GLF brings “fusion of disciplines” at turning point for climate and development, says CIFOR’s DG

“Sometimes we forget that each animal has its own place in the ecosystem or landscape, and even the body of one animal can be the landscape and whole world of another,” writes Sabrina van de Velde, who contributed the green gecko to the GLF 2014 Photo Competition. Biodiversity is also a topic at the Forum.

By Peter Holmgren, Director General of CIFOR, originally published at the DG’s Blog

The UNFCCC COP20 in Lima is around the corner, and expectations are mounting again on how far the world’s countries are prepared to go in handling causes and effects of climate change. Lima is the last main stop en route to a new climate deal in Paris next year, following a high-profile UN Climate Summit in New York in September.

There are new reasons for optimism. We recently noted an opening move by US and China, while Norway remains a champion of the forest game. The EU is committing to substantial emission reductions. The Green Climate Fund is growing, and so is, seemingly, the political momentum.

At the same time, there are some clouds in the sky. Guarding local and indigenous people’s rights to forests can be outright dangerous. One major concern is that increasing demand for food affects the climate. Reconciling the world’s climate ambitions with the world’s development ambitions could also be better articulated.

It is against this backdrop that the second Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) will be held in Lima on 6-7 December. Presented in conjunction with the Government of Peru and coordinating partners UNEP and FAO, the Forum will be a science-based gathering that rivals any similar conference of the past few years. Among the 91 (!) institutions that will lead sessions and research launches at GLF, we share the vision that healthy landscapes are a crucial part of climate and development solutions, and we share the mission to exchange knowledge and experiences across regions, disciplines, scales and sectors….

My own expectation from this year’s GLF—indeed the thread that runs through the entire program—is that we will explore the “How?” In the past couple of years, the interest in integrated landscape solutions has grown fast. But we need more than interest and good will. We also need to see and understand how those landscape solutions are realized under widely different social, environmental and economic conditions.

…Finally, we are breaking new ground. The GLF represents a unique, even historic, fusion of disciplines, sectors and ambitions engaged in a sustainable future and committed to lowering fences and building bridges to work together.

See you in Lima!


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