Participants immersed in virtual reality technology at the GSW Market Place
On Thursday morning, GSW 2019 participants held discussions in a “lab” format to review key lessons and strategies gathered over the previous three days and test them against the realities of day-to-day policy formulation and implementation.
On land governance, the discussions focused on innovations at both the legal and institutional level as well as emerging community-based models for safeguarding women’s rights to land. While noting the complexity of natural resource-based conflict, the discussions also touched on entry points for partners to contribute to locally-led dialogue processes, for example to negotiate agreements between farmers, pastoralists and other land users.
Discussing lessons from workshops focusing on extension, speakers highlighted the role of new technologies and farmer-to-farmer models in developing advisory services that are more cost-effective and better targeted to specific local contexts. Noting the scale of this challenge in a continent where extension budgets have been falling over time, one speaker stressed that what is needed is nothing less than transforming and modernizing agriculture and associated policies, noting that African farmers account for a significant part of the estimated 1.5 billion smallholder farmers worldwide, “the biggest workforce on our planet.”
With regard to local governance and new cooperation models, the Ecosystem Based Adaptation for Food Security Assembly, a pan-African platform that is coordinating and engaging key stakeholders and actors, was highlighted as a good practice in building partnerships to stimulate positive initiatives at the local level.
On finance and markets, the Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) Fund, a partnership between the Global Mechanism of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and Mirova, an impact investment firm, was presented as an example of how to catalyze private resources to address land degradation. However, several speakers reiterated caution to safeguard the interests of farmers and pastoralists who may be vulnerable to “land grabbing” as a consequence of large-scale investment models.
A final panel discussion in the afternoon drew panelists from UNEP, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the African Land Policy Centre, UNCCD, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Groupe de recherche et d'action sur le foncier (GRAF) and the African Union.
The discussions highlighted the importance of building the case that investing in nature-based solutions – such as facilitating access to voluntary carbon markets for farmers - makes sense from an ecososystem, livelihoods and financial perspective.
Looking ahead to preparations for the 14th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 14) to the UNCCD, which takes place in India in September 2019, Johns Muleso Kharika, UNCCD Secretariat, stressed that LDN is the “integrator and accelerator of all SDGs.” He provided an overview of substantive issues that will be discussed at COP 14, including: land tenure; land and climate action; youth; gender; and sustainable livelihoods.
After thanking all participants and the many partners involved in the preparations for GSW 2019, Muller declared GSW 2019 closed at 4.05 pm.
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.
Co-Facilitator Alexander Müller, Managing Director, Töpfer, Müller, Gaßner - Think Tank for Sustainability (TMG Research)
Co-Facilitator Alice Kaudia, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Eco-Entrepreneurs Ltd.
Anna Kramer, TMG Research
Juliette Biao Koudenoukpo, UN Environment Programme (UNEP)
L-R: Juliette Biao Koudenoukpo, UNEP; GSW Co-Facilitator Alexander Müller; Rosalie Ouoba, Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa; and Boniface Kiteme, Centre for Training and Integrated Research in ASAL Development (CETRAD)
Participants at the GSW Lab session
Marai El Fassi, TMG Research
Seydou Koudougou, Groupe de recherche et d'action sur le foncier (GRAF)
Zwide Jere, Total Land Care, Malawi and GSW Co-Facilitator Alice Kaudia
Jes Weigelt, TMG Research
Jonathan Davies, International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
L-R: Ronald Vargas, Global Soil Partnership, UN Food and Agriculture Organization; Flora Ajwera, GIZ; and Vincent Okoth, Kenya
Oliver Ruppel, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa
Julien Noël Rakotoarisoa, Madagascar
Mohamud Hussein Egeh, African Development Bank
Shri M. Soren, National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Developmnent
Johann Fourgeaud, LDN Fund
Onesmus Makhanu, Bungoma County Government, Kenya
Joshua Wambugu, Wageningen University, the Netherlands
L-R: Tim Christophersen, UNEP; Martin Frick, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change; Joan Kagwanja, African Land Policy Center; Fatoumata Tall, GRAF; Christel Weller-Molongua, GIZ; and ElvisPaul Tangem, African Union
Hamadi Boga, Principal Secretary, State Department of Agricultural Research, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Irrigation, Kenya,
Johns Muleso Kharika, UNCCD
GSW Co-FacilitatorAlice Kaudia receiving flowers from Jes Weigelt, TMG Research
GSW Co-Facilitators Alexander Müller and Alice Kaudia, officially closed GSW 2019 at 4:05 pm
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