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WFP's Deputy Executive Director for Hunger Solutions Sheila Sisulu stresses the need for farmers in Africa and India to shift to climate smart agriculture.
As climate talks continued at COP19 and climate activists took to the streets of Warsaw to demand an end to business as usual, the first Global Landscapes Forum debuted at the University of Warsaw Saturday, launching a two day conference to promote a novel holistic approach to addressing climate change while meeting the need to sustainably feed 9 billion people by 2050.

Fast on the heels of Rio+20 and the publishing of the twelve Sustainable Development Goals, the GLF attracted hundreds of participants (world leaders, policymakers, scientists, donors, the private sector, indigenous and community groups, and climate negotiators) to participate in discussions on how agriculture and forestry – which contribute up to one third of GHGs - can collaborate to design and implement solutions which surpass traditional sector-specific approaches.

Peter Holmgren, Director General of the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), who moderated Saturday's opening plenary identified four themes of the conference:

• Investing in sustainable landscapes in forests and on farms
• Landscapes policy and governance for forestry, agriculture and other land uses
• Synergies between adapting to and mitigating climate change in forest and   agricultural landscapes
• Landscapes for food security and nutrition
Fueled by Saturday's announcement that the United Nations' Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) will not be including agriculture on this year's agenda, (Read Why aren't climate negotiators listening to 1.4 billion farmers?), World Bank Vice President for Sustainable Development Rachel Kyte lamented the lack of communication between COP negotiators and both researchers and environmental and agricultural ministers.

While negotiators might not yet realize the link between the landscape approach and food security and mitigation, "it’s never too late to get agriculture and forests incorporated into the Post 2015 Sustainable Development Goals," Kyte said.

The ‘landscape approach’ significantly shifts how policy and science are applied to address climate change and stresses the integral need to level the playing field when it comes to the equality of voices involved in the process of planning and decision making.

The link between forestry and agriculture is key, as the two sectors collectively employ billions of people, workers who produce all of our natural food and fibers and contribute 10% of our biomass energy.  Engaging all stakeholders - from the small farmer or cattle rancher to the investment bankers, governments and NGOs - is key to designing resilient interconnected systems which maintain biodiversity, support ecosystems and ensure a sustainable and safe water supply.

"First off, we think of a ‘landscape’ as a socio-ecological system – a mosaic of natural and/or human-modified ecosystems, influenced by the ecological, historical, economic, and cultural processes and activities of the area," explain EcoAgriculture Partners Sara J. Scherr, Seth Shames, and Rachel Friedman.

One of the most significant topics of the Forum was the highly significant role of  Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) within the landscape paradigm.

CSA strengthens resilience by improving crop productivity and farmers' incomes while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  Employing techniques such as crop rotation, mulching, integrating crop-livestock management and improving water management, CSA also incorporates innovative weather forecasting technologies. (See, for example, aWhere’s New Precipitation Resource and its Importance in Agriculture.)

Speaking on Climate Smart Agriculture at the GLF Sunday, World Food Program Deputy Executive Director for Hunger Solutions Sheila Sisulu stressed the need "to focus on people, to be close to people because we cannot be smart without them ... they are central to landscapes."  

With over half of the world's population experiencing some form of malnutrition, Sisulu said she fears the sustainable development goals will not sufficiently address food security and stressed the need for farmers in Africa and India to shift to climate smart agriculture. (For a CSA success story, see Plump Goats and Pawpaws: A Story of Climate-Smart Farming in Kenya)

Hosted at the University of Warsawwith Poland's Ministry of the Environment and Ministry Agriculture and Rural Development,  The Global Landscape Forum was coordinated by CIFOR, CGIAR and CCAFS.  Visit the website for more information on other participating organizations and partners.

Through the lens of the beautiful Gunung Halimun Salak National Park area in Java – and the lives of those who live there – we explore just what a ‘landscape approach’ means, as a way to reconcile conservation, agriculture, development and industry in a single area, and ensure we feed the earth’s growing population while preserving our environment.

The University of Warsaw in Saturday evening's gentle mist

Originally posted to boatsie on Sun Nov 17, 2013 at 05:27 AM PST.

Also republished by Deborah Phelan.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Lots Talk. I Bet No Action! (4+ / 0-)

    Isn't that what always happens?

  •  Global landscape is good but population growth (9+ / 0-)

    must stop. There are 2 possible ways for it to stop. The good  way is by empowerment of women and family planning.

    look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

    by FishOutofWater on Sun Nov 17, 2013 at 05:42:22 AM PST

  •  We're talking about climate-smart farming (8+ / 0-)

    by referring to a World Bank blog that says, among other things:

    You don’t start a conversation with a struggling farmer by talking about the benefits of emissions reduction. You start with productivity, with resilience to drought and floods and with profit margins.
    Why is it always "profit margins" that saves the world for these people?  Do they see any connection between "half the world experiences some form of malnutrition" and the universal pursuit of "profit margins"?  

    In most places the farmers don't need to design new agricultural systems in order to protect biodiversity.  "New systems" often means monocrop agriculture for RoundUp-ready GMO crops.  Mass efforts to teach the urbanized poor in the old ways would help a lot though.

    "this is the worst of all worlds, and that is how it was designed to be." - Ian Welsh

    by Cassiodorus on Sun Nov 17, 2013 at 05:43:37 AM PST

    •  The average farmer in an undeveloped nation (6+ / 0-)

      is concerned about feeding his/her family and basic survival not profit margins. The world bank is apparently still focused on agribusiness.

      look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

      by FishOutofWater on Sun Nov 17, 2013 at 05:58:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  This should also raise a red flag -- (7+ / 0-)
        Engaging all stakeholders - from the small farmer or cattle rancher to the investment bankers, governments and NGOs - is key to designing resilient interconnected systems which maintain biodiversity, support ecosystems and ensure a sustainable and safe water supply.
        So that's why traditional farming has failed for the past ten thousand years!  They weren't working with investment bankers or NGOs.  Now we know.

        "this is the worst of all worlds, and that is how it was designed to be." - Ian Welsh

        by Cassiodorus on Sun Nov 17, 2013 at 06:02:25 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  agreed but spoke yesterday with a woman from (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mary Mike, peregrine kate, citisven

        west africa who was at the Gender Lounge at this forum. She was talking about how NOW the men are replacing the trees they used to make shea butter with so they could support their families with other trees. I asked her if the men were being funded by some group to plant more sustainable trees , like why were they doing this?

        She said no, the men were returning back home from jobs elsewhere and taking over where the women had been making their livlihoods.

        I agree with you about the World Bank, although I have more hope with Jim Yong Kim at the helm.  

        Profit margins DO NOT exist for the small scale farmer. But what does is making enough $ to take care of his/her family.

        One of the key questions I have is with all these investors coming in, what emphasis is placed on finding ways to help move people beyond the sheer survival level.

        How many people actually speak the language? Use the terms which really apply?

        This has been the major problem with development efforts. Sustainable development doesn't necessarily mean equality, that all benefit equally. NO?

        Follow me at COP19 via twitter @boatsie/a>

        by boatsie on Sun Nov 17, 2013 at 06:19:19 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  the lingo drives me crazy too (4+ / 0-)

      and there were some great comments from the World Bank VP on Sustainable Development about how farmers don't wake up and say now how am i going to adapt to climate change today!!!

      But the plain truth is that the farmers do have to make a living. The key here I think is giving indigenous knowledge an equal place at the table. But then these guys are gonna have to learn a whole new way of communicating, let me tell you!

      There was also a great presentation yesterday by a Polish farmer whose family farm has been in business for 250 years ...

      I had a chance yesterday to talk to the VP of IPCC regarding their prediction of rain for E Africa and then how the internationanls went in and pushed the farmers to change from drought resistant crops.

      I have his response in my recordings ....

      Follow me at COP19 via twitter @boatsie/a>

      by boatsie on Sun Nov 17, 2013 at 05:59:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  My point is this -- (7+ / 0-)

        It sounds as if those people are there to push a "capitalism will save the world" agenda.  A World Bank blog?  Seriously?  I'd love to see what someone from the Institute for Food and Development Policy or Via Campesina thinks of all this.

        The last time the global warming entrepreneurs could claim a success was with a cap-and-trade scheme.  A bunch of paper changes hands, some speculators make a bunch of money, and nothing of importance happens.  From the Monthly Review, nearly a decade ago:

        The truth is that addressing the global warming threat to any appreciable degree would require at the very least a chipping away at the base of the system. The scientific consensus on global warming suggests that what is needed is a 60–80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions below 1990 levels in the next few decades in order to avoid catastrophic environmental effects by the end of this century—if not sooner. The threatening nature of such reductions for capitalist economies is apparent in the rather hopeless state at present of the Kyoto Protocol, which required the rich industrial countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 5.2 percent below 1990 levels by 2008–2012. The United States, which had steadily increased its carbon dioxide emissions since 1990 despite its repeated promises to limit its emissions, pulled out of the Kyoto Protocol in 2001 on the grounds that it was too costly. Yet, the Kyoto Protocol was never meant to be anything but the first, small, in itself totally inadequate step to curtail emissions. The really big cuts were to follow.
        These people dominate the conversation when they shouldn't even have been invited to the party.

        "this is the worst of all worlds, and that is how it was designed to be." - Ian Welsh

        by Cassiodorus on Sun Nov 17, 2013 at 06:14:28 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  D'accord .. (4+ / 0-)

          and here is the interesting thing.

          the people here at the GLF think that the people in the COP dont get it.

          And that they speak a different language. And that they do not understand the importance of agriculture and small scale farmers.

          But the question really is since they realize that small scale farmers will have to save the world, and that the green revolution  failed, and that all of the models of development which are really top down (even though they know now to employ the term bottom up) why don't they take $ out of the equation?

          This was the point I was making the other day when I wrote about the US investment schemes and how it took six years for this person from SA to get funding for his biomass project.

          The big expense was the lawyers.  Things are still IMHO messed up when we think we have the time to use channels for development which created the mess in the first place.

          Crash and burn.

          Follow me at COP19 via twitter @boatsie/a>

          by boatsie on Sun Nov 17, 2013 at 06:26:55 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  here's what Im looking forward to (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    John Crapper, citisven

    WEDO is extremely pleased to announce the November 19 launch of a new Environment and Gender Index (EGI), monitoring progress on gender equality in the environmental context. The tool has been developed by the IUCN, and is the first of its kind. It contains up to date comparative data across 72 developed and developing countries, identifying how their environmental efforts address gender issues. With the EGI, those working in the environment, livelihoods, governance, education, health or security sector, will be given a new and important reference tool.

    Follow me at COP19 via twitter @boatsie/a>

    by boatsie on Sun Nov 17, 2013 at 06:30:27 AM PST

  •  are we willing to ‘shrink’ our consumption (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    triv33, John Crapper, citisven

    Time to call in the shrinks.

    interesting post from one of the youth social media team @GLF

    Follow me at COP19 via twitter @boatsie/a>

    by boatsie on Sun Nov 17, 2013 at 06:39:52 AM PST

    •  Please see Foster, Clark, York: (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      boatsie, triv33, John Crapper, citisven

      "The Ecological Rift" on the matter of consumerism and ecology.  Actual consumerism is a drop in the bucket when compared to productive consumption under capitalism.

      "this is the worst of all worlds, and that is how it was designed to be." - Ian Welsh

      by Cassiodorus on Sun Nov 17, 2013 at 06:47:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  This was an interesting post. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      citisven, boatsie
      This is where I miss the presence, voice and input from social scientists, political scientists, philosophers and other thinkers that have the expertise to guide us through consumer behavior, human psyche and cultural differences. All of these factors influence our views as individuals on the level of commodities we need and the world we wish to build. How much are we willing to ‘shrink’ our consumption for the benefit of our landscapes?

      All this terminology and buzz words and analysis and interrelationships but the answers are much more simple if we will just accept them.  Our ego is the MAIN problem when it comes to climate change.  

      We are always looking for a way to continue to "maintain our lifestyle".  We are looking towards our capitalism and technology to provide us an out.  We keep thinking we can "save the planet".  Not going to happen.

      We need to face simple facts.  We need to somehow reduce our population numbers, reduce our consumption and generate our energy from non-polluting sources.  

      1.  Population:  Provide financial incentives for people to adopt  and refrain from having your own children.  Oh but our ego tells us our progeny is so special so we can't do that.  Our religions tell us that we are special and it is most important to get as many as possible into heavenly bliss.
      This problem is the elephant in the room.

      2.  Consumption:  In developed countries come to terms with the reality that we can no longer afford to produce everything that marketers can convince people to buy.  Oh but we can't do that because we need jobs, jobs, growth, growth to provide for more people.  And oh don't we just love to pamper ourselves if we have the opportunity.  

      3.  Increase non-polluting energy:  If we wanted to we could launch a WWII type effort to make the transition.  But hell that's no fun.  It's much more "manly" to go to war to protect our access to Middle East Oil.  And hell we just love the internal combustion engine and to burn stuff in general.  

      So let's just keep making all this stuff so complicated and come up with new jargon and theories and most importantly let's make sure we keep on talking.  

      If we really want to straighten out all this crap we really need to think about shit - Holy Shit.

      by John Crapper on Sun Nov 17, 2013 at 10:05:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  hi boatsie...been offline mostly... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    boatsie, John Crapper, citisven

    and will be thru tomorrow...but...

    just wanted to say thank you for bringing us all this great coverage...I will be catching up on all this first chance I get...just checked your twitter stream...you're tireless and awesome...hugs..!!

    We are not broke, we are being robbed...but we can fight back...#KosKatalogue

    by Glen The Plumber on Sun Nov 17, 2013 at 07:04:27 AM PST

  •  Hello boatsie (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    boatsie

    So great to see this report from you! I agree with some of the discussions above that a lot of these the discussions at these conferences use language that's hard to understand for the average person, whether it's in the US or in Africa. I end up getting really bored usually when the people in suits and ties give their power point presentations, which sometimes feels like subconsciously that's what they want: talk in really obtuse highfalutin language so that most regular folks tune out and they can continue to drive the boat. I really feel like we need to come up with better language and storytelling if we want to give more people a voice in this. Yeb Sano's speech was a great example of how to give the whole "conferencing" an emotional context and lift.

    Keep us posted on what's going on. This is so special to have you reporting from there. Did you see that VL Baker mentioned you on the front page last night?

    Ecology is the new Economy => Kosonomy

    by citisven on Sun Nov 17, 2013 at 11:29:31 AM PST

    •  morning sven (0+ / 0-)

      its the opening of the coal summit here and Greenpeace is on it, which is thrilling.

      After one of those never ending weekends covering meetings, I am going out to explore Warsaw today and kick back.  I am so tired of the power point presentations and yesterday save for the Road to Paris closing at the sustainable business event I stayed outside the rooms, witing this piece from the media section.

      Found a book for you on Urbanization at that summit and missed one event on it at the COP itself.  

      These meetings are worse even than in Cancun when real people took to the stage to tell their stories. Now it is all acronyms.  

      Some progress is being made behind closed doors, but the general concensus is that the delegates arrive with their sheets of paper and they talk to no one else.  As of today, the huges event of the whole meeting remains the opening speech by Yeb Sano, as it should be. God, I have to say that observing that in person was perhaps THE most emotionally grueling experiences of my life.

      read your article in SoJourners and left a comment which somehow appeared on my FB page LOL

      Follow me at COP19 via twitter @boatsie/a>

      by boatsie on Sun Nov 17, 2013 at 11:38:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  and thanks, buddy. I know you get it nt (0+ / 0-)

      Follow me at COP19 via twitter @boatsie/a>

      by boatsie on Sun Nov 17, 2013 at 11:38:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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