Ultimately, success in conservation efforts largely depends on decisions and actions by communities that live in and benefit from different ecosystem services.
Climate Smart Territories (CSTs) are social and geographical spaces where actors collaboratively manage ecosystem services to equitably improve human well-being. They do so by continuously optimizing land use and engaging in activities to both stop/prevent further emissions and also adapt to climate change effects. This calls for collective efforts within a highly organized society.
The global agenda is turning its attention to landscape restoration initiatives. Visions have been set, such as the objective of Land Degradation Neutrality championed through the UNCCD at Rio+20.
Targets have been defined, including the Bonn Challenge to restore 150 million hectares of the world’s deforested and degraded lands by 2020. The new challenge now is how will these landscape restoration initiatives be realized?
The success to a landscape approach results from its ability to perform various functions and meet multiple objectives by exploring opportunities to link and create synergy between different actors. For a climate-smart landscape, this involves addressing climate change alongside other environmental or social objectives.
Production standards and certification such as FairTrade and Rainforest Alliance coffee, Forest Stewardship Council certified lumber, and others provide a means for manufacturers and consumers to have confidence in how raw materials are produced.
During ICRAF science week in September, a special session on lessons from 20 years of ASB Partnership was held. Notable was a presentation by Dr. Anne-Marie, the CGIAR Science Advisor and former 2nd Chair of ASB/GSG on lessons from the partnership across the years. She lauded ASB Partnership as a model for successful integrated networks and other programs within the CGIAR and elsewhere. She highlighted five important lessons:
Climate-smart landscapes are an emerging concept that captures integration of actions and processes in a given place. This integration is geared towards reducing emissions and enhancing ability to cope with already existing negative effects of climate change while at the same time pursuing multiple social, economic and environmental objectives.
In the past, integrated management initiatives have shared similar ambition and provide lessons for implementation.
In a chapter of a new book titled Climate-Smart Landscapes: Multifunctionality in Practice, we study the example of gestion de terroirs (GT), which was an integrated management approach applied in French speaking African countries in the 1990’s.