Sustainable Forest Management Impact Program on Dryland Sustainable Landscapes

Unifying Approaches for a Sustainable Future: Highlights from GLF Africas's Knowledge and Integration side event


The Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) Conference connects individuals from all over the world to address pressing environmental issues, providing a platform for sharing innovative ideas and practical experiences.

One such example is “Scaling up, out and deep through knowledge and integration-based approaches”, a side event developed in the general framework of the FAO-led GEF-7 Sustainable Forest Management Impact Program on Dryland Sustainable Landscapes.

The event featured crucial country-level testimonials that shed light on context-specific challenges and opportunities, while also highlighting the pivotal role integration-based approaches play in fostering progress.

In the article, we will first offer some context on the importance of the GLF and then explore the key takeaways from the side event.

What is the Global Landscapes Forum's Commitment?

The Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) promotes sustainable and inclusive landscapes and is committed to conserving biodiversity-rich landscapes through a collaborative approach.

The GLF empowers underrepresented voices by focusing on five issues:

  • restoration
  • finance
  • human and civil rights
  • food and livelihoods
  • measuring progress

    Through events, research, and engagement, the GLF shapes the global conversation around sustainability and works towards a more equitable and sustainable future.

    The 2022 GLF Africa event topics ranged from "The many stories across Africa" to "Success stories of youth and women leadership in restoration," however, the critical role of Knowledge Management in achieving a sustainable and effective approach through integration has also been under the spotlight.

    Integrated-based approaches for a more sustainable future

    "Knowledge Management is not nice to have, it’s a need to have in all the programs to truly bring about change in behavior and change in policy. And that combined with a sustained effort may then lead to greater scale and impact." Patrick Kalas, GEF-7 Capacity Development Officer, Forestry Division, FAO

    Ewald Rametsteiner, FAO’s Deputy Director of Forestry Division, took the floor first emphasizing the importance of breaking down silos and working together in the agriculture-forestry sector to achieve a better food future.

    The other speeches discussed the significance of integrated and programmatic approaches and effective knowledge management, sharing lessons learned from context-specific initiatives and programs.

    But there was one pivotal topic that surfaced above all the others:

    The need for access to knowledge products, tools, and platforms for indigenous and local communities.

    Secondly, speakers also highlighted the necessity of going beyond business-as-usual approaches for knowledge sharing and advocating for better natural resource management.

    A glimpse into the future of more resilient landscapes

    Each year, the GLF Conference provides a crucial platform to tackle worldwide environmental challenges by sharing ideas and juxtapositioning real issues, faced by local, often underrepresented, communities.

    Country-level testimonials and speakers are a much-needed voice, whose relevance cannot be understated, especially in the African scenario, where landscape disruption has been a major cause of famine, malnutrition, and overall food supply instability.

    And that is exactly what happened in the FAO-led side event:

    Showcasing real-life examples of how effective knowledge management and integration-based approaches can lead to lasting results on the ground, putting theory to work and helping tackle real-world environmental issues.

    Raíssa Maldonado