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New FAO Publication 'Landscapes for life' points the way forward

Sustainable land and Water management key elements of new publication on landscape management for sustainable food and agriculture

The adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) established a vision for the future, which is as transformational as it is ambitious. They represent a determined agenda, intended to address an unprecedented confluence of pressures on human development and the global environment. Perhaps most importantly, the SDGs represent a strategy that is “integrated and indivisible”, explicitly recognizing that shifting the course of human history onto a sustainable pathway will require new thinking in how we tackle complex problems which transcend sectors and scale.

This vision for integration is also at the heart of FAO’s strategy for sustainable food and agriculture. While the principles of boosting the efficiency of food systems, conserving natural ecosystems, improving livelihoods and well-being, enhancing resilience, and promoting good governance are central to this strategy, it is also recognized that they cannot be achieved in isolation from each another.

The ecosystems which provide the foundation for sustainable agriculture in productive landscapes and seascapes are being degraded, and their integrity disrupted, at unprecedented rates. The global food supply and the livelihoods of the people managing these landscapes will depend, among other aspects, on our ability to strengthen the resilience of these systems, restore degraded lands, stabilize watersheds, maintain soil quality, improve ocean health, and manage freshwater habitats and coastal areas.

FAO is leading efforts to improve food security and nutrition through integrated approaches on the ground. These initiatives are based on the resilience and social equity of communities, and preserving the natural resource base upon which all food production depends. We know we can meet the challenge of ending hunger, and support sustainable livelihoods of people and communities who produce food. However, to be successful we must simultaneously address challenges that are both natural resource-based and socio-economic in nature, the origins of which may stem far from affected communities. This requires integrated investments at scale and across domains. This publication presents FAO’s key initiatives in support of the landscape approach, and represents an important step in consolidating these knowledge resources in support of country commitments to the Sustainable Development Goals.

Download 'Landscapes for life' >>