September 8, 2017

What We’re Reading: A Land Perspective on the SDGs

The EditorsEcoAgriculture Partners

Land issues: tenure, rights, and governance, are key to achieving the SDGs, and there were quite a few interesting stories about those issues in our browser tabs this week.


Land and the SDGs: Key takeaways from the HLPF and what we need to do next – International Land Coalition

Members of the sustainable land community reached a consensus at the July High Level Political Forum (HLPF), which focuses on assessing the progress made towards achieving the SDGs. “Without people-centered land governance, governments will not be able to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).” While land-community members attending the HLPF acknowledged that the SDGs do not substitute the need for land-specific reform and action, they emphasized the benefits of the processes and institutions established by the SDGs to further goals relevant to land rights. The article, written by Land Coalition’s Luca Chinotti, outlines the ways in which the land community can best engage with the SDGs as well as important next steps.

Diverse Landscapes Are More Productive and Adapt Better to Climate ChangeEnvironmental News Network

Researchers at the University of Zurich have found that landscapes with greater diversity in species are more productive, and have a lower year-to-year variation in productivity. Using “450 different 1-km2 landscapes that spanned the entire area of Switzerland,” the participating researchers  investigated the role of plant, bird, and butterfly species in landscape function across various types of ecosystems and determined that biodiversity is essential to landscape function and its ability to adapt. Without diversity of species, the ability of landscapes to adapt to climate change is greatly limited and can result in challenges for communities that rely on the landscapes.

Land & Homes – the keys to ending cycles of povertyCity Press

At an August conference held by Habitat for Humanity’s Solid Ground Campaign in Pretoria, South Africa, stakeholders from multiple sectors came together to discuss improving land management and governance in South Africa. Civil society organizations, grassroots leaders, policy makers, government officials, and academics convened with the goal of centering land management policies in the building of human settlements to better promote sustainable community development. Conference attendees underscored the need to expand the definition of land tenure and promote solutions that consider economic challenges, are gender responsive, and ensure accountability within land governance legislation.

3 Lessons from Brazil on how to deliver the sustainable development goals – sans national government – CitiScope

In the wake of the worst economic recession in decades, a clear disagreement over the extent to which the SDGs are being implemented has arisen between the Brazilian national government and civil society organizations. At a difficult time in Brazilian national politics, civil society organizations argue that the Brazilian government has been unwilling to engage with local governments and civil society in order to advance the SDGs. To fill this void in cooperation, three key strategies have emerged to maximize the influence of local governments and civil society organizations in working towards the SDGs.

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