Group discussions from the dimension workshop on Land Governance
On the second day of Global Soil Week (GSW) 2019 - and final day of the technical segment - discussions focused on synthesizing insights from more than 20 country case studies discussed on the previous day. Gathering in four parallel “Dimension Workshops,” participants identified broader lessons and strategies for achieving an enabling environment for sustainable and climate resilient agriculture, clustered around the thematic strands: land governance; extension and advisory services; local governance and cooperation models; and finance and markets.
In the workshop on land governance, participants underscored that guaranteeing women’s access to and ownership of land and other productive resources is a critical “enabler” for sustainable land management. The group further noted that securing land tenure rights not only requires building advocacy movements on land rights from the ground up, but also following through to ensure that gains are formalized into legislative frameworks and subsequently enforced.
Among numerous lessons highlighted in the workshop on extension and advisory services, participants emphasized the need to “localize” the delivery of extension services, for example through the active involvement of farmer-to-farmer knowledge sharing, research, and innovation. Discussing strategies for upscaling promising approaches, they stressed the need to integrate extension systems into national and sub-national development plans, with a dedicated budget to facilitate implementation.
The discussions on local governance identified various strategies for strengthening inclusive governance structures, including through: pooling of resources by communities via collective funds; exploring alternative governance structures to involve civil society organizations and other stakeholders; and providing space for local innovators.
During the session on finance and markets, participants outlined diverse strategies for fostering access to sustainable finance, including through collaborative mechanisms such as farmers’ cooperatives and communal models for benefit sharing. On markets, the group noted the importance of developing sustainable value chains and nurturing niche markets that favor sustainably produced agricultural products.
During a wrap up plenary session, GSW 2019 Co-Facilitator Alexander Müller, Töpfer, Müller, Gaßner — Think Tank for Sustainability (TMG Research) remarked that "projects never fail but projects never scale.” He noted that by exploring an enabling environment for responsible land governance, the conference is digging deeper into how to “do projects differently” so as to bridge the huge gap that exists between the Sustainable Development Goals and action on the ground.
Closing the technical segment, Alice Kaudia remarked that the two days of discussions had generated important knowledge and take-home messages. She encouraged the leaders arriving for the High-Level Segment to pick up on these insights and apply them by creating an enabling environment in their countries.
IISD Reporting Services, through its ENB+ Meeting Coverage, provided daily web coverage from GSW 2019. In addition, IISD Reporting Services has published a summary report from the meeting, which is available in HTML and PDF.
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