%; 95% CI: 0.029–0.061) and 219 individuals (95% CI: 150–319) confirmed a significant decline over recent years.

Call for Expression of Interest for the selection of a Development Bank in charge of opening and managing a "Blue Fund for the Congo Basin" financing line. – CBCC

The Congo Basin Climate Commission (CBCC) is launching a Call for Expression of Interest (CEI) for the selection of a Development Bank in charge of opening and managing a "Blue Fund for the Congo Basin" financing line.

FLEGT-IP and FLEGT-REDD Project Workshop SPIB - ATIBT "Traceability and Forest Certification of Wood" - ATIBT

On Tuesday, September 22, 2020 was held in Abidjan, from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm at the Palm Club Hotel, the workshop on Traceability and Certification, organized by ATIBT and SPIB, as part of the implementation of activities of the FLEGT-IP and FLEGT-REDD Project in Côte d'Ivoire.