July 13, 2018

Leaders from Mesoamerica gather to promote the innovative approach known as Integrated Landscape Management

The EditorsEcoAgriculture Partners

They jointly formulated an action plan to enhance the sustainability of landscapes and the green and inclusive economy in the region.

More than 90 leaders from the government, the private sector, civil society organizations, rural producer groups and experts in integrated landscape management from Mesoamerica, Colombia and the United States, met from July 2 to 6 at CATIE (The Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center), in Turrialba, Costa Rica, within the framework of the Mesoamerican Dialogue on Sustainable Landscapes and jointly formulated an ambitious action plan in order to promote the sustainability of landscapes and territories of the Mesoamerican region.

The event was organized by a consortium formed by CATIE, Solidaridad, the National Commission for the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity (CONABIO) of Mexico, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Conservation International (CI) and EcoAgriculture Partners, under the umbrella of the Landscapes for People, Food and Nature Initiative (peoplefoodandnature.org).

At the conclusion of the dialogue, as part of the action plan formulated, the participants agreed to:

  • Strengthen the collaborative platforms of multiple actors for the integrated management of landscapes, based on a network that allows sharing knowledge, adapting existing tools to address the challenges in integrated landscape management and disseminate lessons learned, ensuring the participation of women, youth, indigenous peoples and local communities.
  • Mobilize investment to guarantee the sustainability of landscapes through the incubation of green and inclusive ventures, promoting entrepreneurship, strengthening the financial capacities of landscape actors and developing new financial instruments suitable for the integral management of landscapes.
  • Seek political support for the strengthening of integrated landscape management platforms, as a central strategy to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), the Paris Agreement and the Aichi Targets (Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020) ) of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Muhammad Ibrahim, Director General of CATIE, explained that the integrated landscape and territorial management approach can help efficiently address important challenges such as water scarcity, climate change and increased demand for food, as well as strengthening the coordination and harmonization of sectoral policies since this approach is based on the management of the landscape in a collaborative way among multiple actors, in order to achieve sustainable development within the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), set out in the UN framework.

Gilbert Canet, forestry specialist from Costa Rica, added that in order to pave the way to achieve the SDGs, it is essential to look for an agenda of common points between the agricultural and environmental sector, which considers the direct relationship that exists between the degradation of landscapes and rural poverty.

The dialogue reflected the diversity of issues that must be addressed in order to restore our landscapes. – Sara Scherr, President of EcoAgriculture Partners

“The dialogue reflected the diversity of issues that must be addressed in order to restore our landscapes. This was possible thanks to the participation of diverse actors that have an enormous potential for transformation, such as: community and indigenous organizations, non-governmental organizations, the local and national government sector, private companies, universities and regional institutions.” highlighted Sara Scherr, president of EcoAgriculture Partners.

Michaelyn Baur, regional director of Solidarity for Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean, mentioned that the event empowered the diverse present actors so that they define their own vision for the sustainable management of the landscape, provided them necessary tools to achieve it and reflected the most Recent initiatives of landscape in the creation of investment platforms for companies from all sectors, seeking to align their strategies within the framework of sustainability.

After this dialogue I see how all the countries of Mesoamerica can be immersed in the sustainable management of landscapes… – María Carmen Argueta, la Asociación Mangle, El Salvador

“After this dialogue I see how all the countries of Mesoamerica can be immersed in the sustainable management of landscapes, have better communication and change to have a positive impact in addressing global problems such as global warming and lack of water,” affirmed María Carmen Argueta, of la Asociación Mangle, El Salvador, who was one of the 39 female participants of the event, which represented 43% of the audience.

For his part, Ronald McCarthy, of the regional office of IUCN, remarked that for the countries of the region to advance towards the achievement of their national and international goals, it is vital to understand the restoration of the landscape as a broader approach and to speak of the restoration of the productive rural landscape, which implies the work with non-traditional sectors in this matter.

Other institutions that also contributed to the organization of the dialogue through their participation in thematic working groups were the Global Landscapes Forum of the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), the German Agency for Cooperation for Sustainable Development (GIZ), the initiative Reforestamos México, Rikolto, the Ford Foundation, the University of California-Berkeley and the World Resources Institute.

The dialogue also included the participation of representatives of young people from the region, including university students from CATIE and other academic institutions of the region, who supported various activities within the framework of this event.

The Dialogue on Sustainable Landscapes in Mesoamerica (Diálogo sobre Paisajes Sostenibles en Mesoamérica) was organized and developed putting into practice actions to successfully reduce its impact on the environment, for which it was awarded the Ecological Blue Flag Program (Bandera Azul) as a green event in Costa Rica.

More information:

Leida Mercado
Leader of the Research Program in Development, Economy and Environment
CATIE
lmercado@catie.ac.cr
www.catie.ac.cr

Sara Scherr
President and CEO
EcoAgriculture Partners
Washington, DC
sscherr@ecoagriculture.org
www.ecoagriculture.org

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