Global Landscapes Forum creates space for innovation

The GLF develops new solutions for the sustainable development of landscapes; photo: Michael Hüttner/PB IKI

The GLF develops new solutions for the sustainable development of landscapes; photo: Michael Hüttner/PB IKI

The annual conference of the Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) took place from 19 to 20 December at the Forum’s new location in Bonn, Germany, with some 1,000 participants from, politics, civil society, the private sector and universities and research institutions.

Eric Solheim, Executive Director of the UN Environmental Programme (UN Environment), opened the conference at the World Conference Center, which also recently hosted the 23rd Climate Change Conference. The German Federal Government is increasing its commitment to creating and preserving effective landscapes worldwide which combine environmental and climate protection with development goals. To achieve these goals, the German Environment Ministry (BMUB) and the German Development Ministry (BMZ) are each supporting the GLF with EUR 5.5 million. The GLF Secretariat will be located at the UN Bonn Campus for the next four years.

BMUB Minister Barbara Hendricks emphasised: ‘Climate change is a challenge for the community of nations, and one which it has never faced before. Forests and soils play a pivotal role in this. Improving the state of forests and soils counters climate change and loss of biodiversity simultaneously. The Global Landscapes Forum helps us learn from each other and work together on implementation.’

The BMUB’s International Climate Initiative (IKI) supports forest and landscape restoration worldwide with projects, which contribute to achieving the goals of the Bonn Challenge and the Initiative 20x20 of restoring 150 million hectares of degraded landscapes by 2020. It presented itself at the Global Landscapes Forum for the first time with its own stand in the German Pavilion, with projects by organisations such as Fairventures in Indonesia, the OroVerde tropical forest foundation in Guatemala as well as the IUCN and University of Koblenz-Landau in Rwanda. Additionally, the Bonn Challenge Barometer of Progress was presented in a launch pad. It is being developed by IUCN in an IKI project to measure progress in forest and landscape restoration by 2020, which over 35 countries have already pledged under the Bonn Challenge.

IKI stand in the German Pavilion at the GLF 2017; photo: PB IKI

The Global Landscapes Forum in Bonn is the world’s largest independent science-based multi-sectoral action platform for the land use sector and forests. The international forum develops new solutions, for example, by observing sectors such as food production, health, renewable energies, human rights, climate and water as a whole in a landscape setting.