Summary report, 16–17 November 2013

Warsaw Global Landscapes Forum at COP 19

The first Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) convened on Saturday and Sunday, 16 and 17 November 2013, at the University of Warsaw in Poland, on the sidelines of the 19th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 19) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The Forum combines two annual conferences, Forest Day, and Agriculture, Landscapes and Livelihoods (ALL) Day (previously Agriculture and Rural Development Day (ARDD)) , with the aim of creating a global platform to inform and engage world leaders, policymakers, scientists, donors, media, civil society, the private sector, indigenous and community groups, and climate negotiators, on the role sustainable landscapes can play in providing food, shelter, income, ecosystem services and environmental goods.

The event brought together more than 1200 participants in Warsaw, with an additional 1500 joining via webcast. A core objective of the event was to develop the potential of the landscape approach to inform future UNFCCC agreements and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). To this end, the GLF was organized along four main themes: investing in sustainable landscapes in forests and on farms; landscape policy and governance for forestry, agriculture and other land uses; synergies between adapting to and mitigating climate change in forest and agricultural landscapes; and landscapes for food security and nutrition. In addition to various plenaries, sub-plenaries, and technical and networking sessions, a Gender Café and Youth Forum convened.

A high-level panel explored how to feed perspectives and insights from the GLF into the post-2015 development agenda process. During the closing plenary, two UNFCCC negotiators highlighted the status of agriculture- and forest-related negotiations at COP 19 and expressed hope that the practical experiences shared at the Forum will provide a fresh impetus to the negotiations. GLF organizers subsequently handed over a draft outcome statement to the two negotiators involved in the agriculture- and forest-related workstreams to forward to the COP. The final statement will be available on the GLF website at

The GLF was co-organized by the Collaborative Partnership on Forests, the Agriculture and Rural Development Consortium, the Polish Ministries of Environment and Agriculture and Rural Development, and the University of Warsaw, in collaboration with more than 60 organizing partners.

This report provides an overview of the discussions that took place in all the plenary sessions, as well as selected parallel discussions and technical and networking sessions. It also highlights discussions during the half-day Youth Forum on 16 November, and provides a brief overview of the Gender Café.


The GLF has evolved from two distinct events held during the UNFCCC COPs: Forest Day, launched in 2007,  at COP 13 in Bali, Indonesia, and ARDD, which convened for the first time in 2009 at COP 15 in Copenhagen, Denmark. With time, as the landscape approach became increasingly recognized as a useful framework for integrating measures to boost agricultural productivity and rural livelihoods, and the protection of forests, water and biodiversity, efforts were made to link the two events. During COP 18 in Doha, Forest Day was held back-to-back with the first ALL Day, under the shared theme of “Living Landscapes.”

The landscapes approach provides a broad framework that can fully integrate agriculture, forestry and other land uses into a sustainable development agenda. It seeks to assess performance against broader development goals, such as poverty eradication, green growth, food security and nutrition, mitigation of and adaptation to climate change, energy efficient cities, and sustainable land use and farm practices.


Forests are addressed under the UNFCCC as both sinks for and sources of carbon emissions, and, under the Kyoto Protocol, countries are expected to count emissions and removals from their land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF) activities in their national inventories. Forests were formally added to the UNFCCC programme at COP 11 in Montreal, Canada, in 2005, when parties discussed a new agenda item on “Reducing emissions from deforestation in developing countries: approaches to stimulate action.” Workshops were then held to further address this issue, in August 2006, in Rome, Italy, and in March 2007 in Cairns, Australia. Discussions continued at COP 13, where parties adopted the Bali Action Plan, which addresses enhanced national and international action on climate change mitigation, including: “consideration of policy approaches and positive incentives on issues relating to reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries, and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries.”

As negotiations have progressed on a financial mechanism to compensate developing countries for recovery and maintenance of forest carbon stocks, three labels have emerged for what such a financing mechanism should cover: reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries (REDD); conservation, sustainable management of forests, and stock enhancement in addition to REDD (REDD+); and all terrestrial carbon in addition to REDD+ (REDD++).

Since COP 13, the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) has undertaken a work programme on methodological issues related to a range of policy approaches and positive incentives generally aimed at REDD. A UNFCCC workshop on methodological issues relating to REDD was held in Tokyo, Japan, in June 2008, and resulted in general agreement that discussions on policy approaches and positive incentives could be initiated with current knowledge.

At COP 16, held in Cancún, Mexico, in 2010, REDD+ was formally added to the international climate change regime, through decision 1/CP.16, which encourages developing country parties to assist in mitigation efforts by undertaking REDD+. Consensus emerged at COP 16 for REDD+ to be carried out in three phases: development of national strategies or action plans; implementation of policies and measures; and payment for performance on the basis of quantified forest emissions and removals. Discussion on the different financing options for implementing REDD+ was deferred to COP 17 in Durban, South Africa, in December 2011.

FOREST DAY 1: The first Forest Day convened on 8 December 2007 in Bali, Indonesia, on the sidelines of COP 13, with the aim of informing forest-related discussions at COP 13. It brought together over 800 participants and considered crosscutting themes, including: methodological challenges in estimating forest carbon; markets and governance; equity versus efficiency; and adaptation.

FOREST DAY 2: Convened on 6 December 2008 in Poznań, Poland, during COP 14, Forest Day 2 brought together nearly 900 participants to discuss: adaptation of forests to climate change; addressing forest degradation through sustainable forest management; capacity building for REDD; and options for integrating REDD into the global climate regime.

FOREST DAY 3: Forest Day 3, held in Copenhagen, Denmark, on 13 December 2009, during COP 15, brought together more than 1600 participants to discuss challenges associated with REDD+. Participants convened in three sub-plenary sessions on mitigation, adaptation and degradation challenges, as well as in parallel learning events on: measuring and monitoring baselines and leakages; financing for forests and climate change; the potential social effects of REDD initiatives; and landscape approaches to mitigation and adaptation.

FOREST DAY 4: Forest Day 4 brought together over 1500 participants in Cancún, Mexico, on 5 December 2010, during COP 16. Under the theme “Time to Act,” participants held three sub-plenary sessions on biodiversity, adaptation and mitigation, and convened in a number of parallel learning events, including on: optimizing the multiple benefits of sustainable forest management and REDD+; promoting synergies between climate change mitigation and adaptation across forest landscapes; LULUCF; and REDD+ and agricultural drivers of deforestation.

FOREST DAY 5: Held on 9 December 2011, in Durban, South Africa, during COP 17, Forest Day 5 brought together over 1050 participants and focused on specific opportunities and challenges of forest management in Africa. The event also convened the first-ever “Issues Marketplace” held during a Forest Day, which aimed to facilitate information exchange and networking.

FOREST DAY 6: Forest Day 6 convened in Doha, Qatar, on 3 December 2013, during COP 18. The event brought together 700 participants to discuss how forests could be better harnessed to slow the pace of climate change and help communities adapt to the changing environment. Sessions addressed: scalable solutions to specific mitigation and adaptation challenges that can benefit farmers, in particular small-scale farmers; gaps where limited solutions exist or limited knowledge is available; and potential trade-offs in implementing existing, known solutions.


Since it was first held in 2009, ARDD, which later became ALL Day, continued to evolve in order to fulfill its core objectives of raising awareness of the role of agriculture, giving greater visibility to the discussions on agriculture in the UNFCCC, and providing a unifying platform for different constituencies.

AARD 1: ARDD convened for the first time at COP 15 in Copenhagen. More than 350 participants, including representatives from governments, the UN and international agencies, business, NGOs, academia and farmers, discussed how to build consensus to fully incorporate agriculture into the post-Copenhagen climate agenda and to discuss strategies and actions needed to address climate change adaptation and mitigation in the agriculture sector. The results of the meeting were presented at a COP 15 side event titled “Beyond Copenhagen: Agriculture and Forestry are Part of the Solution. How can forestry and agriculture help to mitigate climate change and feed 9 billion people by 2050?”

AARD 2: ARDD 2 convened in Cancún, Mexico, on 4 December 2010, during COP 16. Approximately 400 participants met in plenary discussions, roundtables and an ideas marketplace. A summary from the event was presented at a COP 16 side event titled “Enabling Agriculture and Forestry to Contribute to Climate Change Responses.”

AARD 3: Held on the sidelines of the COP 17 negotiations in Durban, South Africa, on 3 December 2011, ARDD 3 discussed priorities to boost agricultural production, while supporting mitigation and adaptation to climate change. At the close of the event, 16 international agricultural organizations published a joint letter calling on COP 17 negotiators to take concrete action to include agriculture in the text of any new climate agreement.

AARD 4: ARDD 4 convened on 18 June in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in parallel with the UN Conference on Sustainable Development. More than 500 participants attended the event, with an additional 500 people following via webcast and social media. The purpose of the meeting was to examine implementation successes and challenges in moving towards transformed food systems that enable food security and sustainable development. The event helped to reaffirm the centrality of agriculture and climate change to development.

ALL DAY: During COP 18 in Doha, Qatar, the first ALL Day convened on the theme, “Solutions for people in drylands and beyond,” with more than 400 participants on site and 700 viewers via webcast. The event aimed to bring together the natural resource and agriculture communities to share solutions for climate change adaptation and mitigation in agricultural landscapes. The day was structured around plenary, roundtable discussions and an “Ideas Marketplace,” which highlighted specific activities, projects, tools and technologies. 



On Saturday afternoon, during the opening plenary, Peter Holmgren, Director General, Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), and moderator of the session, welcomed participants and noted that progress made during the Forum would be incorporated into an outcome document that would be forwarded to UNFCCC negotiators at COP 19.

Alozy Z. Nowak, Vice-Rector for Science and Cooperation, University of Warsaw, welcomed GLF participants, emphasized the importance of the GLF to future generations, and underscored that sustainable development is as important as economic growth and profits.

Holmgren charted the evolution of the GLF, explaining that it is a logical outgrowth of the idea that agriculture, ecosystems and human livelihoods are all deeply interrelated. He noted that policymaking today is increasingly evidence-based, and stressed the importance for researchers to ensure their work meets the needs of decision makers.

Olgierd Dziekoński, Secretary of State, Poland, highlighted Poland’s progress in reforestation, particularly since market reforms after 1989. He said that citizens should determine the proper local policies in a democratic way, using information from forums like the GLF, and that with this type of “horizontal approach,” citizens can be successful in protecting the landscape.

Sara J. Scherr, Founder and President, EcoAgriculture Partners, said that landscapes are not just theoretical ideas, but real places in the world where “mosaics of land use are deeply interconnected socially and ecologically.” Using examples of integrated landscape management from Australia, Mozambique and Ethiopia, she noted five areas required to make such initiatives work: stakeholder negotiation and agreement on broad objectives; promotion of land-use strategies that achieve multiple objectives; reduction of trade-offs and realization of synergies among social and economic actors; collaborative decision making fully engaging communities; and the promotion of markets and public policies that support these actions.

Braulio Ferreira de Souza, Executive Secretary, UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), noted biodiversity underpins a broad range of ecosystem services and its sustainable management requires focusing on both the structural and functional restoration of landscapes.


On Saturday afternoon, participants convened in 16 sessions hosted by GLF organizing partners to allow for a more focused exchange on pertinent issues surrounding specific landscape themes, including: investing in landscapes and livelihoods; managing landscapes for food, fuel, fiber and forests; climate change resilience in mountains; food insecurity; national forest programmes; certifying ecosystem services in forests and agriculture; bridging the gap between science, policy and action; and the new generation of integrated watershed management programmes.

This section provides an overview of discussions in four of these technical and networking sessions.

SUPPORTING LANDSCAPE-SCALE PLANNING FOR REDD+: HOW USEFUL ARE LAND-USE CHANGE MODELS? This session was convened by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) World Conservation Monitoring Centre (WCMC) and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) and moderated by Michael Obersteiner, IIASA. The session focused on land-use models and their efficacy with regards to planning for REDD+ implementation.

Alexandre Xavier Ywata de Carvalho, Chief Technical Advisor to the Presidency of Brazil, discussed the Global Biosphere Management Model (GLOBIOM), an advanced means to model land-use change over time that takes spatially-explicit demands for agricultural products as inputs and can simulate changes 40-50 years into the future. Overlaying a GLOBIOM projection of Amazonian deforestation with a map of actual, observed deforestation, he demonstrated the capacity for the model to predict change accurately.

Michiel van Eupen, Role of Biodiversity in Climate Change Mitigation, said that with the right data and proper use, models are able to make highly accurate predictions regarding changes, such as vegetation development measured in biomass. Discussing specific challenges of collecting landscape-level data, he highlighted the need for models to be tailored to their audience.

Rebecca Mant, UNEP-WCMC, showed how the GLOBIOM model was used alongside a national evaluation of biodiversity priority areas in the Democratic Republic of Congo to understand the effect of land-use changes on the habitat ranges of various species. She stressed that models need validation of both their inputs and assessments, and questioned whether or not all of the world’s complexity can be completely captured by a single model. She said that even the best models cannot capture unexpected events, like war or natural disasters.

Agung Wicaksono, President’s Delivery Unit for Development Monitoring and Oversight, Indonesia, said that his country has created a national-level REDD+ task force to coordinate and synchronize control of REDD+ throughout the country in an effort to reduce carbon emissions by 26-40% by 2020. To illustrate the challenge of land-use planning, he compared a map of the energy potential of the East Kalimantan region with a map of critical forest in the same area and asked the question: how do we protect the forest and gain the energy benefit?

Martin Tadoum, Deputy Executive Secretary, Central African Forest Commission (COMIFAC), said that a major challenge of REDD+ is to define the reference level and establish a consensual and sustainable reporting system. He noted that COMIFAC countries are at different stages of REDD+ implementation and highlighted the success of CONGOBIOM, a model derived from GLOBIOM that helps inform policy choices in all ten COMIFAC countries.

Nur Masripatin, Ministry of Forestry, Indonesia, discussed the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Knowledge Network on Forests and Climate Change, a decision-making tool for forests that is being developed. She said the first version of the tool, to be launched in 2014, will be used to analyze the drivers of deforestation and help decision makers plan policy interventions.

During the ensuing discussion, panelists talked about: the challenges of capturing land-tenure information in models like GLOBIOM; the difference between models and reality; the use of law enforcement in implementation; and the definition of “landscapes.”

EXPLORING GOVERNANCE STRATEGIES FOR INTEGRATED LANDSCAPE MANAGEMENT: This session was convened by the Landscapes for People, Food and Nature Initiative and EcoAgriculture Partners and moderated by Sara J. Scherr, EcoAgriculture Partners.

Raffaela Kozar, EcoAgriculture Partners, outlined the “state of the art” in landscape management, noting the need for new governance models that build capacity to link local, landscape and national actions, and manage complex negotiation processes among stakeholders with divergent interests and mandates.

Moderator Scherr then invited the panel to share their views in successive discussion rounds.

During the first round on effective processes for reconciling diverse landscape stakeholders, Edmund Barrow, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), commented that landscapes are a “social construct” and landscape management processes should therefore facilitate negotiations among different users, in addition to mapping physical spaces.

Sally Bunning, Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), highlighted inequities among stakeholders and stressed that landscape management processes should result in improved livelihoods for local communities, not just “making landscapes look pretty.”

Terry Sunderland, CIFOR, stressed that unless people are engaged in design and implementation of landscape plans and processes, participation will remain minimal.

Delia Catacutan, World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), noted the need to work at multiple levels and scales, create knowledge systems beyond the farm, and involve local governments. Ann Tutwiler, Director General, Biodiversity International, said multi-disciplinary research teams are important in facilitating integrated landscape approaches.

During the next discussion round on criteria for designing effective landscape governance systems, Barrow stressed that the administrative and political aspects of managing landscapes have been insufficiently addressed. Bunning highlighted a case study from Tanzania that successfully raised awareness on the impact of water withdrawals on downstream land users. Catacutan emphasized the importance of accountable “boundary organizations” that can facilitate collaboration among different interest groups, while Tutwiler highlighted the need for long-term engagement and support.

Speaking on specific policy challenges that must be overcome, panelists highlighted: closing the “implementation gap” on decentralization policies; managing growing resource competition from other economic sectors, such as tourism and urbanization; linking different stakeholder platforms; and building conflict management skills.

In a final round focusing on practical tools and methodologies that have proven successful in facilitating multi-stakeholder landscape governance, panelists highlighted, inter alia: simple land-use planning techniques, such as participatory mapping, that provide an entry point for understanding the interlinkages and power dynamics among diverse stakeholders; participatory negotiation, a tool used in post-conflict settings that can encourage discussions among different land stakeholders, such as pastoralists and farmers; and networks of farmer field schools that help amplify the “voice” of farmers and improve their bargaining position vis-à-vis governments, private companies and other actors.

On tools that are available for broader use, Sunderland mentioned a CIFOR initiative to develop 10 principles and guidelines for monitoring landscape governance within the framework of the CBD. Catacutan said the ICRAF website provides access to numerous landscape assessment tools, such as drivers of land-use change and high-value conservation analysis. Sherr highlighted the EcoAgriculture Partners’ Landscape Measures Initiative, which has gathered practical indicators of multifunctional landscapes to foster useful communication between local communities and decision makers.

During general discussions, one speaker cautioned against the “tyranny of participation,” noting that the importance of champions at different levels is often overlooked as a positive driver. Another noted that while landscape management as a transformational concept is “dirty and messy and political, we still need to engage with it.”

CLIMATE SMART AGRICULTURE: RESILIENCE, FOOD SECURITY, MITIGATION AND ADAPTATION AVOIDING TRADE-OFFS, CREATING SYNERGIES IN A CONNECTED WORLD: This session was convened by Poland’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Climate Action, and moderated by Peter Wehrheim, European Commission.

In a keynote address, Krystyna Gurbiel, Under Secretary of State, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Poland, recalled the FAO definition of climate-smart agriculture, noting the session could help clarify how to integrate the framework’s pillars by: confirming the usefulness of the climate-smart agriculture approach; providing ideas on how to enhance synergies between adaptation and mitigation; and exploring what choices, investments and conditions farmers and other stakeholders need to make.

Maurits van den Berg, Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, stressed the need to implement no-regret measures with multiple benefits, such as: improving agricultural productivity and efficiency; minimizing conversion of semi-natural land to arable land; and improving soil health and biodiversity. He noted most of these measures are fairly simple to implement, reinforce each other and can be applied across many environments with some local fine-tuning. On how to overcome some of the policy challenges, he highlighted the need to: ensure fair and relatively predictable prices for agricultural products and inputs; promote security of tenure; and provide farmers with access to credit to invest in long-term land productivity.

Wieslaw Gryn, President, Zamość Agricultural Society, Poland, said the 21st century farmer faces historic challenges, including the need to increase agricultural production by 50-70% by 2050, under worsening climate conditions and limited access to arable land. He stressed that family farms are critical in sustainable intensification as they have a stake in leaving a legacy for future generations. Describing some climate-smart measures introduced on his own farm, which was established in 1785 and is still run by the same family, he highlighted deep application of fertilizer and minimal tillage as particularly effective techniques that have reduced fertilizer use by 40% and lowered investment costs for farm machinery.

Jane Feehan, European Investment Bank, outlined the Bank’s lending priorities in the agriculture, forestry and fishing sectors, noting the portfolio currently stands at about €4 billion annually. Among specific investment needs for climate-smart agriculture, she highlighted: basic infrastructure for improved food storage, processing and marketing; integrated water resource management; improved agronomy techniques; sustainable intensification in areas that are already under agricultural production; restoring degraded land; and phasing out incentives for unsustainable practices.

Henry Neufeldt, ICRAF, discussed how to make climate-smart agriculture work for the poor, pointing to the growing recognition that this requires a broader analytical framework to understand the “boundaries of safe(r) operating spaces for food systems.” He further noted that at the practical level, this requires investing in discovery, testing and implementing of adaptive landscape management and governance mechanisms, and developing policy-relevant metrics to define the “safe space.” In this regard, he identified sustainable intensification of rice production, carbon sequestration through conservation agriculture, and land restoration in drylands through agroforestry practices as examples of promising integrated approaches. Concluding, he reiterated that climate-smart agriculture can contribute to the food security of resource poor rural populations if adapted to local food systems, but implementing it at sufficient scale requires supportive policies and research.

Responding to a comment that feeding nine billion people without increasing fertilizer use is impossible, Neufeldt said the real “elephant in the room” is land scarcity, as smallholder farmers cannot escape the poverty trap without substantial investments in irrigated agriculture. On the pros and cons of biofuels, he said biofuels can contribute to landscape management and mitigation if planted on degraded land. Van den Berg stressed that while the use of phosphorous fertilizers needs to increase, achieving greater efficiencies by recycling nutrients within mixed crop livestock systems and from human waste is possible. Gryn underscored that increasing fertilizer use without sufficient water cannot contribute to productivity gains.

 BEYOND IPCC SCENARIOS – FINDING SYNERGIES BETWEEN ADAPTING TO CLIMATE CHANGE AND MITIGATION AT TEMPORAL SCALES APPROPRIATE FOR POLICY MAKERS AND LAND MANAGERS: This session was convened by the Earth Institute at Columbia University and CIFOR, and moderated by Bruce Campbell, Director, Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research Programme on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS).

Walter Baethgen, Columbia University, noted the difficulty of imagining Earth 100 years from today, and explained that in all climate change scenarios—even those produced by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)—significant uncertainty exists. He added that climate change is a problem of the present, and thus adapting to today’s climate is the first step in adapting to any future climate scenario.

Christine Padoch, CIFOR, discussed how agricultural fires, an important land management tool for smallholders, turn into a menace to the landscape when they burn out of control. She said that the forest mosaic, which is a variegated patchwork ranging from agriculture to pasture and managed forest, is becoming much coarser, production areas are increasing, tenure is shifting, and whole swathes of forest are changing in size. Given this, as well as a changing climate, she explained that CIFOR and others are developing tools that can help communities mitigate and adapt to the risk of fires.

Shahid Naeem, Columbia University, explained that in order to preserve essential ecosystem services, biodiversity is required. Saying that, “if you keep losing spices, eventually the curry is just salt,” he imagined a landscape with decreasing diversity as a landscape in collapse. He attacked the notion that biodiversity is all about species richness, and said that biodiversity must be clarified and focused on functional, genetic and landscape diversity. He lamented the lack of synergy between the CBD and the UNFCCC at the landscape level, suggesting a simple message to bring them together: diverse systems are more efficient and resilient.

Ruth De Fries, Columbia University, introduced a baseline survey conducted by CCAFS in which 4,000 households across 83 villages in 12 countries were interviewed in order to reveal the ways in which farmers are adapting to climate change. She said farmers find information on short-term changes the most important, particularly weather information. After providing an overview of the current scholarship on climate adaptation, she lamented the mismatch between where research is being conducted (temperate zones) and where it is most needed (tropical zones).

Romano Kiome, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Kenya, discussed the challenge of communicating science to policymakers and said that in some cases in Africa, information about climate change at the public and legislative levels is lacking. He said that many people in developing countries view climate change as a problem created, and to be dealt with, by others. He urged formalizing interactions between scientists and policymakers, saying that informal workshops and symposia are not enough to properly communicate the issues.

During the panel discussion, presenters highlighted the need for: data reliability; linking science to the reality on the ground; developing capacity to effectively communicate science to policymakers; and balancing short-term versus long-term time scales. Concluding the session, Louis Verchot, CIFOR, summed up the proceedings that would be forwarded to plenary for use in the outcome document.


On Sunday morning, the plenary session opened with a brass rendition of a traditional Polish theme, followed by a video illustrating how the landscape approach is being applied in the areas surrounding the Gunung Halimun National Park in Indonesia, an example of a complex setting where multiple land uses and interests must co-exist.

Moderator Lindiwe Sibanda, CEO, Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN), welcomed participants and invited Peter Holmgren, CIFOR, to provide an overview of the origins of the GLF. Holmgren noted that the Forum has evolved in an organic way, as an alliance has always existed between the agriculture and forest days at past COPs. Stressing that landscapes are the solution to climate change, he challenged agriculture and forestry stakeholders to find a common language and a few “big picture” indicators of progress to help advance the climate negotiations.

Marcin Korolec, Minister of Environment, Poland, and COP President, praised the GLF as an opportunity to approach forestry and agriculture issues from a broader perspective. He noted the difficulty of ensuring that ecosystems are resilient enough to cope with increasing human demands, and said that this challenge must be met to ensure that the world’s poorest people will ultimately benefit.

Rachel Kyte, Vice President for Sustainable Development, World Bank, explained that the dual threats of climate change and food insecurity give impetus to the notion that forests and farms must be bound together in a shared agenda. She spoke about climate-smart agriculture and how it can increase productivity, build resilience to climate change and store more carbon. She said the world needs this approach in order to feed nine billion people by 2050, and highlighted improved property rights for women as a prerequisite for investment in climate change. She concluded by noting with dismay that negotiations at COP19 have not fully incorporated agriculture into the agenda, and that negotiators “run the risk of turning their backs on the most vulnerable and poorest people in the world.”

Eduardo Rojas Briales, Assistant Director-General, FAO, thanked the forest and agricultural consortia involved in establishing the GLF. He said the Forum could contribute to rebalancing the current marginalization of rural areas by demonstrating that a focus on sustainable ecosystems can support multiple land uses. He said the forthcoming UN Expo taking place in 2015 in Milan, under the theme “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life,” will foster the landscape approach by offering a “360 degree view of food security.”

Ann Tutwiler, Biodiversity International, spoke on the contribution of agricultural biodiversity to sustainable landscapes, stressing the most food-secure and resilient communities are those that plant a variety of traditional crops and sustainably manage forests and watersheds. She called for greater attention to this issue by the agricultural research community, noting that the recent launch of the “Bridging Agriculture and Conservation Initiative” is one contribution towards such efforts.

Ruth De Fries, Columbia University, said that the shift from sector-specific days to a GLF signifies an evolution of approaches and possibilities. She discussed the boundaries of landscapes, saying that administrative and watershed delineations are imprecise, and that in fact landscapes should be thought of as entities with larger connections to people and markets, since they interact in complex ways to deliver food, water and other functions. She underscored no single prescription exists for managing multifunctional landscapes in all places, and that each specific reality must be taken into account when designing policy and incentives.


On Sunday morning, four thematic sub-plenary sessions convened on: investment; policy and governance; synergies between climate change adaptation and mitigation in landscapes; and building resilient landscapes for food security. This section reports on the discussions that took place in two of these sessions.

INVESTING IN SUSTAINABLE LANDSCAPES IN FORESTS AND ON FARMS: This session was convened by the World Bank and moderated by Lindiwe Sibanda, FANRPAN.

 Rachel Kyte, World Bank, began by pointing to incomplete data on investment flows into the forest sector. She observed that investment now originates from multiple points worldwide and decisions about where to direct it are based on factors, such as agricultural growing conditions, anticipated return on risk, security of land tenure, access to labor and clear regulations. She said, however, that investor understanding about risk is changing and investors are wary about investing in unsustainable supply chains, which means that sustainable development at the landscape level can be a driver of value for global brands.

René Castro Salazar, Minister of Environment, Energy and Sea, Costa Rica, displayed a series of maps depicting deforestation in Costa Rica from 1940 through 1987, when the country’s forest coverage decreased from 75% to 21%. He explained how a combination of public policy, education and economic incentives helped reverse this trend and increase forest cover to 51% by 2005. Using a graph that correlated increasing forest cover with increasing gross domestic product and decreasing poverty, he underscored the economic and social spillover opportunities that may be available via the sustainable development of landscapes and reforestation. He highlighted Costa Rica’s ambition to become the first carbon-neutral country by 2021, and noted the role that reforestation will play in reaching that goal.

Agnes Kalibata, Minister of Agriculture, Rwanda, described a vicious cycle of land degradation wherein poor conditions lead to more intensive land use that then leads to further degradation. She highlighted soil fertility and terracing projects in Rwanda that engage the population in development with the primary goal of keeping farmers on their land. Thanks to these projects, she said, incomes for farmers in Rwanda have increased from US$470 to US$2,400 per hectare per year.

Peter Bakker, President, World Business Council for Sustainable Development, said that due to self-interest, more companies are moving toward sustainable management of their supply chains in order to be more efficient, reduce waste and ensure resource access. Noting that the demand for forests and agricultural products is set to triple by 2050, he said that critical questions about resource allocation and productivity must be addressed in order to mitigate risk. Using the example of the garment factory collapse in Bangladesh, he underlined that transparency in supply chains is a major impetus driving the recent move toward social and environmental responsibility among multinational companies.

During the ensuing question and answer session, panelists discussed, inter alia: new financial instruments for farmers; the need for access to insurance; keeping farmers on their land; counterproductive bank regulations; tweaking capitalism toward a more balanced and sustainable approach; taking a holistic, cross-sector approach to investment; and the importance of land rights and land tenure.

 BUILDING RESILIENT LANDSCAPES FOR FOOD SECURITY AND SUSTAINABLE LIVELIHOODS: This session was convened by FAO and moderated by Sara J. Scherr, EcoAgriculture Partners.

In her keynote address, Maria Helena Semedo, Deputy Director-General, FAO, said one of the most pressing global challenges today is meeting food and nutrition demand without compromising the three pillars of sustainable development. She said that landscape approaches offer a framework for integrating human wellbeing with environmental and economic considerations, but cautioned that such approaches must be socially inclusive and gender sensitive if they are to offer hope for a more efficient and sustainable path towards food security for all.

During a first round of responses from the panel, Eduardo Durand, General Director of Climate Change, Desertification and Water Resources, Ministry of Environment, Peru, highlighted some impacts of climate change in the Andes region, noting the disruption to traditional coping mechanisms. He emphasized the role of research, technology and innovation in reducing competition for resources among different land-use systems.

Tony Simons, Director General, ICRAF, noted it is easy to lose sight of impact pathways in the discussion of inputs and outputs, adding that farmers “are more interested in incomes than outcomes.” He described certification schemes as a cautionary tale in this regard, challenging participants to share an example of a developing country government that has embraced certification in its national supply chain, and lamenting that REDD+ has been “held hostage” by the carbon market. Stressing that, in the same vein, “institutionalizing” the landscape concept will only reinforce existing sectoral and organizational divides, he wondered how GLF stakeholders can expect farmers to work in an integrated mannter if they cannot even work in such a manner themselves.

Jeffrey Campbell, Manager, Forest and Farm Facility, a partnership between FAO, IUCN and the International Institute for Environment and Development, noted that by recognizing the value of sustainable landscapes “we are finally fitting our theory to reality and starting to think like local communities.” He identified biocultural community protocols as a useful model of territorial governance, but stressed that to interact at the community level, communities need secure land tenure.

Livingstone Sindayigaya, African Union Commission (AUC), read a statement from Tumusiime Rhoda Peace, AU Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, who highlighted the Great Green Wall for the Sahara and the Sahel Initiative and the Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Partnership as examples of holistic approaches in transboundary landscape management.

In the ensuing discussion, participants raised a number of challenges in implementing the landscape approach, including: how to change institutional mindsets; the impact of an ageing rural population on agricultural productivity; the role of indigenous knowledge; how to identify the real drivers of societal change in a globalized world; and how to integrate property rights at different levels.

Responding to the issues raised, Campbell said bridging the science-indigenous knowledge gap is difficult and welcomed efforts made to integrate indigenous knowledge in the latest IPCC report. Simons said Indonesia has given traditional communities more control of resources under the REDD+ framework, but balancing long-term sustainability with short-term gains remains problematic, which underscores the need for more metrics and good practices in this area.

Durand noted that managing multi-stakeholder processes at national and sub-national levels requires time, resources and capacity. Semedo said that rising global demand for traditional crops, such as quinoa, offers an opportunity for preserving indigenous knowledge systems. Sindayigaya added that capacity building for decision makers helps raise awareness of the value of integrated approaches. He also noted that improving access to markets and market information is key to motivating young people to return to rural areas.

During a final round of comments, one speaker noted that land-care programmes in Germany offer a positive example of reconciling competing land uses to reverse destructive development trajectories.


Peter Holmgren, CIFOR, welcomed participants to the session and invited panelists to address specific questions on how best to link the GLF outcomes to the post-2015 and UNFCCC processes.

Ville Niinistö, Minister of Environment, Finland, said that while progress has been made on some of the Millennium Development Goals, the world must find a way to do more with less to ensure decent livelihoods for a rapidly growing population. He noted that landscape approaches offer a framework for balancing economic, social and environmental trade-offs in the SDG process.

Agnes Kalibata, Minister of Agriculture, Rwanda, said the urgent need to find ways to manage intense population pressure and land degradation has forced disparate ministries to work together for effective land-use planning. She noted that “drastic” measures are sometimes required, such as temporarily moving communities away from fragile ecosystems to allow for rehabilitating the land and drawing up new modalities for climate-smart agriculture before resettling people. She highlighted that secure land tenure is an important prerequisite for resilience as it provides an incentive for looking after the land and attracts investments by the private sector.

Bernard Giraud, Co-Founder, Livelihoods Fund, said that although public funding is important, it plays a marginal role in financing sustainable development. He further noted that while local solutions for sustainable agriculture are understood, the main challenge is replicating them at scale. He stressed the need for cooperation among diverse stakeholders and the need to invest in farmers’ capabilities in order to prepare a new generation of skilled young farmers.

Andrew Steer, President, World Resources Institute, observed that when considering climate change, “economists have got it all wrong.” He said that although agriculture ministers throughout Africa are united on the need for an integrated, climate-smart approach to farming, negotiators are not willing to incorporate the issue into the climate talks. He pointed to the two billion hectares of degraded land worldwide, noting the potential impact if just a fraction of this land is “brought back to life.” In this regard, he expressed hope that the Bonn Challenge will achieve its goal of restoring 150 million hectares of lost forests and degraded lands worldwide by 2020, as it would significantly boost poverty reduction, food security and climate change mitigation. He praised Rwanda for rising to the challenge by making a commitment to restore two million hectares.

At the close of the session, Holmgren engaged panelists in a brief discussion on synergies and trade-offs when looking at economic growth and the environment. Panelists discussed, inter alia, the need to: establish flexible incentive systems; generate political will; and capture environmental costs in the price of consumer products.


On Sunday afternoon, 17 November, 12 parallel discussion sessions took place on, inter alia: ecosystem conservation and restoration; REDD+ performance; gender-responsive action in landscapes; food security; legal frameworks for sustainable landscapes; and people-centered rural development. This section provides an overview of two of the sessions.

LANDSCAPES IN A GREEN ECONOMY: This session was convened by UNEP, EcoAgriculture Partners and UN-REDD, and moderated by Ibrahim Thiaw, UNEP Deputy Executive Director, who opened the discussion by stating that three issues must be unpacked and demystified: the landscapes approach, REDD+ and the green economy.

Mario Boccucci, Head, UN-REDD Programme Secretariat, noted that in order to feed nine billion people by 2050, the business-as-usual approach of clearing forests for farmland can no longer be an option. He said that landscapes are inherent to the texture of economic growth, and represent a locus for intervention, but moving beyond a sector-by-sector approach and transforming the way landscapes are managed will be critical.

Sara J. Scherr, EcoAgriculture Partners, said that people often think of landscapes as socioeconomic mosaics, but that integrated landscape management is about cooperation among stakeholders. She used the case of agro-industrial development in an environmentally sensitive region of Tanzania to clarify the challenges of land-use planning and balancing competing stakeholder interests. She said there is a need to scale up local initiatives already in place and improve agricultural extension systems.

Martin Poulsen, Moringa Partnership, said the genesis of private equity firms stemmed from a desire to create a sustainability-oriented investment structure that could focus on the REDD+ mechanism. He expressed hope that the fund’s pinpoint investments in agroforestry projects would leverage additional capital and demonstrate that private sector actors can invest in a way that is coherent with public sector objectives.

Agnes Leina, Executive Director, Il’laramatak Community Concerns, Kenya, spoke about pastoralism in East Africa and its importance for land management. She explained that pastoralism is not often considered when landscapes and land use are discussed, and she urged combining indigenous knowledge with modern technology when looking for sustainable development solutions.

Heru Prasetyo, Indonesia, said that landscape approaches are efficacious when implemented at the project level, but that scaling up presents a problem. Using the metaphor of a rising balloon to describe the challenge of perspective when discussing landscapes, he said that as one ascends into the sky, more of the landscape is visible, but even at the satellite level, only half of the earth can ever be seen. In addition to this limited view, he said at such a height “breathing is impossible,” a metaphor that he used to capture the struggle of implementing the landscape approach on a large scale due to issues of coordination, stakeholder engagement, and avoiding a one-size-fits-all strategy. He urged an inter-sectoral and interdisciplinary approach to thinking about landscapes.

During the ensuing discussion, panelists talked about: the sequencing of public and private investment; whether or not governments can incorporate a landscape approach given the segmented nature of ministries; the fact that the drivers of deforestation are typically exogenous to forests; and the issue of scaling interventions up from the project level. Poulsen said that when accepting public funds for its projects, the private sector must produce win-win solutions to inspire and engage local people. Scherr said that the principal drivers for private sector involvement in landscape approaches stem from risks to supply chains and the need to engage more stakeholders. Leina emphasized the need for documentation and knowledge transfer. Prasetyo said that people should not look at forests as mere carbon sinks, but should look “beyond carbon” and take a holistic landscapes approach.

SUSTAINABLE LANDSCAPES, FOOD SECURITY AND ADAPTING TO CLIMATE CHANGE: This session was convened by the Technical Centre for Agriculture and Rural Development (CTA), FAO, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the UN World Food Programme (WFP), and was moderated by Michael Hailu, Director, CTA.

Gernot Laganda, IFAD, noted that rural livelihoods depend on services provided by the mosaic of natural and/or human-modified ecosystems, that smallholder farmers are part of the social, ecological and economic transactions within these landscapes, and as such they are key actors in both sustaining or eroding these services. He described two types of climate impacts on agricultural landscapes: direct impacts that alter landscapes’ biophysical characteristics; and indirect impacts that reduce people’s livelihood options and their resilience to future shocks. He stressed that climate adaptation is a process, not an outcome, and that the empowerment of local institutions with access to technologies, information and financing is a key ingredient of a long-term strategy. He outlined IFAD’s Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme that co-finances investments in climate-resilient agriculture.

Richard Choularton, WFP, noted that by 2050, up to 20% of the world’s population could be at risk of hunger due to climate-related risks. He said that external interventions must combine measures to: protect livelihoods and provide guaranteed transfers; reduce risks; help households build sustainable and resilient livelihoods; and protect the gains households make with insurance. Responding to comments from participants, Choularton observed that food-insecure people are the least likely user group to invest in landscape management, yet, paradoxically, healthy ecosystems offer a range of services that are critical in breaking poverty traps. Laganda noted that landscape approaches can contribute to social protection by providing communal benefits, such as water access and forest resources.

On the mixed record of rural insurance, Choularton said experience in weather index insurance in countries like India shows that insurance for vulnerable farmers needs to be bundled to other social protection measures, such as microfinance and food-for-work schemes, and should ensure that farmers are able to make autonomous decisions on how and what to pay for.

Anthony Nyong, African Development Bank (AfDB), noted that landscape approaches in the Sahel region are hampered by impacts of successive droughts that have eroded the resilience of farmers and pastoralists to meet their food, energy, water and human security needs. Among opportunities for climate-smart investments in the region, he highlighted: good adoption rates for new seed varieties and breeds; widespread use of integrated practices combining agroforestry, agro-pastoralism, intercropping and rainwater harvesting; and well-established regional institutions for policy formulation and harmonization. He listed a number of strategic issues in moving forward, including: supporting pastoralism with more climate-smart policies; integrating different energy production options; strengthening gender equality in measures to improve food security; and including local populations and indigenous knowledge systems in policymaking process. In conclusion, Nyong said “we have to move away from looking at agriculture as a social sector to a business,” while striking a balance with population sectors that depend on agriculture for their livelihoods.

Thomas Hofer, FAO, shared experiences from a FAO integrated watershed management project in a mountainous region in Pakistan, noting its contributions to: capacity development of watershed management committees; increased food security and resilience to floods; and replication of pilot interventions, particularly through bioengineering.

Ishmael Daniso Sunga, CEO, Southern Africa Confederation of Agricultural Unions, said the fundamental starting point for landscape approaches should not only be about survival and resilience, but also about supporting farmers to grow and prosper. He stressed that from a farmer’s perspective, landscape management is equivalent to good agricultural practices, and called for greater investment in sustainable intensification to reduce resource conflicts.

During discussions, participants highlighted the need to: adapt social protection interventions for the “ultra” poor, including women, who may not have access to land or other productive assets; address the needs of youth and children; and support accountable community institutions. 


Patrick Verkooijen, Special Representative for Climate Change, World Bank, and moderator of the session, reiterated that the purpose of the GLF is to build a movement on landscapes and climate-smart agriculture. Pointing to the UN climate negotiations taking place at the National Stadium nearby, he said a “river” exists between the worlds of action and negotiation, and praised Forum participants for working during the weekend to help build a bridge between the two.

Krystyna Gurbiel, Poland, commended the GLF for raising public awareness about the issues surrounding landscapes. She expressed pride in the “uniqueness” of the Polish countryside and lamented that smallholder farmers throughout the country are facing the twin pressures of economic growth and climate change, which are affecting land-use patterns. Noting that farmers are the first to experience and adapt to climate change, she stressed the importance of utilizing the “natural potential” of the agricultural community when developing solutions. 

HRH Prince Seeiso Bereng Seeiso, Lesotho, described the impacts of drought and rainfall patterns on soil conditions in Africa, and the resulting food deficiencies across the continent during past decades. He said that a landscape approach represents a renewed opportunity for reaching a holistic, long-term and all-inclusive solution to adapt to climate change, and that an important step toward that solution will be incorporating agriculture into the post-2015 development agenda and the SDGs.

Heru Prasetyo, Indonesia, shared what he had learned at the GLF, underscoring that landscapes are more than just land, and that they encompass the connections between food, livelihoods, energy, services and human wellbeing. He referred to a diagram of the rice supply chain in Indonesia to illustrate the need to look critically at the flows that cross landscapes, including capital, people, goods and technology. He said that different elements related to any specific landscape are not necessarily obvious, and may be far reaching, and that this is both the challenge and the promise of the landscape approach.

Sithembile Ndema, FANRPAN, and Youth Ambassador for Landscapes, thanked the organizers for believing in youth and integrating their voices into the GLF, noting the attendance of nearly 200 “young and young at heart” participants in the Youth Forum. She said each of the 10 speakers at the Youth Forum is a successful entrepreneur, advocate and role model, which confirms that young people can bring fresh and innovative solutions to tackle climate challenges. She outlined some recommendations from the Youth Forum, including the need to build the capacity of youth movements and train a new breed of young professionals who can work across sectors. Stressing the world cannot afford to continue to make decisions on behalf of young people, she called on the UNFCCC to more actively engage with youth, so that youth themselves can be involved in decision making.

Moderator Verkooijen then invited two climate negotiators to share perspectives from the COP 19 process and on how the GLF can contribute. Selam Kidane Abebe, Environmental Protection Authority, Ethiopia, discussed the status of agriculture-related negotiations. She said the transfer of agricultural issues to the SBSTA agenda at COP 17 helped to reinforce the scientific and technical basis of the agricultural agenda, but she acknowledged slow progress since then. She reported that SBSTA 39 in Warsaw reached agreement on the need for a more substantive discussion, and that the first workshop on actions needed in national adaptation plans convened during COP 19. She said the dialogue would continue at SBSTA 40.

Tony La Viña, Dean, Ateneo School of Government, Manila University, the Philippines, gave an update on negotiations related to forests and REDD+, noting progress is slow because discussions are spread across the three negotiation streams of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation, SBSTA and the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP). In this regard, he said concluding the negotiations on measurement, reporting and verification at COP 19 is a positive step forward. Reflecting on his experience as a negotiator at 15 climate COPs, he expressed confidence that the landscape approach offers a practical framework for integrating mitigation and adaptation. He added that adaptation measures alone would not have stopped the devastating impact of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, which he said underscores that a synergistic approach is the only way forward for developing countries. He challenged the GLF to provide guidance for negotiators on how to tackle these issues by articulating what the landscape approach means from a policy perspective and suggesting the types of incentives that can help to kickstart action at the multilateral level. On next steps, he said more needs to be done to identify practical entry points for the landscape approach within the UNFCCC process and expressed hope that this will help revitalize a LULUCF focus within REDD+ and the ADP discussions, as well as accelerate negotiations towards a loss and damage decision in time for COP 21 in Paris.

Bruce Campbell, CCAFS, presented the outcome statement that was compiled by the rapporteurs from all of the GLF sessions, noting it is still in draft form. He identified three core messages from the Forum: the need to be more integrated; the need to take action on the ground; and the need to be people-centered. On integration, he said that negotiators should emulate farmers and look at the challenges they face holistically, rather than taking a sector-by-sector approach. On taking action, he pointed to global alliances that are already working on adaptation and mitigation today, and said that work at the UNFCCC should not complicate or hinder this progress. Finally, regarding the need to be people-centered, he said the GLF discussions had emphasized the importance of empowering women farmers, establishing effective governance frameworks and fully engaging youth.

In his final remarks, Holmgren reiterated that landscapes are not so much about land, but rather about labor, capital, knowledge and, above all, people. He reminded participants that the people on the ground are truly in charge of the land, and that this fact should always humble those who would presume to make plans for the landscape. He declared the first GLF closed at 7:40 pm.



The Youth Forum convened on Saturday morning, 16 November, with the objective of harnessing the strength of online networks and mobilizing youth in natural resource sectors to achieve a sustainable future. The event, organized by CIFOR and Young Professionals in Agricultural Research for Development, aimed to move away from the “talkfest” model and towards constructing concrete, action-orientated pledges to help youth contribute to achieving sustainable landscapes. Youth Forum Moderator Sithembile Ndema, FANRPAN, underscored that “this is the largest generation in human history,” and the Youth Forum offers an opportunity to harness this “restless energy” to inform and engage world leaders.

Tan Copsey, BBC Media Action, shared stories from the Climate Asia Study, which interviewed more than 33,000 young people in rural areas and found that those who shared ideas and information and communicated with others on climate-related issues were also taking more action in their communities. He said his organization is creating a reality TV show for farmers in the hopes of reaching millions of people in Bangladesh and inspiring them to take action.

SUSTAINABLE ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND OVERCOMING NEGATIVE PERCEPTIONS OF EMPLOYMENT IN LANDSCAPE SECTORS:Nadia Manning-Thomas, Danaqa World Chic, described her work as an entrepreneur, in which she started a retail business and a brand that sources materials and products from small-scale, mostly women-led enterprises in developing countries.

Joseph Macharia, a youth representative from Kenya, presented on a Kenyan social media initiative known as “mkulima young” (young farmer), which aims to help tackle the problems facing rural youth by sharing inspirational stories of successful young farmers and entrepreneurs. He noted the platform has expanded into a marketplace for agricultural products and is in the process of establishing a micro-credit facility. 

Aliness Mumba, FANRPAN, decried the failure of mainstream agricultural policies to deliver employment for rural youth and highlighted a campaign by her organization to document local success stories involving young people, as well as provide mentoring and training support and advocacy.

Highlighting the impact of Typhoon Haiyan on rural livelihoods in the Philippines, Karen Tuason, a youth representative from the Philippines, said extreme events affect the rich and poor differently and posed the question: “Who has the capacity to recover?” She outlined some activities of Task Force Mapalad, a Philippine peasant federation that is empowering young farmers to take an active part in campaigning for access to land, improving yields, developing entrepreneurial skills and engaging effectively with markets.

In the ensuing panel discussion, speakers responded to issues raised by participants, both on site and virtually. On the lack of infrastructure and access to information, panelists suggested utilizing SMS messaging and social media to reach rural farmers. On ways to better engage young people in rural communities and in agriculture, especially when the appeal of urban centers is so strong, panelists said that youth will stay in their communities if they understand that agriculture can be innovative, utilize technology and provide a means to earn money. They noted that agriculture involves a broad spectrum of activities, and stressed the importance of moving beyond the old paradigm of labor-intensive, low-productivity work.

On linking research and policy, speakers stressed the importance of making evidence-based policy recommendations and ensuring that research is demand-driven, while noting that governments are not the only locus for action. Panelists stressed the need to look beyond their own “silos” and think more broadly about a range of tools for enhancing public engagement.

CAPACITY BUILDING AND THE POWER OF GROUPS:Otim Joseph, a youth representative from Uganda, described a youth social forestry effort in northern Uganda that aimed to restore degraded landscapes following the scorched earth policy propagated by both the Lord’s Resistance Army rebels and government forces over two decades of war. He noted a key factor in the initiative’s success was its ability to tap into youth’s natural curiosity about science and environment when returning civilians were confronted with the “new war” of climate change.

Stephen Kibet, a youth representative from Kenya, highlighted an initiative in Kenya’s Rift Valley region where university students are teaching GIS technology to local youth groups, enabling them to map soil erosion and land degradation processes. He said the long-term goal is to contribute to improved landscape protection by building technical skills, expanding income generation opportunities and encouraging rural youth to use their knowledge to advocate for better policies with local leaders.

Izzy Lawrence, Connect4Climate, told the story of TS1, a rap group from one of the poorest slums in the world, whose music touches on sustainable development themes. She said the group’s journey from Nairobi to Washington, D.C., in the US, where they received an award for their video message about climate change, should be an inspiration to young people everywhere to shake off the mentality that they cannot make a difference.

Amy Duchelle, CIFOR, described experiences of the Global Comparative Study on REDD+, which hired 80 young researchers to work with communities across eight sites in the Amazon. She noted that young scientists are able to fulfill the need for new kinds of professionals who can work across disciplines and scales and communicate results in creative and accessible ways. She said such international projects are able to contribute to building the capacity of young researchers by plugging them into knowledge networks and providing training in practical skills, such as conflict management and facilitation.

During the panel discussion, the four presenters responded to questions, including: translating research into practice; capacity building and mentoring; and communication. They highlighted the importance of mentorship as a primary means to engage youth, and said that when communicating to rural communities, tailoring the message to the intended audience so that it is received and acted upon is essential.

Wrapping up the discussions, Bruce Campbell, CCAFS, discussed the implications of a 4°C average temperature increase scenario in Africa, stating that this would “kill the continent.” He lamented the lack of progress on agriculture at COP 19 and urged the youth to speak out and “start a positive revolution.”


The Gender Café convened on both days of the GLF, showcasing conversations led by researchers, practitioners and policy makers, as well as publications and videos. Questions highlighted during the Gender Café included: how do gender and social inequalities affect the governance of landscapes; how can gender and social equity contribute to “climate-smart landscapes” that are food secure and climate resilient; how do women and men contribute to landscape management; are women’s contributions recognized and rewarded in the same way as those of men; do governance and legal frameworks in the landscape affect women and men differently, and what can be done to improve them; what potential does cross-sectoral governance have for addressing gender and social inequalities; what are the challenges of increasing the participation of women’s and other marginalized groups in landscape governance; and what difference would their participation make? 


Strength in Numbers: International Conference on Forest Producer Organizations: FAO, the Forest and Farm Facility, and the Asia-Pacific Network for Sustainable Forest Management and Rehabilitation are convening this conference in collaboration with a number of partners in order to follow up on the findings of the report “Strength in numbers: Effective forest producer organizations.” As such, the objective of the conference is to support sustainable forest management by smallholders and communities through forest producer organizations. The conference will identify challenges and criteria for success with regard to forest producer organizations, build an enabling environment for capacity building, and explore ways and means to deliver multiple benefits through forest producer organizations, including for society and the environment.  dates: 25-28 November 2013  location: Guilin, Guangxi, China  contact: Sophie, Grouwels  phone: +39 6 570 55299  e-mail:  www:

13th Meeting of Partners of the Congo Basin Forests Partnership: This meeting, which is being convened with support from the Governments of the Netherlands and the US, as well as the International Tropical Timber Organization, will focus on the theme “Forest Livelihoods and Economic Opportunities for Conservation in Central Africa.” The meeting will consider alternative livelihood opportunities in forests, ways and means to combat wildlife trafficking, and new partnership opportunities to balance forest conservation with economic opportunities. The meeting will also facilitate a marketplace for the exchange of innovative ideas and lessons learned on forest management.  dates: 2-4 December 2013 location: Libreville, Estuaire, Gabon  contact: Matthew V. Cassetta  e-mail:  www:  

CCAFS Workshop on South-South Learning on Scaling Up Institutions and Policies: This workshop will focus on promoting South-South learning on institutions and policies. Participants will share lessons learned from their experience in piloting policies and creating institutions to manage current as well as future climatic risks in the agricultural sector. On 4-5 December, the CCAFS will organize a capacity-strengthening workshop on prioritization tools for participants.  dates: 2-5 December 2013  location: Colombo, Sri Lanka  contact: CCAFS  phone: +45 35331046  e-mail:  www:

European Forest Week 2013: This week will be celebrated under the theme “The role of forests and forest products in a Green Economy” and will focus on the contribution of forests to the green economy. The main celebrations will be centered on Metsä 2013, the joint session of the UN Economic Commission for Europe Committee on Forests and the Forest Industry, and the FAO European Forestry Commission. Additional events will be held throughout Europe.  dates: 9-13 December 2013  location: Rovaniemi, Lapland, Finland  contact: Secretariat  phone: 41 (0)22 917 3922  e-mail:  www:

Near East and North Africa Land and Water Days: This meeting, sponsored by FAO, will focus on land and water management, particularly technologies, approaches and modalities to secure sustained improvements on the ground that improve resilience. The meeting will target policy makers, practitioners, donors and researchers to share and learn together about effective ways to enhance land and water management practices in the region.  dates: 15-18 December 2013  venue: Hotel Le Méridien  location: Amman, Jordan  www:

World Congress on Agroforestry: The World Congress on Agroforestry, with the theme “Trees for Life – Accelerating the Impacts of Agroforestry,” is intended to raise awareness and share knowledge and information on agroforestry and associated research. The Congress also aims to increase support for agroforestry on all fronts, including through collaboration with the private sector. The event is being organized by ICRAF, in collaboration with the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), the Indian Society of Agroforestry and Global Initiatives.  dates: 10-14 February 2014  venue: Vigyan Bhavan & Kempinski Hotel  location: Delhi, India  contact: Global Initiatives  phone: +254 20 722 4000  e-mail:  www: 

Forests Asia Conference: Sustainable Landscapes for Green Growth in ASEAN: This conference, organized by CIFOR as part of the global celebration for the International Day of Forests, will discuss sustainable forest landscapes within the ASEAN’s post-2015 sustainable development efforts. The conference will focus on governance, trade and investment in order to manage forests for green returns, climate change mitigation and adaptation, energy and low-carbon development, food security and nutrition.  dates: 20-21 March 2014  venue: Shangri-La Hotel  location: Jakarta, Indonesia  contact: Daniel Cooney  phone: +62 811 900 3264  e-mail:  www:

Adaptation Futures 2014: Third International Climate Change Adaptation Conference: This meeting is being co-hosted by the Earth System Science Center of the National Institute for Space Studies (Brazil), and UNEP’s Programme of Research on Climate Change Vulnerability, Impacts and Adaptation. The meeting is expected to bring together scientists, decision makers and practitioners from developed and developing countries to share research approaches, methods and results. The conference consists of two back-to-back events: the Third International Climate Change Adaptation Conference 2014 between 12-15 May; and the International Workshop on High Level Drought Policies on Arid and Semiarid Lands on 15 May.  dates: 12-16 May 2014  location: Fortaleza, Ceara, Brazil  contact: José Marengo  e-mail:  www:  

2014 Climate Summit: The 2014 Climate Summit, which is being organized by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, will take place in September 2014, with the aim of mobilizing political will for a universal and legally-binding comprehensive agreement in 2015.  date: 23 September 2014  venue: UN Headquarters  location: New York City, US  www:  

CBD COP 12: The twelfth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the CBD will engage in a mid-term review of the implementation of the Strategic Plan and the Aichi Targets. The theme of the meeting will be “Biodiversity for Sustainable Development.” The Meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety will is planning to covene immediately before COP 12.  dates: 6-17 October 2014  location: PyeongChang, Republic of Korea  contact: CBD Secretariat  phone: +1 514 288 2220  fax: +1 514 288 6588  e-mail:   www:

UNFCCC COP 20: The 20th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC is expected to take place in December 2014 in Peru. Venezuela will host a pre-COP ministerial meeting on a date to be determined.  dates: 3-14 December 2014  location: Peru  contact: UNFCCC Secretariat  phone: +49-228 815-1000  fax: +49-228-815-1999  e-mail:  www:  

Further information