The landscapes approach means being holistic and integrated. It means unifying management efforts around achieving the triple win: increased yields, boosted incomes, and lowered greenhouse emissions. Certainly a good idea as it sounds, but how does one practically go about doing it? That’s what the dozens of plenary and technical sessions of the 2013 Global Landscapes Forum sought to unpack. As I listened in, two observations stuck with me throughout. The first: participants promoted many climate-smart uses of landscapes that would increase both productivity and efficiency of agriculture worldwide, but largely neglected the essential need to reduce postharvest losses. What comments few did contribute on the topic, albeit important, were limited to highlighting the gravity of the issue.
The second: that postharvest loss needs to be included more extensively in discussions, and not only because it is a major problem. Real solutions that panelists and audience members focused on in discussions on every topic from finance to ecology to governance were centered around reaching a systems understanding of landscapes. In one session, Rachel Kyte, the VP of Sustainable Development of the World Bank, described what this would look like, “Good data coming from all sides and pooling together to construct the makeup of a landscape”.