Fiery REDD+ talks, research to feed 9.5 billion, and super wicked problems

Written by Alison Binney for the Global Landscapes Forum while employed as a science communicator at Econnect Communication

Original release

WARSAW, Poland — Deliberations at the Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) are expected to get hot this weekend as more than 1,200 forestry and agriculture experts meet in Warsaw chasing answers for climate negotiations

REDD+: Untangling the trees to find the forests, farms and fauna – and still cut emissions

REDD+ targets global deforestation, which accounts for nearly 20% of all CO2 emissions. It proposes paying poor countries like those in the three major tropical forest regions— the Amazon Basin, the Congo Basin, South East Asia – to protect their forests.

“It is important that we assess the impacts of REDD+ policies on the whole landscape, including on emissions, agriculture, forestry and biodiversity,” says Dr Rebecca Mant from the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre.

Commercial large-scale agriculture accounts for 40 per cent of deforestation, and local subsistence and small holder agriculture for another 33 per cent.

Professor Martin Herold from Wageningen University, says: “The most important drivers of forest change are outside forests. Understanding why and how forests change is essential.”

What is the best way to assess both the benefits and impacts of REDD+? How can the large issue of land tenure be overcome? What is the best way of sharing the benefits from REDD+?

We need to be talking, planning, mapping … then talking more

We don’t know how to feed 9.5 billion people. It’s never been done before. There are gaping holes in our knowledge about how to intensify agriculture to produce more food without destroying other natural resources.

Project by project, international research is presenting viable options for people and the land to adapt to increasing demands for food in a changing climate.

Outcomes of the research will be discussed at the GLF in Warsaw this Sunday, 17 November.

“Effective adaptation decisions require access to appropriate, accessible and timely information about climate-related risks. At the same time, traditional knowledge and local experience with environmental change can teach important lessons” — Excerpt from a new IFAD publication, Increasing adaptive capacity through participatory mapping.

Super-wicked: the problem of forging forestry agreements

Eliminating illegal logging of native forests partially depends on creating a system to verify where forest products came from to show they were legally harvested.

It is a ‘super-wicked’ problem, according to Professor Ben Cashore, Director of the Governance, Environment, and Markets Initiative at Yale University.

Difficulties arise because many parties have an interest in forest products, and trying to develop an agreed approach in such a complicated system is challenging.

Cashore will present his view on this complex issue during a session on Governance and legal frameworks for sustainable landscapes at the GLF in Warsaw on Sunday, 17 November.


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