Day 2 | Dec 7   16.00 - 17.30

Moving targets: Challenges and opportunities for sustainability in “frontier” landscapes

Swedish International Agricultural Network Initiative (SIANI), EcoAdapt




Download organizers’ statement: Governing frontier landscapes: Insights from the Global Landscapes Forum 2014

Landscapes across many developing countries are experiencing rapid changes mostly due to increasing demand for food and other natural resources, exacerbated by drivers such as climate change. Over time, these frontier landscapes often give rise to “novel societies” with a diversity of actors that have different productive strategies, cultural and migration histories, and access to capital, technology and markets.

Panelists will share their experience on fostering sustainability in such dynamic, multi-actor landscapes, focusing on relative success stories, where changes in political representation, dialogue spaces, technology, information and learning, have generated positive social and environmental outcomes. Local perspectives will be complemented by views from meso- and high-level decision makers to assess how policy processes account for, and are informed by, the diversity of local interests.

In the Discussion Forum panelists will address questions including how context dependent success stories are, how they can help promote learning and positive outcomes in landscapes elsewhere, and what mechanisms are most effective in connecting tailored, bottom-up solutions to sustainability problems with top-down policies. Audience participation will be central to the discussion and facilitated by a “hidden” panel of experienced participants with diverse backgrounds and charged in advance with testing the positions of the panel and facilitating audience participation.

Key questions addressed:

  1. What best examples can be given of the conditions that foster both sustainable development and durable collaborations among a diverse group of actors in dynamic frontier landscapes?
  2. How context-dependent are such success stories that we can identify, and what would help promote learning and positive outcomes in other landscapes elsewhere?
  3. What mechanisms (e.g. institutions, incentives, safeguards, science-society interactions) are the most effective in connecting tailored, bottom-up solutions to sustainability problems with top down policies in a way that can reconcile conflicting needs and interests of diverse local actors?

Hidden panel:

The hidden panel will include the head of the UNFCCC negotiating delegation for a major emerging economy; principal representative from a flagship Latin American municipality in a dynamic landscape; representative of a indigenous community participating in the negotiations; and international researchers with unique perspectives on the questions being discussed at the forum.

SIANI, the Swedish International Agricultural Network Initiative, is a member-based network that supports and promotes Swedish expertise on sustainable food security and nutrition, in line with the Swedish Government’s policy on global development.The SIANI membership is diverse and includes representatives from governments, civil society, the private sector and academia. SIANI offers an open and interactive platform for exchange on global issues around food security, poverty reduction and environmental sustainability.

The EcoAdapt project (Spanish and English websites) is an action-research initiative working with three Latin American provinces to influence water management processes that contribute to local development and reduce vulnerability of human populations to climate change through capacity building, knowledge sharing, conflict prevention and mitigation, and promoting joint work with local and national stakeholders. It is financed by the 7th Framework Programme (FP7) for Research and Development of the European Commission. The project builds on two premises: 1) adaptation to climate change is not something that can be done in isolation, and 2) ecosystem‐based management is a sound basis for successful adaptation to climate change in Latin America.


Background reading:

Landscapes in a Carbon-focused world: A Seminar and panel discussion, held by SIANI in Sweden in the aftermath of Rio +20, with documents and video presentations linking carbon, biodiversity, climate and people, and covering legal, policy, technical and social dimensions

Landscape Approach: the New Hype? Reflections from the Global Landscape Forum: A blog from a SIANI member following the Global Landscape Forum in 2013

Ecosystem‐based strategies and innovations in water governance networks for adaptation to climate change in Latin American landscapes: Articles, in Spanish, on some of the latest work of the EcoAdapt project analyzing the social-institutional and legal contexts of project sites in Argentina, Bolivia and Chile

Climate Change and Water: A key relationship for adaptation – Policy Brief

Cambio climatico y agua – (above Policy Brief in Spanish)

Governance structures for ecosystem-based adaptation: Using policy-network analysis to identify key organizations for bridging information across scales and policy areas

Actor-specific contributions to the deforestation slowdown in the Brazilian Amazon – Research paper