FAO calls for a paradigm shift in landscapes at GLF Kyoto 2019


13 May 2019, Kyoto - A paradigm shift to achieve zero deforestation, restore large areas of forest and reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation is required to fulfil Paris Agreement climate change goals, a session at the Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) in Kyoto heard today.

Hiroto Mitsugi, FAO Assistant Director-General, Forestry Department, highlighted the importance of approaching development holistically, noting that the sustainable landscape approach is key to reaching climate resilience and ecosystem restoration goals.

“To reach these goals requires a new way of looking at land use, of working together across sectors, and of doing business,” Mitsugi said in a speech opening a session co-organized by FAO, the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and the Green Climate Fund (GCF). “What it urgently requires is a transformational change.”

Panellists emphasized the importance of two way approaches in transformational change, top-down and bottom-up, and highlighted activities such as REDD+ as being transformational in protecting forests.

The session, entitled “Achieving transformational change through integrated landscape approaches,” brought together diverse voices including representatives from the Green Climate Fund Secretariat, indigenous peoples groups, the United Nations, government and research experts to present and discuss preliminary results from an upcoming FAO/CIFOR study, which analyses definitions of transformational change, the concept of triggers and drivers, as well as lessoned learned from other sectors, such as education, health and public administration.

Malgorzata Buszko-Briggs, FAO Programme Officer, REDD+/National Forest Monitoring Cluster, emphasized the importance of understanding the concept of “transformational change” in development assistance and how we can attribute the change to our work. She offered some examples and practical efforts to support countries in the transformation towards a low carbon economy, including the use of cutting edge technologies which allow for cost effectiveness in data provision as well as building transformative networks and partnerships towards a new spirit of solidarity and cooperation.

“Agriculture would need to produce 60% more food globally by 2050 to meet growing food demand for over 9 billion people. This may have a huge impact on landscapes and forests. At the same time, one third of all food produced for human consumption is either lost or wasted every year. Not only is this a missed opportunity towards eradicating hunger, but uneaten food is a major contribution to climate change, accounting for an estimated 8% of global GHG emissions. This calls for urgent transformation change and agriculture must be part of the solution,” Buszko-Briggs said. “Consumer’s habits and behavioural change is a key to transformation and can trigger a huge change that would impact forests and landscape at scale.”

The FAO/CIFOR study, “Transformational change in land use”, will be launched at GLF Bonn 2019 in June and is based on research activities initiated by FAO and CIFOR in 2017 to provide strategic advice on the paradigm shift required to elucidate triggers, drivers and barriers to transformational change related to forestry and other land use sectors.

Organized back-to-back with the 49th session of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the Global Landscapes Forum gathered representatives from science, development agencies, government, indigenous peoples, civil society and project implementers to share on-the-ground solutions for a climate-smart future. Held in Kyoto, 22 years after the signing of the Kyoto Protocol, the forum focused on sustainable landscapes as a critical part of the climate solution under the slogan “Climate, Landscapes and Lifestyles: It is Not Too Late”.

last updated:  Tuesday, May 21, 2019