Delegates at GLF

At the Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) conference in Nairobi last week, more than 7,200 leading scientists, activists, Indigenous leaders, financiers, women, youth, policymakers, representatives from the private sector and 235 speakers convened in Nairobi and online from 130 countries, organizers said.

Discussions explored local solutions to the global climate crisis ahead of the U.N. Climate Change Conference (COP28), which begins Nov. 30 in Dubai. Delegates at the GLF Nairobi 2023 hybrid conference: A New Vision for Earth shared various perspectives on how best to tackle climate change and conserve biodiversity.

“Every fraction of a degree matters," said Éliane Ubalijoro, CEO of the Center for International Forestry Research and World Agroforestry (CIFOR-ICRAF). The sooner we can implement solutions to climate change, the sooner we can avoid irreversible losses and trigger critical climate tipping points. We need to adopt a justice lens and think about how to decolonize our landscapes and heal our relationship with our land.”

Marina Silva, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change of Brazil said: “We are indeed living a historic moment in the course of humankind, in which the ideals that brought us here are proving insufficient for us to be able to continue our journey on Earth with minimal conditions of dignity for human life and other forms of life. Now, the ideals that can help us save life and the planet are those that enable us to use natural resources wisely, to nurture, while also preserving these resources, safeguarding the necessary sufficiency of ecosystem services.”

“The Earth is living, and we need to get out of the illusion that she’s just a dead matter for extraction and exploitation,” said scholar, activist and author Vandana Shiva.

“We live in a miracle. My vision of the Earth is to understand scientifically what that miracle is about and live according to the laws: the laws of the Earth and the laws of living systems.”

“In the grand scheme of things, humanity is a very young species,” said human rights and land defender Ayisha Siddiqa, co-founder of Polluters Out and Fossil Free University and a youth climate advisor.

“During our time on planet Earth, we’ve caused a great deal more damage than any species to come before us. But at the same time, I think because we are a miracle of the species with the ability to figure out what problems we are creating, we also have the ability to solve those problems at lightning speed.”

“We envision commodity value chains that are sustainable for people and the planet,” said Chris Brett, lead agribusiness specialist at the World Bank, who jointly leads the Food Systems, Land Use and Restoration Impact Program (FOLUR) with Timothy Brown, senior natural resource management specialist at the World Bank.

“Through FOLUR, we are sharing lessons learned from 27 countries across eight commodities, integrating smallholder farmers into markets and producing high-quality and sustainable commodities,” Brett said.

“Transforming food systems to reduce environmental degradation and negative externalities requires integration of investments across entire supply chains and focusing on specific levers such as governance and policy, financial leverage, innovation, and multi-stakeholder dialogue; programmatic risk appetite to achieve impact at scale; and design for resilience,” said Peter Umunay, a Senior Environmental Specialist and Lead for the FOLUR and Food Systems Programs at the Global Environment Facility.

“Investments in landscapes are investments in local communities, national economies, and our shared planet,” said Hisham Osman, Senior Environmental Engineer at the World Bank. “Through PROGREEN, the World Bank and our development partners are charting a new vision for Earth that doesn’t only finance green projects – but one that builds green economies.”

Day 1 at GLF Nairobi focused on African sovereign solutions. Day 2 focused on crafting a survival guide for a planet in crisis.

~ published Oct. 16, 2023

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