Landscape approach discussions at Rio +20

The World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) participated in key events held alongside the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in Brazil, Rio de Janeiro. See ICRAF event list here.

At the agriculture and rural development day held under the theme the ‘land sharing or land sparing’ conundrum, Dr. Sara Namirembe of ICRAF was among panelists who discussed the issue and her presentation titled Sustainable development in Africa requires both sparing and sharing in a multifunctional landscapes was based on ASB Partnership’s research on landscape approaches and a case study of Uganda’s Bwindi National Park.

Dr Sara Namirembe explains a point during a Payment for Ecosystem Services forumDr Sara Namirembe explains a point during a Payment for Ecosystem Services forumSara also participated in a round table discussion organized by Food and Agriculture Organization, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), World Food Programme and Bioversity International. The event sought to highlight successful practical actions that have had an impact at the local level towards food security.

Sara pointed out that ICRAF’s work on Pro-poor rewards for environmental services in Africa involves testing of Payment for Environmental Services (PES) tool as one of the mechanisms for achieving the linkages necessary in a landscape approach.

She explained that the process involves engagement with a range of stakeholders (farmer groups, civil society organizations, policy makers, private sector companies, universities and researchers), use of participatory research tools, actual biophysical measurements and modeling. “The objective is to generate evidence to inform key players on how fairness can be achieved in the development of partnerships between environmental service generators and beneficiaries to ensure ecosystem integrity,” she said. She further gave caution that “the process of negotiating with different stakeholders to achieve landscape approaches is long, iterative and sometimes frustrating, but necessary.”

Sara concluded her remarks with an emphasis on multi-stakeholder involvement towards sustainable development. “Environmental integrity is not a responsibility of smallholder farmers alone, mechanisms to involve other stakeholders in meaningful partnerships to ensure sustainable development are required,” she stressed and highlighted evidence that points to rewards for environmental services that promote co-investment rather than commoditizing reward mechanisms as more appropriate for small-scale farmers.

Read articles on ICRAF’s participation at Rio+20 here


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