Farm and smallholder opportunities: Synergies and opportunities for integrating agriculture, trees and forests

World Bank, ICRAF, IUCN

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What will shape tomorrow’s sustainable landscapes and livelihoods? Tinkering at the margins of agriculture and forestry is not enough given current and predicted climate change trends. Climate change will impact entire ecosystems, requiring a much more integrated response from international and national policy makers, international commodity corporations — down to the vast numbers of smallholders who manage the landscape in practice.

Although integrating agriculture, trees and forests in more productive and climate-smart systems makes eminent sense (the “triple wins” of evergreen agriculture, for example, are well known), what are some of the bottlenecks that often stand in the way of integration and synergies? How can we move policy, finance and technology in a direction that benefits and motivates smallholders? What concrete incentives will drive  large and small pastoralists, forest-dwellers and farmers to adopt –or revert to — more sustainable practices?

Building on case studies from Costa Rica, Indonesia and, Kenya and drawing on the perspectives of the private sector, this moderated panel discussion will explore exciting opportunities for smallholders as “sustainable landscapes managers.” Only by swaying hundreds of millions of farmers and rights-holders can we collectively build more resilient and productive landscapes and reverse land degradation and greenhouse gas emission trends.

Key questions the Discussion Forum will address

  1. How can we move beyond principles and definitions towards managing at the landscape scale for multiple objectives?
  2. How do we measure success (or failure) and define whether a landscape is being managed “sustainably”?
  3. How to find the right compromise between achieving the potential breadth and depth to understand a single landscape and understanding the implication of an intervention across a great number of landscapes?
  4. What are the most pressing research needs in the field?

Background reading

  1. Supporting small forest enterprises: A facilitator’s toolkit — IIED
  2. Investing in Trees and Landscape Restoration: What, where and how — PROFOR
  3. Guide to Investing in Locally Controlled Forestry — IIED


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