Moving mountains, speaking about gender, and silver linings under climate clouds

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

Original release

A series of media briefs for the Global Landscapes Forum, Warsaw, November 2013

WARSAW, Poland — Don’t miss the deliberations at the Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) in Warsaw this weekend where more than 1,200 forestry and agriculture experts will be chasing answers for climate talks.

Moving mountains to protect the world’s ‘water towers’

Think of the Andes along the west coast of South America, the Rocky Mountains in North America, the European Alps and of course the Himalayas in Asia.

These vast mountain systems are ‘water towers’ for the world.

Mountains provide half of the world’s population with fresh water—for industry and domestic use, irrigation and hydropower. They are also home to half of the world’s biodiversity hotspots.

Experts—in a session on Building climate change resilience in mountains—will argue that mountains must be included in any research and planning on the water-related impacts of climate change.

But will unique problems arise in mountain areas as a result of climate change?

What support can be given to vulnerable mountain communities to help them become climate-smart stewards of mountain landscapes?

Putting gender on the agenda at climate talks

The Global Landscapes Forum is throwing the issue of gender inequality into the UN climate talks arena this weekend.

In so doing, it will highlight some of the invisible issues that are affecting climate agreements.

Dr. Seema Arora-Jonsson, Coordinator of the Working Party dealing with gender research for the International Union of Forest Research Organisations, says we have to look beyond the trees to make progress in climate talks.

“Unequal gender relations do not cause or aggravate climate change. But gender relations do determine how the environment is managed,” she published in a report in 2011.

Dr. Arora-Jonsson is the keynote speaker for the session, Linking gendered knowledge with gender-responsive action in the landscape: What works?

She will talk about her research in India and Sweden, which has shown that some committees involved with forest governance add female members simply to pay lip service to the concept of gender equality.

Silver linings under the climate clouds

Climate-smart agriculture: success stories from farming communities around the world showcases 16 case studies on how through innovation, risk management, and the support of policies and institutions, farmers and the land can adapt to change.

The stories are from both the developed and developing world and include tales of forest restoration and water harvesting in Africa, to sustainable rice production in Vietnam and carbon farming in Australia.

Some success stories from the book:

  • More than 5 million hectares of degraded land in the Sahel have been restored through a practice known as ‘farmer-managed natural regeneration’, which has increased the food security of millions of people in Africa.
  • Weather-index-based crop insurance has encouraged over 12 million farmers in India to invest in their crops, boosting food security and the resilience of smallholder production systems.
  • Denmark’s Green Growth policy has helped reduce the agriculture sector’s carbon footprint. Smart measures, such as improved use of manure and a 40% reduction in the use of inorganic fertiliser, have contributed to a 28% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions between 1990 and 2009.

The booklet was produced in cooperation between the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security and the Technical Centre for Agriculture and Rural Cooperation. Download the new book.

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