It is not easy to plan for the future during a pandemic or a recession. But this is 2020, and governments and businesses are working hard to navigate both challenges at once.
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.
The global phenomena of the COVID-19 pandemic is tangible evidence of how an imbalanced ecosystem can bring massive economic damage and social inequalities, putting millions of lives and businesses at risk.
Asha Bobb-Semple is an Analyst with the Global Environment Facility’s land degradation focal area, and works with cross-cutting global programs related to food systems, commodities, land use, and drylands. In an interview, she reflected on her career path that has led her from Jamaica’s watersheds to the landscapes of Central Asia in support of a better tomorrow.
As the concept and principles of integrated landscape approaches (ILA) become increasingly popular, researchers and practitioners must consider not only their considerable potential to address socio-economic and environmental trade-offs facing people and nature...
Conceptual Links between Landscape Diversity and Diet Diversity: A Roadmap for Transdisciplinary Research – CIFOR
In the present article, we develop conceptual links between diet diversity and forested landscape mosaics within the rural tropics. First, we summarize the state of knowledge regarding diets obtained from forests, trees, and agroforests.
How fair is fair trade to women and marginalized people? A study commissioned by Fairtrade International to assess how effectively Fairtrade initiatives address gender equality revealed that fair markets alone are not enough to motivate gender- equitable benefit sharing.
Farmers’ experience and ecological knowledge proven valuable against land degradation in Mali – worldagroforestry
Farmers, regardless of gender, age or education, are well aware of land degradation, what it looks like and how it impacts their livelihoods. Their perception of the effects of land degradation, how they deal with the risks and their responses in turn shape options for restoration and the outcomes.
Adaption to climate change requires funding. An expert panel put the case for bringing the two sectors together. The pertinence of ecosystem-based adaption and risk finance couldn’t be more timely considering the unarguable, growing divergence between humans and the natural world.
Coming soon: peak human population! Plus, biodiversity worth USD 10 trillion and why we throw away gold – globallandscapesforum
How is racial equity related to climate justice? Our next GLF Live tackles these timely issues with Varshini Prakash, co-founder of the Sunrise Movement. But first, take a step back, and hear how the recent boom in digital events is reshaping the way we learn.
We have all heard the figures: by 2050, the world’s population is expected to increase to nearly 10 billion, and most estimates suggest an increase in global food demand over the same period of at least 50 percent.
How COVID-19 Is Reinforcing the Need for Climate Adaptation in Vulnerable Countries – ndcpartnership
As noted in a recent blog post, both the impacts of—and recovery responses to—the COVID-19 pandemic can be linked to a country’s priorities for adapting to climate change.
PRESS RELEASE: UN 2030 conservation plan could dispossess 300 million people – rainforestfoundationuk
A new UN drive to increase global protected areas could lead to severe human rights violations and cause irreversible social harm if not backed by much stronger guarantees of the rights of indigenous people and other local communities, the Rainforest Foundation UK (RFUK) warns today.
WTO Committee on Trade and Environment Continues Efforts on Plastics Pollution, Circular Economy – IISD
The Committee on Trade and Environment (CTE) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) met on 3 July 2020 to discuss how trade policy can address plastics pollution and a circular economy and to review the resumption of work on other initiatives disrupted by COVID-19.
Members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) reaffirmed their commitment to work towards an agreement on negotiations on fisheries subsidies that undermine marine resources as well as the food security and livelihoods of fisheries-dependent populations.
The World Economic Forum (WEF) has published a report warning that over half of the global gross domestic product (GDP) is potentially threatened by nature loss. The report argues that 15 systemic transitions across three socioeconomic systems could create annual business opportunities worth USD 10 trillion and 395 million jobs by 2030.
For ten years, Dixon Parmuya has guided tourists on bush walks around Amboseli National Park in Southern Kenya. But since COVID-19 swept through Kenya in mid-March, the country’s tourism industry has dwindled, leaving many locals without jobs and animals without protection.
The COVID recovery plan for Europe: Why MEPs are our last chance to make it work for the climate – FERN
The €1.8 trillion pandemic recovery plan and long-term budget deal agreed by EU heads of government on 21 July 2020, after nearly five days of haggling, is widely seen as a political and economic landmark. But from an environmental perspective, the package is an opportunity missed.
Commentary | Just Transitions: Lessons Learned in South Africa and Eastern Europe - climateinvestmentfunds
CIF and CSIS recently held a second workshop to discuss just transitions—an approach that seeks to ensure workers and communities are both protected and benefit from the deep and rapid changes to come in the transition to a new climate economy. Experts discussed case studies from countries where just transitions approaches are advancing and shared ongoing research and lessons learned that can further inform the next phases of the Just Transition Initiative.
Mr. Ollikainen discusses how Adaptation Fund projects are building resilience to climate change in vulnerable communities, and also broader resilience against environmental, health and economic risks through their inherent adaptation measures. He also discusses how some projects are adapting to directly help with the crisis in creative ways.
Developing countries – already the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change – are hardest hit by the humanitarian and economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In due consideration of the many unknowns still surrounding the evolution of the COVID19 pandemic during the remainder of the current year, including unforeseen developments in mandatory public health policies around the world, and taking into account similar decisions taken by other Bonn-based organizations, CRIC19 will be rescheduled to take place in Bonn during the first quarter of 2021.
An international technology competition to design software that can support well-informed land use decisions is launched by the Group on Earth Observation Land Degradation Neutrality (GEO-LDN) Initiative.
UNCCD and CAREC organized an online stakeholder consultation to exchange recommendations on the project “Regional approaches for combating sand and dust storms and drought in Central Asia” and discuss expected regional strategic documents.
Two congolese Ministers share their vision on NDCs and partnerships with CAFI. “In difficult times, we need to explicitly stress the importance of land-use and sustainable forest management as primary solutions to control disease outbreaks and fight the climate crisis”.
It is with immense delight that we proudly invite you to the 27th Annual Conference of the Cameroon Bio-science Society (CBS) (Bioscience 2020), to be held at the University of Douala, from December 1st - 5 th, 2020.
10th July 2020 — The African Elephant Specialist Group of the IUCN Species Survival Commission (IUCN SSC) expresses its concern about the reported mysterious mass die-off of African elephants (Loxodonta africana). It is estimated that over 250 elephants have died in the areas around Seronga in the Okavango Panhandle of Botswana since March 2020.
In order to ensure that Nature-based Solutions (NbS) reach their potential to address societal challenges, IUCN has developed the Global Standard for Nature-based Solutions for use by governments, businesses, investors, communities and NGOs.
A new research programme in Gabon is identifying the ‘isotopic fingerprint’ of the world’s most-trafficked mammal in the fight to beat smugglers. After a two-week chase through Lopé-Okanda national park, a mosaic of rainforest and savannah in central Gabon, David Lehmann and his Wildlife Capture Unit were celebrating – they had caught a giant pangolin nicknamed Ghost, the biggest on record.
Dr. Honoré TABUNA: ECCAS Commissioner in Charge of the Environment, Natural Resources, Agriculture and Rural Development Department!
Working within the General Secretariat of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) since 2009, Dr. Honoré TABUNA is from Congo Brazzaville. He holds a Doctoral Thesis in Botanical Economies from the National Museum of Natural History in Paris and the Chair of Business Management from the National lnstitute of Agronomie Research in Montpellier...
To read: When communities and governments collaborate—latest edition of the Tropical Forest Update; Air your views on the future of forest education—participate in global survey; ITTO and Soka Gakkai to help empower women in Togo through forest restoration…
To read : Joint Communique by the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Ecological transition, The Ministry of Economy and Finance ; Unlocking Sustainable Tropical Timber Market Growth Through Data…
Paris is Not Enough - Why The Paris Agreement Isn’t Driving More Climate Action... And How it Could - Sierra Club
This paper explores three ways that the international community can help create those incentives. First, the international community should prioritize helping countries to capture “socially beneficial” mitigation opportunities that are in their interest, even before climate impacts are considered.
With the COVID-19 crisis raging across the world, 2020 will be the first time in a quarter century that the world’s governments will not meet to coordinate climate action. The postponement of the annual Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is widely seen as a lost opportunity in the effort to advance the global response to the climate crisis.
To read: Members of the CBFP Scientific and Academic College mobilize around the German CBFP Facilitator Dr. Christian Ruck; EBO FOREST : Press briefing - Opening Statement by the Minister of Forestry and Wildlife; (German) Facilitation of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP), 2020-2021: First CBFP Donor College Meeting under German Facilitation…
The Prime Minister, Head of Government, by Decree N°2020/3216 of 14 July 2020, authorised the gazetting of a 68,385 hectare portion of the State's Private Estate as a Forest Management Unit known as FMU 07 006. This decision puts a final stop to the debate on this issue which has generated a vast misinformation campaign.