Summary statements from sessions at the Global Landscapes Forum

Following the Global Landscapes Forum on 16-17 November 2013 on the sidelines of the UNFCCC COP19, many session organizers produced a summary statement of the discussion and messages coming out of their session. These messages are a call to action – both inspiring and timely – hoping to inform decision making on these topics and to encourage ongoing discussion into the future. The summaries are ordered chronologically by session.


Youth: The Future of Sustainable Landscapes

We must revolt and revolutionize: the way we do agriculture, the way we do forestry and the way we do policy — and youth need to be leaders of that revolution.

Empowerment through capacity building: the first step on the road to revolution will be to empower youth and build their capacities through training programs, promotions, competitions, mentorship.

Youth are best placed to bridge the gaps: youth are much better positioned to be inter-disciplinary masters, bridging the gaps between the social and natural sciences, and between sciences and policy.

Harnessing technological power: youth are technologically savvy and technologically hungry. Already they are teaching their senior peers how to drive change through technologies ranging from GIS to Facebook.

In developing sustainable solutions to tackle climate change issues, the UNFCCC must engage with and listen to the voice of youth in the landscape sector who contribute much-needed innovative ideas and energy. Capacity development of youth movements within these processes is critical for them to contribute to their future.

The landscapes approach requires a new breed of young professionals:

  1. Those who are able to work across different sectors to achieve sustainable development goals.
  2. Those who can take advantage of opportunities at different stages of the value chain resulting in improved food security.


Technical Session 1.1: Supporting landscape scale planning for REDD+; how useful are land use change models?

The Technical and Networking session included speakers from all three major tropical forest regions (Amazon Basin, Congo Basin and Indonesia), and from technical and policy backgrounds. Presentations covered ways in which land-use models can be used to support policy development for REDD+. Deforestation occurs due to interactions among multiple drivers within complex landscapes where forestry, agriculture and other activities have impacts on forest and non-forest ecosystems and biodiversity. The impacts and trade-offs associated with policy options for achieving REDD+ objectives will vary depending on how and where they are implemented. Integrated biophysical and economic land-use models can help explore these complexities and assess potential policy impacts. They can help to provide evidence needed to support successful policy-making.

In a presentation on the application of land use modeling in Brazil, Alexandre Ywata from the Brazilian Institute of Applied Economic Research (IPEA) said, “this kind of land-use modeling really helps to gain a more structured thinking of what happens when a policy is put in place.” In Brazil, land-use modeling based on the GLOBIOM model is being used to support the evaluation of such policies as the new forest code and the low-carbon agriculture program (ABC program).

The presentation by Michiel van Eupen from Alterra Wageningen highlighted that such climate change mitigation policies have important interconnections with biodiversity. Dr. van Eupen also emphasized the importance of considering impacts at different scales and the need for different modeling approaches to address these.

Agung Wicaksono from Indonesian President’s Delivery Unit for Development Monitoring and Oversight underlined the importance of the opportunity to use lessons learned in Brazil and in the Congo Basin for capacity-building in land-use modeling and planning in his home country. Dr. Wicaksono highlighted the complexity of the current policy setting, particularly due to overlapping concessions, and the need for land-use change models to define economic trade-offs.

The importance of modeling in the Congo Basin was highlighted by Martin Tadoum, Deputy Executive Secretary of COMIFAC. He emphasized how in regions like the Congo Basin that have previously had low rates of deforestation, modeling can help in understanding the likely impact of future development trajectories.

Nur Masripatin from the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry joined the session straight from the COP 19 negotiations and stressed the “need for pro-active policy-making”.

Key issues raised in the discussions and questions from the audience included the complexity of implementing policies on the ground and how to address this local-level complexity, and include relevant information within national models and policy evaluations. The audience was especially interested in the challenge of including land tenure, including overlapping tenure designations within models which requires specifying rules and assumptions as to which land allocation is given preference. Overall, speakers and participants emphasized the importance of ensuring that modeling work addresses policy-relevant questions and of acknowledging local-level complexities. Modeling can be used to explore potential impacts of bottom-up integrative land-use planning, top-down enforcement of laws and regulations on land use, and combinations of these approaches.



Technical Session 1.4: Rethinking investments in sustainable landscapes and livelihoods

Around the world, huge investments are being made in hydropower, mining, road building, and agricultural development that can affect vast areas of land. There is a pressing need to take account of their impacts at the landscape level.

As a result, said session host Deborah Bossio of the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), we need to move away from narrow, “silver bullet” solutions to the problems these big investments are seeking to tackle. Instead we should be encouraging a more holistic, landscape approach to investing that takes into account the wider environmental impacts.

But what does it mean to invest in landscapes? And can research institutions frame landscapes as viable investment opportunities?

The session opened with three case studies that showcase different kinds of investments — driven by agricultural research — that have a landscape focus at their core. They don’t just aim to improve food production, but to do so sustainably at the landscape level.

  • Case study 1: The expansion of the agricultural frontier in Colombia’s eastern plains, or “Llanos”
  • Case Study 2: Conservation agriculture in Malawi
  • Case Study 3: Watershed management in Nepal

In the subsequent “fish bowl” discussion, session participants considered three key questions:

  • What does it mean to invest at the landscape level?
  • Can we sell landscapes as an investment opportunity or indeed should we?
  • How can we ensure investments in landscapes are sustainable?

Comments from the discussion covered the need to clearly define the kind of investment required (public/private, for example) and developing the kinds of value propositions that appeal to whichever sector is making the investment.

The discussion also covered the potential and efficacy of so-called Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES); issues of governance; out-migration of youth from rural areas to cities and how this can affect the longer-term sustainability of some investments; land rights; farmers’ access to credit; and mechanisms for financing landscape-smart investments.

The idea of “social landscapes” was also touched upon, as was the potential conflict between the profit motive of private companies making large investments and environmental concerns, and how this might be avoided.


Technical Session 1.6: Managing Landscape for Food, Fuel, Fiber and Forests
IFRI (University of Michigan), The Forests Dialogue, CCAFS

Greenhouse gas emissions from land use change account for 22% of the total emissions in Brazil and up to 75% of deforestation is estimated to be associated with cattle ranching. The government, private sector and civil society support interventions based on combinations of institutions and policies, incentives, and information and technology, to reduce forest conversion and increase sustainability in the cattle supply chain. Scientists from the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) analyzed the observed and expected interactions between the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN) Standard for Sustainable Cattle Production Systems certification program and other interventions associated with livestock and deforestation in Amazonia. The SAN cattle program has set a new high standard for sustainability, demonstrated the viability of certifying the cattle supply chain, and created new incentives and markets. However, the program has certified few farms to date.

Other interventions play a critical role in incentivizing farms towards enhanced sustainability, with the SAN cattle program representing the highest level to be formally recognized. Interventions that complement progress towards the SAN program include those that help producers to comply with forest laws or provide farmers with access to information and technology to improve their practices. Other interventions may constrain the program, for example by competing with the standards in the marketplace. Greater coordination between interventions may catalyze a more coherent, strategic approach to enhanced sustainability. The framework that CCAFs scientists used to analyze the SAN program can also be applied to analyze the sustainability of other commodity supply chain interventions by different actors across multiple contexts globally.

Recognizing that greater coordination are needed between different interventions across different sectors to ensure more coherent and strategic landscape-level approaches, a partnership on Food, Fuel, Fiber and Forests (4Fs) was formed by The Forests Dialogue (TFD) and its partners to help bridge forest and agriculture sector, provide more holistic insights into land-use challenge and stimulate collaborative actions to address those challenges. The goal of the partnership is fairer, more sustainable land use, which could be catalyzed by achieving the following more specific objectives:

  • Provide better information and best practice examples to support land-use decision making to enable policy at local, national and international levels;
  • Create stronger evidence-based, cross-sectoral stakeholder engagement platforms at national and international levels;
  • Engage stakeholders (private sector, government, civil society) across commodity supply chain to enable more coordinated interventions and land-use decision making.

In Brazil, the 4Fs partnership has already engaged 44 experts to analyze how land-use decisions are made at different scales and how different interventions can positively impact those decision-making models. The dialogue catalyzed a national platform that engages stakeholders from different sectors, raises public awareness of the 4Fs issues and catalyzes actions among all stakeholders.

The current partners for the 4Fs partnership include: TFD, CCAFs, Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), International Institute for Environment and Development ( IIED), The World Bank, World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), World Resource Institute (WRI), and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).


Technical Session 1.7: Certifying ecosystem services in forestry and agriculture: Ensuring genuine MRV and social and environmental integrity at landscapes level
Gold Standard, FSC, Fairtrade International

The creation of a “one-stop shop” to drive and reward efforts to maintain and enhance the carbon stock stored at the landscape level, while improving the sustainable use of resources, people’s livelihoods and the conservation of water and biodiversity, is what the cooperation between The Gold Standard Foundation, FSC International and Fairtrade International is all about.

To do so with genuine and long-term success, an integrated approach that takes into account the nexus of energy, water, land use and development, reflecting the integrated nature of human activity, is needed. The right Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) is key to driving finance into these activities. The technical session presented the work of the three organisations in synchronising their approaches and various options being considered to value ecosystem services and wider development goals in a landscape.

The Gold Standard’s director of development for Land Use & Forests, Pieter van Midwoud, opened the session by presenting the Foundation’s newly launched Land Use & Forests Framework. Following on from this the technical director for Land Use & Forests, Moriz Vohrer, presented The Gold Standard’s Afforestation/ Reforestation Requirements, that have already been streamlined with many of the procedures, criteria and definitions from the Forest Stewardship Council. This will help carbon project developers and FSC forest managers work with a streamlined and comprehensive carbon and forest package. In the panel discussion that followed, where panel members came from the audience, The Gold Standard’s work on Climate Smart Agriculture was discussed, including how to ensure the appropriate food security indicators and monitoring, reporting and verification. The panel also discussed the tracking of food accessibility, productivity and nutrition and also emphasised the role of women in agricultural practices.

FSC’s programme Manager for Ecosystem Services, Allison von Ketteler, then introduced the FSC programme for the certification of ecosystem services (forCES).

Currently, FSC only certifies the responsible management of forests for timber products. The forCES programme aims to identify and value non-timber forest ecosystem services such as carbon, water, biodiversity and soil fertility. These are all aspects that may already be occurring in FSC-managed forests but that are not yet certified. The panel discussed the business case for certifying these services, including who might want to buy, or pay for, these additional verified eco-system services outcomes. One of the observations was that there is currently a limited, if non-existent, market for eco-system services but that these could be integrated into broader business models. One panelist suggested that no farmer should bank on selling eco-system services but, in future, valuing eco-system services may, by default, be implicit in timber and agricultural products.

The final part of the session saw Fairtrade’s Director of Standards, Andreas Kratz, introduce the concept of Fairtrade carbon credits, to give smallholders fairer and better access to the environmental markets that were discussed earlier in event. Suggestions from the panel included a revolving fund so that developers who want to implement high impact ‘Fairtrade’ carbon projects could access finance upfront with credits issued further down the track providing the finance to pay back initial investments. A fund like this could attract overseas development aid finance, government and private sector funding. It was also noted that there is increasing interest from global companies for sustainable supply chains as this reduces their risk therefore projects targeted at smallholders could play an important role in providing this — offering long term relationships between farmers and multi-national corporations.


Technical Session 2.2: Land, Landscapes, Livestock and Farms
Global Forest Coalition

Geoffrey Orme-Evans of the Humane Society International and Simone Lovera of the Global Forest Coalition and Sobrevivencia/Friends of the Earth-Paraguay highlighted the role of unsustainable production of meat and dairy as a major cause of environmental degradation, food waste, cruelty against animals and climate change. It forms by far the main driver of deforestation in Latin America. The production of feed stocks for the ‘bioindustry’ through large-scale genetically modified soy monocultures also triggers rural depopulation, as soy production provides little employment per hectare of land. It is important to ask ourselves in this respect whether a ‘landscape approach’ is with or without people; Who decides on the priorities in a landscape approach? Who decides on the trade offs? Rural communities, indigenous peoples and women are economically and politically marginalized, so there is no equal level playing field in multi-stakeholder processes for these rights-holders.

Policies to reduce forest loss should address drivers of forest loss like unsustainable livestock farming. But this requires policy measures on the demand side, like incentives to change diets: as most impacts are quantity-related, certification schemes are seldom effective. Critical analysis by the Global Forest Coalition in 5 different countries (Brazil, Colombia, India, Tanzania and Uganda) has revealed that REDD+ policies fail to address such drivers, also because they are not designed to address transboundary drivers like international commodity chains. Kureeba David of the National Association of Professional Environmentalists in Uganda explained that no action has been triggered by the current REDD+ discussions in Uganda to address the rapid expansion of oil palm plantations and other monocultures as a driver of forest loss. Moreover, current REDD+ offsets schemes and related land speculation has serious negative impacts on biodiversity and local communities. People are not informed of the projects and in various areas they have been violently evicted; the REDD+ safeguards have proven to be unable to prevent this.

Hindou Oumarou of the Association of Pastoralist Women in Chad and the Indigenous peoples of Africa Coordinating Committee pointed out that there are sustainable forms of livestock production as well. Pastoralist communities in Chad, for example, apply traditional migration practices that allow grazing areas to recover over time. Women play an important role in pastoralism and their traditional knowledge gives them greater resilience to adapt to climate change. But these practices are threatened by land grabbing by companies and agriculturalists, including in some cases to produce feed stock for industrial livestock expansion. This hampers migration practices that are needed to avoid overgrazing. It is crucial the rights, governance structures and community conserved areas of pastoralists and other Indigenous peoples are respected and recognized. Marcial Arias of the International Alliance of Tribal and Indigenous Peoples of the Tropical Forest from Guna Yala, Panama, added that for indigenous peoples, legal recognition of the indigenous territories and lands that are already being conserved by them (also known as Indigenous and Local Community Conserved Areas and Territories, or ICCAs) represents a good opportunity to protect their traditional knowledge and practices, customary governance systems and cultures against land grabbing. All policies related to lands and landscapes should respect existing international legal frameworks related to Indigenous Peoples’ rights, including UNDRIPs and ILO 169.

Recommendations of the workshop:

  1. Recognize and prioritize the rights, needs and role of rightsholders like indigenous peoples, peasants, pastoralists and women and their indigenous territories and community conserved areas (ICCAs). These groups often carry the main burden of trade-offs and offset approaches like ‘land degradation neutral’ policies and REDD+.
  2. Additionally, address the underlying causes of forest loss, including unsustainable livestock production and consumption, which cannot be addressed through REDD+ and individual projects.
  3. The SDGs should support rights-based, socially just, effective, and holistic policies to address the drivers of forest loss and ecosystem degradation, including demand-side drivers. They should also recognize and prioritize the rights, needs and positive contribution to ecosystem conservation of marginalized groups like Indigenous peoples, local communities, pastoralists and peasants.


Technical Session 2.4: The good, the bad and the ugly: Climate change’s potential impact on farmers in Africa

Inter-disciplinary approaches: Crop forecasts can’t just think about climate, but also need to think about politics, technology and social impacts and changes.

A landscape approach has unique challenges: (1) definitions of landscapes can be arbitrary; (2) a landscapes approach by definition has multiple objectives, balancing them can be arbitrary; (3) it is very hard to find people who are experts in multiple fields.

Climate change is likely to cause migration: When crops fail in one area, people will naturally want to move to other areas that are becoming increasingly fertile. But many of those areas are national parks, animal refuges, or fragile mountain areas. How will policy makers balance different concerns?

Engagement on the ground: We need to back up climate models by talking to farmers on the ground about barriers and drivers to change. We need to validate models by making sure they are used on the ground. We must engage stakeholders and policy makers while we are developing information to make sure that they use and understand that information.


Technical Session 2.6: Knowledge for impact: how to bridge the gap between science, policy and action to achieve complex climate and sustainable development goals
IUCN, CIFOR, PROFOR, University of Oxford, UKaid

This workshop session blended short panel presentations with café-style discussions around four questions. The goal was to help participants reflect on the need to adapt knowledge generation, sharing and communications to different audiences, in order to design more useful policy solutions, improve knowledge uptake and achieve change. The panel discussion was chaired by Peter Dewees (PROFOR Manager/ World Bank Forests Advisor). The cafe session was facilitated by CIFOR’s Knowledge-Sharing Officer, Vanda Santos.

Maria Brockhaus (CIFOR Senior Scientist) used CIFOR’s Global Comparative Study as an example of successful knowledge generation and dissemination. Although policy makers rarely use citations, the download figures for country profiles and the main REDD+ studies produced by the program indicate the knowledge is being used on a broad scale. Part of the appeal of the products comes from the fact that they use a common methodology, which makes comparisons easy. Another key factor of success is the research team’s engagement with national partners who carry out the analysis and own the products. Without ownership, products will not reach the right people or change anything. This realization led CIFOR to carry out a “policy network analysis” in 8 countries, to identify relevant knowledge actors and brokers.

John Colmey (CIFOR Director of Communications) presented the fundamental aspects of a communications model based on close monitoring of online data and leveraging the strength of partner organizations, media and event participation. Every one of the Global Landscapes Forum’s 2,000 registrants (including 250 to 300 climate delegates) can help spread the word. Fifty-two partner organizations also translate into clout and significant footprint.

Gillian Petrokofsky (Oxford University/ CIFOR Senior Associate) shared insights from a program known as Evidence Based Forestry, which looks at how evidence can better inform development and policy outcomes ( Are we asking the right research questions? The landscape approach, because it is cross-disciplinary, amplifies the ever-present risk that bad information, attractively packaged, will lead to poor policy outcomes, because researchers are operating outside of their comfort zone (forestry).

Andrea Najera (Manager of Strategic Ecosystems Conservation, INAB, Guatemala) shared an example in which mapmaking was used to link science to policy makers by highlighting the vast potential for landscape restoration in Guatemala (3.5 million ha). IUCN, with support from PROFOR, had developed a tool to analyze the potential for landscape restoration in Ghana. With support from the UK, IUCN was able to take that approach to Guatemala. Combined with an existing financial incentives program and an ongoing effort to adopt a national forest landscape restoration strategy, the knowledge could have a catalytic effect on landscape restoration outcomes.

Enrique Muñoz (Head of the Territorial Analysis Unit, CONABIO, Mexico) stressed the importance of making map information fully available to the public so that it can guide project and investment decisions: the CONABIO portal contains almost 4,000 maps of Mexico that can be downloaded and combined to understand for example the overlap between bird migration routes and sensitive ecosystems and steer policy and planning.

After the panel presentations, workshop participants broke into cafe-style groups to discuss the following four questions:

  1. What makes knowledge generation and uptake successful?
  2. What are some of the barriers to sharing knowledge about landscapes?
  3. How well do we know what other people need to know?
  4. What are some of the tools we can use to listen and design more effective knowledge products and pathways?

The rich conversations emphasized that: knowledge generation and policy implementation should feed on each other in a dialogue; science, produced in silos, may not be well positioned yet to describe and explain complex landscapes; identifying and understanding knowledge audiences is a timely, costly but necessary exercise (policy network analysis and scoping exercises can help); biases sometimes creep into what we think we know about our audiences and the selection of research questions; knowledge should be tailored and delivered in multiple formats best suited to a particular cultural context (online and offline; print and radio; etc).


Technical Session 2.8: Financial strategies for integrated landscape management
UN-REDD, LPFN, EcoAgriculture Partners

To provide guidance on how various finance and policy actors can engage with and benefit from integrated landscape management (ILM) investments, the Landscapes for People, Food and Nature Initiative is conducting a review of financing institutions as well as integrated landscape initiatives (ILIs) to better understand the ways in which financing mechanisms support ILM, how actors within landscapes finance their activities and how existing models can be improved.

ILM finance refers to the funds required to support on-farm and off-farm investments to support a range of activities that deliver ILM’s multiple objectives. Financing of the institutions that enable cross-sectoral decision-making, landscape coordination and create incentives for new land use practices are critical.

ILM finance is particularly important for international and national climate change policy-makers in the process of designing the mechanisms that will support land-use investments for adaptation and mitigation such as adaptation funds, REDD+ programs, Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs), and the Green Climate Fund. Climate finance offers a means to introduce a broad set of risks such as food and water security and important co-benefits such as climate adaptation and low-carbon growth into development finance decisions.

Public investments are critical to provide the foundation for building the enabling environment that improves competitiveness of ILM-related activities versus more conventional alternatives. Public investments are often sequenced in the beginning of integrated approaches, and are critical to demonstrate public commitment to outcomes and attract private investment.

For effective ILM finance, a platform for coordination and planning is required to enable coordination of sectorally sourced investments and design of integrated investments. Even if individual investors are aiming for blended financial, environmental and social objectives, they are not able to achieve these on their own at scale without engaging other public and private stakeholders of a variety of sizes. Stakeholder engagement can also help to address potential misalignment between public policy and business objectives.

Due to challenges of coordination, risk/return profile and scale, most private-sector financial actors do not engage with ILM. Capital, both public and private, is still directed through siloed- and single-focus funds. A handful of large, conservative actors such as development finance institutions, pension funds, and sovereign wealth funds have been identified as having an interest in innovative projects with multiple social and ecological returns at a landscape scale.

The following recommendations are made:

  • Coordinate climate investments with those of other relevant sectors to support integrated landscape management.
  • Design climate adaptation and mitigation programs to support the enabling institutions required to attract appropriate private investment to integrated landscape management.
  • Create multi-objective investment mechanisms.
  • Formulate financing strategies based on input from landscape stakeholders.
  • Develop tools to calculate risk and return across multiple dimensions over time.


Technical Session 2.10: Building climate change resilience in mountains
Mountain Partnership

Local community empowerment is essential to building climate change resilience in mountains, concluded the panelists and participants at a two-hour session moderated by Thomas Hofer, Coordinator of the Mountain Partnership Secretariat. The session, “Building Climate Change Resilience in Mountains, ” looked at the need to address glacial melt caused by climate change and its far-reaching impacts on the water cycle and the livelihoods of mountain and lowland communities.

Mountain municipal governments must be empowered, have good governance and autonomy so that mountain towns and villages can better face climate change, Hanta Rabetaliana, President of the Malagasy World Mountain People Association, told the gathering of 60 people on the sidelines of the 19th session of the Conference of Parties (COP19) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). She explained that in Madagascar, for example, water comes entirely from mountains yet the National Adaptation Programme of Action for Climate Change (NAPA, 2006) does not call for erosion prevention in mountain areas. Local laws and development activities can protect mountain environments, for instance, by curbing runoff from destroying crops, damaging irrigation and drainage systems and contaminating water.

Resilience planning is needed at the local and regional level to complement national disaster risk reduction programmes, affirmed Eklabya Sharma, International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) Director of Programme Operations, noting that the Hindu Kush Himalayan region incurs 76 natural disasters that kill 36,000 people per year on average. “Together with balancing development and conservation, promoting sustainable energy production, alleviating poverty and limiting out-migration, reducing the impact of natural disasters can create climate change resilience in mountain areas,” he said.

“Mountain people, plants and animals are likely to be among global warming’s greatest victims,” warned Eduardo Rojas-Briales, Assistant Director General of the Forestry Department of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), calling for investments in local, national and global resilience planning.

The largest challenge posed to mountain communities by climate change is the change in rainfall — quantity, intensity and even the timing of rainy seasons, according to a United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS) study presented by Koko Warner. “Changes in rainfall have far-reaching consequences – people eat less, produce less and have less income,” the UNU-EHS Head of Environmental Migration, Social Vulnerability and Adaptation Section said.

Water harvesting, more efficient use of available water and diversification to drought-resistant or other crops were identified as ways local communities can build climate change resilience in mountains. “Watershed management approaches need to be institutionalized and water use efficiency improved,” Eduardo Durand, Director of Climate Change of the Ministry of Environment of Peru, said. Watershed management is especially pertinent in mountain areas, which provide most of the freshwater in many countries.

Several panelists recommended diversifying livelihood options so that mountain residents are not entirely dependent on just one, which can be damaged or destroyed by climate change. “Ecosystem-based approaches such as watershed management and climate-smart agriculture can both build resilience to climate change and deliver multiple benefits” explained Keith Alverson, Head of the Climate Change Adaptation and Terrestrial Ecosystems Branch, UN Environment Programme.

Organized by the Mountain Partnership Secretariat (MPS), ICIMOD and FAO with support from the World Bank, the session was part of a two-day forum that hailed the “landscape approach” to rural development as a way to bring together the agricultural, forestry, energy and fisheries sectors to come up with collaborative and innovative solutions to ease increasing pressure on the world’s resources, which are threatened by climate change. Landscapes may be defined as the products of the interaction between human societies and culture with the natural environment. The landscapes approach provides a broad framework that can fully integrate mountain ecosystems into a sustainable development agenda.


Sub-plenary 1: Investing in Sustainable Landscapes in Forests and on Farms
World Bank

In this panel discussion moderated by Lindiwe Sibanda (Chief Executive Officer, FANPRAN), panelists discussed the power of public sector action to shift incentives and create the right conditions for more sustainable land-use investments, and emerging business models that seek to align profitability with social and environmental sustainability.

Rachel Kyte, Vice President for Sustainable Development at the World Bank, opened the panel discussion with a description of a changed landscape in which private investments (including significant South-South capital flows) dwarf official development assistance and has the power to transform forestry and agriculture. Countries can position themselves to attract more and better quality investments by improving the governance of land, the investment climate for agribusiness, and transparency. Development actors like the World Bank have a role to play in supporting a good policy framework.

The Minister of Environment Energy and Sea for Costa Rica, Rene Castro Salazar, described the innovative investment model behind his country’s remarkable forest cover turnaround (from 75% in 1940 to 21% in 1987 back to 52.3% today): payments for environmental services handled by the agency for FONAFIFO were funded largely by a fuel tax paid by Costa Rican taxpayers (85%); donors accounted for only 15% of the funds. Costa Rica’s story shows that, contrary to theory, GDP can go up and extreme poverty go down when a country ceases to exploit its natural resources so intensively.

Agnes Kalibata, Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources, Republic of Rwanda, shared her country’s success story built on the rehabilitation of a challenging, mountainous and densely populated landscape in which torrential rains wash down tons of soil each year and carbon levels are not sufficient to support fertilization. Through terracing, tree planting and other climate-smart practices, poverty has been reduced, income per capita has grown threefold in 5 years and food security has been achieved. Rwanda provides the proof that public investments in resilience and climate-smart agriculture are profitable.

Peter Bakker, President of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, an organization of 200 businesses, described a move to secure sustainable sources of food, fuel, fiber and water through innovative business solutions. Businesses are keen to do this because it makes complete economic sense for them: it addresses their total supply chain risks; provides an opportunity to reduce waste and achieve significant savings; and protects their brands from the kind of risks that come from unprecedented transparency. More and more businesses recognize that they are using social and natural capital that deserves to be measured and valued in order to achieve greater sustainability. There is competition for land between the food, fuel, fiber and water sectors but there is also room for immediate practical measures: 11% of our emissions come from food we don’t use.

Questions from the audience covered a large range of topics, from developing tools to lower risk and channel additional finance to forests and farms, to protecting farmers from marginalization and ecosystem collapse.


Sub-Plenary 3: Synergies between adapting to and mitigating climate change in forest and agricultural landscapes

We’ve got the tools, now let’s implement: We already have so many technologies and practices, now we need to implement them. And this means involving more people and institutions from more sectors.

People must be the center of the new landscapes approach: Investment must be both social and technological. The landscapes approach and the new Sustainable Development Goals must put people at their center, because their success depends on people, on the ground and in decision-making processes.

We must move ahead, with or without the UNFCCC: There are many things already happening: new technologies and practices, which are being implemented on the ground and supported through institutions. We must build on those and not rely on the UNFCCC to move things forward. The new global CSA alliance will be key.

Synergies and trade-offs: Synergies do exist and do appear to be the natural order for many adaptive practices. Mitigation practices can often involve trade-offs in the short to medium term. Farmers need to be supported and provided with incentives for the first 3-4 years, while they are waiting to see benefits.

A chance to do it right: We need to ensure that the policies and practices we introduce in low income countries increase production and alleviate inequality without damaging the environment. New investments can make sure that we do it right and don’t repeat past mistakes.


Sub-plenary 4: Building resilient landscapes for food security and sustainable livelihoods

Mr. Eduardo Rojas-Briales welcomed the speakers and audience. Dr. Sara Scherr reviewed the objectives and asked the audience about their expectations of the sub-plenary.

Ms. Maria Helena Semedo highlighted the challenges of feeding the 840 million people who suffer from hunger today and of increasing agricultural production by 60% to meet the expected demand of a global population of 9 million by 2050. Widespread land degradation and climate change and variability increase the challenge of achieving these goals. The landscape approach can help meet food security needs, recalling that food security consists of four dimensions: food production, access, utilization and stability. The International Conference on Forests for Food Security and Nutrition (May 2013) illustrated the contributions of forests and trees to food security and how the landscape approach can help achieve synergies between agriculture and forestry. Security of land tenure is essential; the Voluntary Guidelines for Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of Food Security provides a globally accepted framework.

Mr. Livingston Sindayigaya, speaking on behalf of H.E. Rhoda Peace, African Union Commissioner, emphasized that three decades of development policies and strategies in Africa show that the interlinked challenges of climate change, food security, poverty, deforestation and ecosystem degradation, and biodiversity loss call for integrated interventions at landscape level. These lessons underpin the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) and the Great Green Wall for the Sahara and the Sahara Initiative (GGWSSI). He emphasized the need to promote partnership and participation, particularly of women and youth; inter-sectorial coordination; and effective knowledge-sharing systems.

Mr. Eduardo Durand described the cultural and ecological diversity of Peru. Such complexity demands that efforts to support food security and sustainable livelihoods are tailor-made to reflect local conditions. Climate change is driving shifts in crop ranges and significant changes in water resources in Peru. Research and technology, resource monitoring systems and risk management measures are needed to help adapt to the changing conditions. Increasing crop diversity and genetic variability in crops are important components of risk management strategies. Coupling traditional knowledge with modern science will widen the range of options.

Dr. Tony Simons emphasized two key needs:

  • Defining the end goal for each actor, then addressing their needs in ways that help restore degraded ecosystems. This will require nested action, from families, to communities and then to larger levels of governance.
  • Dealing with the metrics of landscape management, which entails the identification and monitoring of proxies for ecosystem health.

He noted the risks associated with institutionalization of the landscape approach.

Mr. Jeffery Campbell noted that rural people have always been integrated into the broader landscape through physical, cultural and economic interactions. Landscapes and rural people have co-evolved, as manifested by globally important agricultural heritage systems. Land and resource tenure, including customary rights to common property resources; gender roles and benefit sharing; and governance are critical. An effective landscape approach would redirect power toward producer organizations, local communities and indigenous peoples’ organizations. Local control and governance of resources will help to maintain complex, diverse and healthy landscapes.

The following points were raised by and discussed with the audience:

  • Documenting indigenous knowledge, creating enabling environment for its perpetuation and maintaining two-way exchange of information between indigenous knowledge holders and scientists are needed. Mountain and dryland communities are rich sources of indigenous knowledge.
  • Indigenous peoples and local communities expressed strong support for the Voluntary Guidelines for Responsible Governance of Tenure in the Committee on World Food Security. Government support for implementation of the guidelines is essential.
  • Respect for traditional rights, effective governance and adherence to social and environmental safeguards are triggers for long-term effective landscape management.
  • The movement of youth to cities and increasing average age of farmers pose challenges to the landscape approach, which presupposes long-term management of the landscape. Making agriculture more profitable may encourage young adults to stay on or to return to the land.
  • Communities have a long-term investment in land use, while corporations often have a shorter-term approach.
  • Organizing at landscape level makes assessment of progress more challenging. Identification of indicators and development of good information systems is needed.
  • The merging of traditional and statutory law is difficult and slow. The tendency to have homogenous laws is dangerous.
  • Enabling laws, adequate financing, capacity building and education, cross-sectorial coordination and conflict management are all prerequisites for implementing the landscape approach.


Discussion Forum 2: Rolling up our sleeves on agricultural mitigation for landscape benefits

This session looked a landscape approach in achieving agriculture mitigation targets at the global and farm level. Global mitigation strategies and opportunities for agriculture do exist. Agriculture mitigation may be best approached in a holistic and integrated manner that can capture the trade-offs and the agronomic and environmental benefits of on-farm practice change. This sort of approach would also provide a platform to accurately portray the relative contribution of agricultural mitigation actions on food security, climate adaptation and sustainable development.
There is existing science and technologies that can help mitigate agricultural emissions today. However, there are capacity gaps that hinder the development of policies that will support the adoption of mitigation practices. The primary need is for information delivered in a format that is appropriate for local use. Farmers will adopt new but practices that mitigate emissions but there must be an on farm benefit, if the resulting benefits are primarily at the landscape level widespread adoption may be difficult.

Session Report:
Charlotte Streck, Climate Focus – Mitigation opportunities in Agriculture
Agriculture is a special and complex sector, and you can never look at the sector in isolation, food security and livelihoods must be considered along with linkages to biodiversity, forestry, water and marine ecosystems. Some mitigation opportunities are triple wins but you have to consider important trade-offs when discussing mitigation in agriculture.

Important mitigation opportunities for agriculture include enteric fermentation, reducing emissions intensity, and Carbon sinks. There are major challenges in melding the complexities and importance of agriculture with other landscape uses (forests, biodiversity, water, etc.). An integrated landscape approach to mitigate agriculture emissions is a better approach to address agriculture emissions.

Theun Vellinga, Wageningen University – Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) Livestock and Manure Management Component
We know how to handle manure properly; much of the science and technology needed exists. However, when livestock concentrations are high, handling manure can be difficult and GHG emissions can be considerable, with negative impacts on the environment. Proper manure management maximizes on farm nutrient cycling to maximize utilization of nutrients as well as capturing methane.

Knowledge, infrastructure, and investment are limiting factors, especially for smallholder farmers. The immediate priority is the tailoring existing knowledge and technology for use by farmers and extension workers in local conditions. The mitigation of emissions requires change at the farm level; action is needed to reach farmers and extension workers, and policy makers with appropriate information.

Selam Kidane Abebe, Environmental Protection Authority Ethiopia
Ethiopia has identified initiatives that should help them to reach the mitigation target, but there are policy capacity needs and a lack of financing. Ethiopia has adaptation and mitigation strategies for a number of sectors, including agriculture.

The government wants to increase the food production with 8 % per year and at the same time decrease the GHG emissions. A challenge is the need to balance productivity and growth strategies for the sector with mitigation targets (intensification) and how this links to other sectors. Mitigation priorities for agriculture include input and residue management, irrigation and reducing emissions from deforestation.

Kenneth Katungis – Uganda National Farmers Organization
Farmers will change if it is in their benefit. But how do we get technologies that mitigate climate change to work? We have the knowledge, but is has to reach the farm level. There are a lot of farmers, and it will take several years to reach them all. That is a problem.

With changing weather patterns, farmers need accurate and timely weather forecasting, Farmer Organizations have the structure to provide information and knowledge needs to farmers in the appropriate format. Farmers also have much to contribute in knowledge and experience; they can inform the extension, research and development communities in ways that will improve agricultural efficiency.

Agroforestry is an example of a technology that is useful at the farm level; it can provide agronomic, economic and environmental benefits and links directly to other landscape uses (forestry) by reducing pressures on forests for fuel wood and other services.

There are many reasons why it is legitimate to look at mitigation in agriculture. The relative contribution of ag emissions is likely to increase as global population grows. Increasingly wealthy populations will also emit more. Africa has the same level of emissions as Europe and North America but cause by very different ag systems and sources of emissions. In Africa, agricultural emissions relate to land mass. Africa is a big continent therefore produces big emissions.

There is a range of opportunities to mitigate climate change, but mitigation actions must be carefully selected for the context. For example, Europe could reduce emissions from food waste, while India could make mitigation gains through sustainable intensification of agriculture

It is fundamental to get the farmer’s perspective to ensure that initiatives are successful. Information must be translated into languages and concepts that farmers can understand. Farmers are not interested in mitigation or adaptation but rather in feeding themselves and their families, and taking products to market. If farmers do not accept the solutions then there is no point. Farmers will change if there is a reason or a profit to change.

Some country governments are already developing mitigation strategies for agriculture. Often these are linked to other areas of the economy and government activity. But there are many capacity challenges in terms of expertise, tools, and incentives.

Most adaptation activities in landscapes produce mitigation benefits. If we focus on food security & adaptation, mitigation often flows as an additional benefit.

Extension is very important. With all due respect to government, farm organizations have better structures to deliver these services to farmers. If you want results tomorrow on easy wins, you need to put more emphasis on knowledge sharing + extension. Permanent education is needed.


Discussion Forum 3: REDD+ Performance in the landscape

A landscape-focused approach can represent an important lens to capture and understand the cross-sectorial drivers of degradation and deforestation. Such an integrative approach allows highlighting the importance of strategic planning across government sectors and jurisdictions in a more holistic manner. Regarding results-based payments for emissions reductions, a well-functioning measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) system is required to incentivize behavioral change in those parts of the landscapes where the emissions occur. It also links these landscapes to decision-making and implementation at global, national, and subnational levels.

The session on “REDD+ performance in the landscape” highlighted the progress that has been made in Brazil, Indonesia and Nepal, in designing MRV and financial systems for REDD+. One important finding from these case studies was that institutions need to be in place and arrangements are required in a nested governance system to operationalize REDD+ on the ground. REDD+ performance in the landscape demonstrates the requirement that, to explain (and manage) “the world of interactions and outcomes occurring at multiple levels, we also have to be willing to deal with complexity instead of rejecting it” (E. Ostrom 2009).

The specific findings from the session are:

  • The development of systems for MRV and benefit sharing is inter-dependent; both are getting off the ground in the case study countries, even if slowly.
  • Policy makers are acting on data that are produced and published.
  • Missing institutions are the main challenge to implement landscape approach.
  • It remains unclear if it is missing data or political resistance that are causing the lack of performance-based payments.

Forests form an essential part in our worlds’ landscapes and play a crucial role for achieving numerous SDGs. In particular the case of Nepal demonstrated in this session underpins the role of forests in mitigation and adaptation beyond a carbon benefit. Drivers of deforestation and forest degradation are more often than not found outside the forestry sector. If REDD+ is to deliver not only on carbon effectiveness in a cost efficient manner, but also on equity goals and co-benefits such as poverty reduction, maintained biodiversity, and enhanced adaptive capacity, then this requires cross-sectorial perspectives, which can be advantageously achieved through a landscape “lens” that addresses the multi-level governance of natural resources across levels and sectors of government.


Discussion forum 4: Linking gendered knowledge with gender-responsive action in the landscape: What works?

Key points:

  • Identities and agendas are shaped by circumstances.
  • Gender is not about “men vs. women”, but about relationship and distribution of power.
  • Assumption about the state of women may lead to asking the wrong questions. We should rather look at the relationships that produce vulnerability. It is also necessary to challenge technical, expert oriented discourse as well as stereotypes.
  • Gender needs to be seen in its landscape and in its particular context.
  • The discussion is not just about gender, but also about an accumulation of different aspects of inequalities that need to be overcome.
  • Learning never ends, women learn by cooperating. Engaging climate witnesses has proven to be successful when capacity building and information support the actors.
  • Poverty alleviation will not directly lead to gender equality.
  • The notion of gender has to be demystified.

Women are on the move and are/can be the drivers of real change. To do so, we need to get the right enabling framework. The right framework consists of the following elements:

  • Ensure women are more represented in decision-making fora through the creation of networks of women leaders to share success.
  • Listen to the need of women and empower them.
  • Enable effective technology and knowledge transfer by cross-checking research results with realities and needs on the ground. This is particularly true in the case of women farmers and in the implementation of REDD+. Create gender adapted tools in the agriculture, pre, at and post-harvest phases.
  • Help women farmers to put words and concepts on the phenomenon of climate change as there are often adapting to climate change without knowing about it.
  • Engage farmers’ organizations and cooperatives in order to stimulate and promote climate-smart practices among the farmers’ community.
  • Create a better dialogue between research and decision makers.
  • Guarantee that research is a driver for change by looking at the right entry points.
  • Significantly improve the communication on research results by investing in knowledge sharing models.
  • Support a shift in research away from gender research to rather mainstreaming gender into research.
  • Mainstream gender aspects by informing people on what can be done to create change, by educating people, by creating national plans with concrete recommendations, by sharing research.
  • Last but not least, bring more men to the gender debate!


Discussion Forum 6: Landscapes in a green economy
UNEP, EcoAgriculture Partners

Ibraim Thiaw of UNEP introduced the session by articulating the value of sustainable landscapes as being at the heart of a new economic paradigm that focuses on natural capital, ecosystem services, resource efficiency, and social equity. There are three relevant concepts that contribute towards this vision:

  1. The landscapes approach
  2. REDD+
  3. Green Economy

These paradigms must be rooted in the reality of practices on the ground – on that farm in that forest, in that village – because it is here that the vision can actually become reality.

Mario Boccucci, Head of the UN-REDD Programme Secretariat
Given the potential of the landscapes approach to deliver the triple bottom line, why don’t we see rapid upscaling? Some points in response to this question:

  1. Business as usual: Not an option.
  2. Green Economy: A focus on socially and environmentally desirable outcomes, aiming to achieve both development and sustainability.
  3. Landscapes approach: FAO point to the land take and forest loss implications of our continued trajectory. In order to sustainably meet future needs, solutions must be developed – and optimized – at landscape level.
  4. REDD+: A catalyst for a transformation towards a green economy.
  5. Public and private sector investments: Sequencing, with public first, to lower the barrier to private sector investment, establishing favorable governance and dealing with land tenure issues (particularly in order to help bring degraded land into productivity), preparing the way for private investment.

REDD+ has an important role as a catalyst. This goes beyond the revenues that may come at the end of the process. It is a catalyst because it brings attention on the need to address the drivers of deforestation. It is a catalyst also because it has a critical mass of champions behind it and it has survived the proof of concept. Beyond that, there is a critical mass of financing for early investment.

Sara J. Scherr, Founder and President of EcoAgriculture Partners
Sara spoke about EcoAgriculture Partners’ work on gathering and communicating examples of how these principles can be implemented, and on characterizing the approaches taken and – most importantly – the success factors that can be identified.

There is at the present time a particularly good climate for collaboration. Examples in Tanzania and Brazil illustrated approaches for enabling cooperation between large numbers of small organizations; and the real potential to replace traditional agro-industrial development planning with more green growth-oriented planning.

Martin Poulsen, Partner, Moringa Partnership
Martin is at the forefront of the development of a new asset class of sustainable landscape investments. In seeking to develop a fund that delivers a range of sustainable rural goods, a focus on agro-forestry emerged, and Moringa was born.

As well as developing a financially viable vehicle, the Fund also has the objective of demonstrating what this model can achieve and providing a proof of concept to pave the way for future scaling up and expansion of this approach.

Agnes Leina, Executive Director of Il’laramatak Community Concerns (ICC)
Agnes pointed out that terms such as ‘Green Economy’ are not in the lexicon of most pastoralists, but they are in fact embodying some of the good practices implied by the vision. The pastoralists in ICC are managing the land sustainably using traditional knowledge. Just because new technologies come along, the traditional practices are still valuable and mustn’t be lost in this era of change and pressure to ‘modernize’.

Agnes underlined the importance of FPIC, and the need to document these practices to retain knowledge.

Pak Heru Prasetyo, Deputy Head of Planning and International Relations, Indonesia’s President’s Delivery Unit for Development Monitoring and Oversight
Landscapes are wide, but we need to go deep. The width refers to the value of the holistic landscapes vision, which gives us the right perspective; whereas the depth refers to the fact that effective action happens at a very fine grain, at local level.

Implementing REDD+ requires the right regulations, strong institutions, and public support of the communities. Finding and implementing solutions to these is the core of the issue.
There are synergies between Green Economy, landscapes approach and REDD+.


Discussion Forum 7: Farm and smallholder opportunities: Synergies and opportunities for integrating agriculture, trees and forests
World Bank

This moderated panel discussion explored opportunities for smallholders to act across farm and forest boundaries as sustainable landscapes managers. Alain Billand, Head of the Tropical Forestry Research team at the CIRAD (Montpellier) asked panelists to address some of the bottlenecks that often stand in the way of integration and synergies and to share ideas on how to move policy, finance and technology in ways that benefit and motivate farmers, pastoralists and forest dwellers to adopt — or revert to — more sustainable practices in mosaic landscapes. The panel included Christine Padoch, Director of Forests and Livelihoods Research at CIFOR (Bogor), Elwyn Grainger Jones, Director of Environment and Climate Division at IFAD (Rome), Delia Catacutan, Country Representative of the World Agroforestry Centre in Vietnam and Peter Dewees, Forests Advisor, World Bank (Washington, DC). Multiple rounds of questions from the audience kept the discussion going.

Christine Padoch began by noting that smallholders have always been landscape managers, integrating farm, forest and trees in complex, diverse and dynamic mosaics. However agricultural and forestry policies have tended not to recognize that reality, and even to criminalize practices that shift land use between farming and forestry in a fluid manner. Development projects run the risk of reinventing the wheel or creating over-simplified landscape approaches that do not have the complexity and resilience of those designed by smallholders over time. She urged the development community to adapt to the flexibility of farming systems.

Elwyn Grainger Jones presented an IFAD project from Yemen (Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme) in which well-known sustainable land management approaches were updated and brought to a new level of impact by using GIS tools. The spatial imagery helped assess and map risks at the landscape level, to identify priority interventions.

The incoherence of forest and farm policies and the difficulty of scaling up pilot project innovations featured prominently in the overall discussion. Delia Catacutan emphasized two aspects of scaling up: first, although smallholders appreciate direct inputs and incentives (such as seeds, fertilizers and cash), indirect incentives which alter the enabling environment (such as tenure reform or longer loan terms) are more powerful motivators for change. Second, the need for extension services can not be overstated: there is a huge demand for specialists who can mediate between government policies and field work, both in development projects and private sector partnerships.

For Bernard Giraud, private companies working with smallholders can bring a lot to development by providing know-how and linking them to markets. But companies need to adapt: although they often would rather source products from single large plots, they must adapt to a landscape in which smallholders hold fragmented parcels of land. It can be slow and complex to manage but for companies like Danone it is worthwhile for multiple reasons. By working with multiple local stakeholders for example, it is better able to manage pollution in the landscape and the quality of water sources.

Peter Dewees focused on institutional innovation and mindset changes that can unlock opportunities for smallholders. Getting different agencies to collaborate in Turkey was key to implementing vast watershed rehabilitation programs in poor areas. In China’s Loess Plateau, the innovation came from the water sector: when the water agency agreed to buy cows, it was able to get goats out of the landscape, it gave farmers access to alternative livelihood practices, and allowed natural regeneration to take place. Some of these innovations are low cost but have large scale impacts such as the reform of tree tenure in Niger: the change in tree ownership rules supported an impressive revival and expansion of Faidherbia agroforestry practices among smallholders.


Discussion Forum 8: Sustainable Landscapes: Food security and adapting to climate change 

The discussion forum evolved around the current knowledge and the critical gaps that need to be filled to optimize landscape and ecosystem approaches to support the sustainable intensification of agricultural, forestry and aquaculture production systems to adapt and build resilience to climate change. The session was facilitated by Mr. Michael Hailu, Director of the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA).

Speakers during the session were:

  • Gernot Laganda, Climate Change Adaptation Specialist, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
  • Anthony Nyong, Manager, Compliance and Safeguards Division, African Development Bank
  • Richard Choularton,  Manager, Climate Change Resilience Innovations, United Nations World Food Programme (WFP)
  • Thomas Hofer, Team Leader, Watershed Management and Mountains Forestry Department, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and Coordinator, Mountain Partnership
  • Ishmael Danisa Sunga, the Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions (SACAU).

Four main questions discussed were:

1. What are the challenges for food security and livelihood under changing climate and how can the landscape approach contribute to responding to these?

One of the key challenges for food security and livelihood is the scale of vulnerable people who are already or who will be impacted in the near future by changing climatic conditions. The increasing frequency and magnitude of extreme weather events are exposing people to consequences that go beyond their adaptive capacities. Twelve million people are already affected by climate-related droughts in the Sahel, as Anthony Nyong (AFD) pointed out during the session. From an ecosystem point of view: mountain areas amount to 25 percent of earth surface, hold 60-80 percent of freshwater, and approximately 300 million people are exposed to possible impacts of climate change according to Thomas Hofer (FAO). Richard Choularton (WFP) predicted that by 2050, 10-20 percent more people could be at risk of hunger due to climate impacts; hence, a comprehensive landscape approach needs to include scaled-up action to be able to address an ever increasing number of vulnerable and food insecure people exposed to changing climatic conditions.

2. How can investments be strategically targeted to enable smallholders to tackle climate change challenges within a landscape?

“Investing in smallholder adaptation is a multiple-win strategy and a good point of departure” emphasized Gernot Laganda from the Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme (ASAP) run by IFAD. He underlined that agricultural landscapes are at risk from human- as well as climate-induced stresses. Therefore, adaptation investments should not be addressed in an isolated way but should be tackled concurrently. Adaptation programmes need to integrate investments at landscape as well as farm-level. A key ingredient of a long-term strategy is the empowerment of local institutions with access to technologies, information and financing. Ismael Sunga stressed the importance of working on the dimension of landscape and market linkages to create economic incentives for farmers to work through landscape approaches.

3.    What are the key landscape interventions which can support rural/agricultural development and what are the main barriers to allow adoption?

Land is a scarce resource, under pressure from both human and climate induced stress. Losses and damages on productive land and on infrastructure through climate-related events are considerable. One of the bigger challenges mentioned in discussion forum 8 was to design landscape approaches in a way that would be inclusive regarding the most vulnerable groups, landless, pastoralists and youth. Ishmael Sunga (SACAU) put forward that the starting point for a successful landscape approach would be: “to make the farmer grow and prosper”.

Main barriers to landscape approaches are limited capacities and capabilities to addressing impacts holistically – institutional and policy support and access to finance is often lacking. “We need to get it right” says Anthony Nygong (AFD). Overcoming some of the barriers e.g. in the Sahel, he underlines would be to inter-link between food, energy, water and human security concerns. Solutions call for more integration of the sustainable ecosystem and landscape approaches. Also in view of the UNFCCC negotiations he stressed the importance of countries stepping up in the formulation and implementation of National Adaptation Programme of Actions (NAPAs), longer-term National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) and Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMAs). Increased national and sub-national climate action would help in giving evidence that countries are serious about prioritizing the climate agenda. This could leverage availability of international and national climate finance, in particular for adaptation, and loss and damage. He also emphasized the need to re-orient local food systems in the Sahel toward highly productive ones that have the ability to improve the sustainability of agro-ecosystems. Thomas Hofer from FAO shared a best practice example from Pakistan of a project working through a landscape approach to “building back better” after the 2005 earthquake that had killed over than 80 000 persons. Findings were that working through a landscape approach communities gain confidence and could build resilience for future hazards. Thomas explained landscape approaches should have no administrative boundaries and should address a combination of land use system in a holistic manner. He concluded that landscape approach in mountain watershed areas created climate change resilience and improved food security.

4.    Which enabling measures, including safety nets, can help the most vulnerable people to benefit from landscape approaches for climate change adaptation?

Richard Choularton (WFP) pointed to the lessons learned from scaling-up adaptation in food security and agriculture and noted the four elements of safety nets were crucial for success. These include: (i) protect livelihoods and provide guaranteed transfers; (ii) reduce risks; (iii) help households build sustainable and resilient livelihoods; (iv) protect the gains households make with insurance. He underlined that the most food insecure people do not have the capacity to manage climate risk today. He pointed to social protection systems and safety nets being effective mechanisms to reach the most vulnerable. Improved emergency preparedness and response, including early warning systems, must be linked to effective early response mechanisms. Richard concluded that in any comprehensive landscape approach we will not be able to address the most food insecure unless working through safety nets.


Discussion Forum 10: Governance and legal frameworks for sustainable landscapes

There has been a global consensus since the Brundtland Report that environmental, social and economic challenges must be addressed equally to achieve sustainable development. We also have consensus that any policy response to sustainable development challenges must incorporate multi-level governance and cross-sectoral approaches. Despite this consensus and despite the many efforts to achieve sustainable development, there is ongoing frustration at the slow progress.

This slow progress is therefore not due to a lack of attention to goals and problems, but is instead owing to a lack of learning around policy instruments. We suggest that learning, which integrates knowledge about how policy pathways have succeeded – or failed – to solve problems is a missing step; this is referred to as a policy learning architecture.

However, before the policy pathways and institutions required to address problems can be effectively discussed, it is necessary to understand the type of problem. Some problems (Type 1) may have win-win solutions (such that environmental, social and economic pillars of sustainable development are all met), if the correct instruments and tools are adopted. However, it is important to also identify that some problems will never be able to boast a win-win solution, but rather require compromises and balances to be struck (Type 2). Yet other problems are of paramount importance, such that they ought not to be compromised in any solution (Type 3).

Attempting to solve a Type 3 problem – such as climate change – with the same instruments and through the same architecture as a Type 2 problem will never be successful. This discussion forum suggests that policy learning architectures are the most appropriate method by which problems can be identified, discussed and appropriate solutions proactively proposed.

To address climate change or sustainable development, we cannot afford to rely on only one level of stakeholders: we must bring all stakeholders into a global coalition: business, industry, civil society, local communities, indigenous groups, academia and all levels of government, across sectors. Indeed, we propose that a necessary role of governments to invest in stakeholders – particularly in citizens – as enforcement of any interventions to problems of climate change and sustainable development falls to them. This improvement in knowledge is vital to build policy learning, in order to build capacity to debate on the “cause and effect” of different instrument and policy choices.

Moreover, while it is agreed that sectoral integration is ultimately required for a sustainable landscapes approach, there is nonetheless a lot to learn from historical sectoral policies. Likewise, although a multilevel governance approach is necessary, we can also learn from how lower levels of government have addressed problems. This historical perspective is vital to a policy learning architecture.

Durable global networks that bring in all stakeholders are an effective way to integrate multiple levels towards integrated and coordinated problem solving. By building global networks that are durable and bring all stakeholders to the table in a long-term thinking way, policy problems of complexity can be addressed in an innovative and flexible manner.


Discussion Forum 11: Resilient land and livelihoods: Organic practices and enabling policies for food security and people-centered rural development IFOAM, Biovision, Millennium Institute, FiBL

The event was split into two parts, the first featured powerful and informative presentations from representatives of each of the three hosting organizations which outlined the scientific rationale for organic agriculture based landscape approaches as well as farmer-centered methodologies from the groundbreaking 2008 IAASTD assessment (International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development) through to the SDGs that is laying the foundations for a sustainable and equitable transformation of agriculture.

The second part was a discussion forum, which included expert panelists, representing UN agencies such as FAO and UNCCD, civil society organizations such as Misereor and the Ethiopian Red Cross Society and the Indigenous Peoples’ International Centre for Policy Research and Education (TEBTEBBA).

The presenters and panelists outlined a number of successful initiatives based on resilient and affordable organic agriculture practices and systems. Examples ranged from Misereor’s sustainable agriculture projects in Tanzania to the award-winning ‘Tigray Project’ in Ethiopia. FiBL’s participatory Syprobio research and capacity building project in Western and Central Africa was described in detail. Biovision’s innovative international initiative ‘Changing Course in Global Agriculture’ illustrated the provisions in the Rio+20 outcome agreement ‘The Future We Want’ and the work programme of the Committee on World Food Security for enabling country led integrated multi-stakeholder sustainable food systems, food security and nutrition assessments.  Biovision outlined a series of multi-stakeholder assessments that they are piloting in conjunction with three African nations.

Food production is already being heavily effected by climate change. Farmers are experiencing changes in the reliability of weather (more frequent and longer droughts, irregular and heavy rainfalls and extreme temperatures). The presentations provided the latest peer-reviewed science showing that organic systems often have higher yields than conventional farming systems in weather extremes such as heavy rains and droughts. They outlined how strategically increasing vegetation cover through the use of functional biodiversity provides a broad range of benefits to farm production and ecosystem services.

Participants agreed that the issue of climate change in agriculture needs to be urgently addressed from the side of adaptation as countries suffering most from climate change impacts need assistance in simultaneously building resilience to climate change as well as their capacity to nourish their own populations. However it was noted that agriculture driven deforestation especially for the production of global commodities such as palm oil, soy, biofuel etc. must also be urgently addressed if our ecosystems and biodiversity are to be protected. Smallholder agriculture driven deforestation also needs effective action including through mechanisms such as REDD+.

As regards integrated research for development, the importance of social sciences, trans-disciplinary and farmer-centered approaches was emphasized. The importance of time and territorial scale of landscape approaches and transfer of knowledge and practices were also mentioned among success factors.

There was consensus that the global policy framework needed to assist a transformation of agriculture through the development of a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a consequence of Rio+20, work by UNEP on the Green Economy initiative, and that of the Committee on World Food Security. Approaches such as those offered by organic agriculture produce better results than a ‘Business as usual’ one by 2050 in terms of agricultural production, soil quality, water use, employment, the rate of deforestation and food nutrition value. Experiences however show that transformative initiatives and their up-scaling are often hindered by slow acceptance by policy makers as well as the aggressive marketing of sustained use of chemical farm inputs by multinational companies.


Discussion Forum 12: National Adaptation Plans: Opportunities for cross-sector synergies in the nexus between water, food security, forests and energy?
CIAT; ILRI; Ministry of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (Kenya)

This discussion forum focused on National Adaptation Plans (NAP) as a device to facilitate cross-sector synergies between agriculture and other ‘landscape’ sectors. The forum followed a two-day learning workshop and a COP19 Side-Event, and shared insights from both of those events. The forum panel was composed of Stephen King-uyu of Kenya’s Ministry of Environment, Water and Natural Resources, Kofi Delali of Ghana’s Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Jai Mishra of India’s Planning Commission, and Gabrielle Kissinger of Lexeme Consulting and principle author of the CCAFS report on National Adaptation Plans and agriculture.

The panel concluded that National Adaptation Plan (NAP) development can contribute to climate smart agriculture by facilitating cross-sector planning between the agriculture, forestry, water and energy sectors. But there are a few key principles that should be followed, as agreed upon by the speakers. Mainly, the nexus between these landscape sectors is strengthened when NAPs are integrated in to existing development and sector policies and not developed as parallel policy structures.

For example, Kenya has integrated the key interventions from its National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP) in to its official medium term plans. Ghana has plans for similar procedures with respect to its forthcoming National Climate Change Policy. A second key principle is that efforts must be made to fund NAPs sustainably through domestic budgets, and not rely entirely on bilateral/multilateral support. This can be facilitated, according to the panel, through integration of adaptation actions in to medium term plans (and associated budget allocations) but also through increased opportunities for private sector participation, and improved capacity of sub-national administrative units in the area of taxation and fund allocation through continued devolution/decentralization of these responsibilities.

Finally, for NAPs to facilitate cross-sector planning, sufficient stakeholder engagement must be undertaken early and often. Actors, particularly at local, community levels, tend to view their environment more holistically and without regard to sectoral divisions; adaptation planners can learn to adapt policies to this way of thinking.

In arriving at these recommendations, four distinct messages were delivered to the discussion forum audience. Gaby Kissinger began by outlining the differences between NAPs and National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPAs) and provided an overview of the CCAFS report and two-day workshop outcomes.

Stephen King-uyu then provided an overview of Kenya’s ongoing NAP development process, focusing the success that his country has had in integrating adaptation priorities in to development policies, and its effective process for stakeholder engagement, particularly with the private sector.

Kofi Delali then provided an overview of Ghana’s Akropong approach. Akropong, named after the city where it was developed, is a combined multi-criteria (MCA) logical framework analysis (LFA) tool that was used to facilitate cross-sector planning Ghana’s National Climate Change Adaptation strategy. Delali noted that two of the priority projects identified in by the Akropong in the adaptation strategy are currently being implemented.

Finally, Jai Mishra discussed several cross-sectoral planning initiatives occurring in India, including the National Initiative on Climate Resilient Agriculture.