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The 2014 Global Landscapes Forum Promotes the “Landscape Approach” to Address the Climate and Development Challenges

Friday, 19 December 2014
The 2014 Global Landscapes Forum, held at the sidelines of the UNFCCC COP20 in Lima, from 6-7 December. More than 1,700 world leaders, policy makers, researchers and representatives from civil society, indigenous leaders, the private sector and media met in Lima to discuss the future of land use sectors in a new climate agreement.

The Official Outcome Statement of the 2014 Global Landscapes Forum* provides nine messages relevant to a multilateral climate agreement and the post-2015 development agenda. The vision of using integrated landscape approaches to address climate and development challenges was shared by the participants recognizing that a very large part of the climate and development solutions will have to be found in landscapes.

As is underlined in the Outcome Statement, a “landscape approach” can contribute to sustainable solutions under a wide range of social, environmental, political and economic conditions. In this context, proponents of landscape approaches encourage countries to move away from sectoral policy-making approaches, toward an integrated bottom-up approach that places the poor and vulnerable at the heart of decision-making, and increases in-country coordination to ensure coherence and inclusiveness.

It seems that the Outcome Statement took the form of “messages” since they do not represent a consensus of the Forum as whole but they were based on findings of individual sessions throughout the Forum proceedings. These messages are:
  1. Coherent policy and legal frameworks for sustainable land use are essential for climate and development efforts
  2. Act on emerging research findings related to indigenous peoples and local communities
  3. Scale up landscape finance by reducing risks for investment and transforming capital markets
  4. Align actions on climate change with the Sustainable Development Goals
  5. Climate-smart agriculture is a large part of the solution
  6. Landscape approaches can combine and reinforce climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts
  7. Well-designed fiscal measures in a landscape context can be significant in addressing deforestation and forest degradation
  8. The values of ecosystem services play an important role in national economies
  9. Land use information technologies can transform national policies
Rachel Kyte, the World Bank Group’s vice president and special envoy for climate change at the 2014 Global Landscapes Forum, referring to the need to take an integrated landscape approaches to sustainable development, perceptively stated: “The science is now crystal-clear, [and] the economics are compelling… Without landscapes, we are just not going to be able to achieve what the [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] has said quite clearly now must be the goal. But … I don’t think that we have yet successfully made the case to the people outside of this room that this is economically and financially possible.” And she underlined that making landscape approaches work hinges on “exactly what you do with that compelling economics, and how you integrate this into your vision of your country’s future.”

*For the Outcome Statement see:

Source: Global Landscapes Forum, CIFOR (Center for International Forestry Research)
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