German to Host World’s Largest Gathering on Sustainable Land Use

Maize crops affected by drought

December 5 , 2017//-Cultural instigator Scott Goodson, President of Mauritius Ammenah Gurib Fakim, yogi and spiritual leader Sadhguru, and UN Environment Director General Erik Solheim are headlining an unprecedented gathering in Bonn, Germany of more than 45 organizations.

The organisations including the World Resources Institute (WRI), World Bank, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and others dedicated to the urgent global imperative to preserve and restore natural resources—from peatlands in Indonesia to glaciers in the Peruvian Andes.

They’re coming together at the end of a year marked by mounting threats on land—under pressure from the growing global demand for commodities, the need to feed a burgeoning population, and an escalation in natural disasters.

In 2017 alone, significant forest and peatland fires ripped through Indonesia, violent land rights protests rocked Brazil, destructive hurricanes leveled Caribbean islands and drastic food shortages created a crisis in East Africa.
Seeking to solve these and other land-based crises, the Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) will spotlight cutting-edge research and innovative projects across Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Pacific—leveraging everything from drones to traditional indigenous knowledge.

These include billion-dollar forest restoration projects in Latin America (Initiative 20×20) and Africa (AFR100); high-tech, real-time mapping and tracking tools that can monitor remote forests; and innovative solutions to the destruction of natural resources, such as the rebuilding of peatlands in Europe using sustainable building products.

Hosted and funded by the German government, the Global Landscapes Forum is the only event of its kind devoted to treating landscapes in a holistic manner.

By connecting “unusual bedfellows,” the event seeks to break traditional silos to generate novel ideas and accelerate action to ensure land use and distribution is more resilient, equitable and productive.

Instructively, the GLF is the largest science-based platform on sustainable land use bringing together world leaders, climate negotiators, policy makers, development practitioners, private sector representatives, scientists, civil society and the media.

Since its inception in 2013, over 25,000 stakeholders from 3,000 organizations and 110 countries have engaged with the GLF. More than just an event, it is a movement aiming to impact one billion people in the next five years.

When: December 19-20, 2017


  • Erik Solheim, Executive Director, UN Environment
  • Ammenah Gurib Fakim, President, Republic of Mauritius
  • Lina Dolores Pohl Afaro, Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, El Salvador
  • Kamala Devi Sharma, Honorable State Minister of Forest and Land Conservation, Nepal
  • Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, Coordinator of the Indigenous Women and Peoples Association, Chad
  • Karin Kemper, Senior Director for the Environment and Natural Resources Global Practice, World Bank
  • Sadhguru, Founder, Isha Foundation, India
  • Jacques Attali (by video), French economic and social theorist, France
  • Charles Batte, Founder, Tree Adoption Uganda
  • Rob Burnet, CEO, Well Told Story
  • Scott Goodson, CEO and Founder, StrawberryFrog, USA

Marcos Terena, Professor of Traditional and Spiritual Knowledge of the Indigenous People and Coordinator of the International Indigenous Forum on Biodiversity.


  • New reportsand initiatives to be launched in a series of press events throughout the two-day event. Governments, indigenous and religious leaders, researchers and businesses will offer new takes on the land use problem.
  • Opportunities to interview a lineup of leading researchers and expertsfrom organizations working on urgent forests, farming and land rights issues worldwide.
  • Information about how cutting-edge technologyis being deployed to solve problems in the land use sector. Researchers will demonstrate new, high-tech tools they’re deploying in the field.
  • Updates on the state of deforestation, progress on agricultural adaptation and the latest land rights struggles.
  • Announcement of the winners of the first-ever Wangari Maathai Award to be launched at the GLFin honor of the late Nobel laureate, Kenyan environmental activist and founder of the Green Belt Movement.

The unexpected role that branding campaigns and unconventional communications—as well as media—play in helping the Global Landscapes Forum reach its goals.

Questions to be answered at the GLF:  

Questions to be answered at the GLF:


·  Why is forest destruction increasing, and what is being done to stop it? Why is restoration and preservation of forests just as important as halting forest loss?

·  Is it possible for Indonesia to stop the burning of forests and peatlands while maintaining thriving palm oil, pulp and paper and mining industries?

·  Can palm oil production worldwide ever be sustainable?

·  What unconventional solutions are underway in Europe to protect the continent’s at-risk forests?

·  What do the latest satellite maps and tracking technologies tell us about the state of natural resources worldwide?

·  Why is granting land rights to indigenous people an effective yet ignored sustainable development solution? Why are indigenous leaders partnering with religious leaders in their quest to save forests?

·  How can forests and other natural resources be a source of income for local communities?

·  What can even the poorest farmers do differently to make agriculture feed more people—and damage the environment less?

·  How far has a pan-African initiative come in its aggressive efforts to protect, preserve and restore degraded landscapes across the continent? What is the status of a similar project in Latin America?

·  What efforts are being taken to save wildlife caught in the middle of changing landscapes?

·  How do you launch a global movement that translates into real action across the globe?

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