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An Integrated Landscape Target for the Sustainable Development Goals



March 26, 2014

Short Summary

This position statement urged the Open Working Group on the Sustainable Development Goals to include integrated landscape management as a key part of ensuring a sustainable future.


Effective and Efficient Sustainable Development Goals

If the post-2015 sustainable development agenda is to be effective, an integrated approach that recognizes and embraces the interdependence of social, economic and environmental goals is required. Rather than set goals that codify old sectoral conflicts over increasingly scarce land and resources, we must adopt strategies that encourage collaboration and build coalitions. To achieve this, each Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) must be supported by cross-cutting targets and shared multi-scale indicators that promote efforts to capitalize on positive relationships between the goals and avoid or minimize negative interactions.

With this in mind, the Landscapes for People, Food and Nature Initiative proposed a general target for landscape management to the Open Working Group drafting the goals. This target provided the foundation for a menu or “dashboard” of targets and indicators, with explicit potential synergies and trade-offs, for country implementers to choose from, according to context and need, for each goal. We, the signatories of this statement, urged the Open Working Group to incorporate it into the development of all related Sustainable Development Goals. It remains a key statement of the Initiative, reflecting our position on the appropriate targets and indicators, at the national level, for implementing and monitoring integrated landscape management, even if it does not go by that name.

Big Challenge, Small Victories

We urged the Open Working Group to formulate goals that reflect the clear interrelationships between the many aspects of the future we want. We urged all those involved in drafting and defining those goals to include this landscape target in the final language that will direct the global project of sustainable development for the next generation: “All landscapes are managed by their stakeholders, across sectoral and administrative boundaries, in a way that integrates food security, sustainable production, livelihood development and ecosystem services.”

After more than a year of discussion and negotiation, The Open Working Group’s Outcome Document, their recommended goals and targets to be debated by the United Nations General Assembly, includes some encouraging targets under goal two “End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture,” goal 11 “Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable,” and goal 15 “Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.”

Support for Integrated Landscape Management within the targets of the recommended SDGs
2.3 by 2030 double the agricultural productivity and the incomes of small-scale food producers, particularly women, indigenous peoples, family farmers, pastoralists and fishers, including through secure and equal access to land, other productive resources and inputs, knowledge, financial services, markets, and opportunities for value addition and non-farm employment
2.4 by 2030 ensure sustainable food production systems and implement resilient agricultural practices that increase productivity and production, that help maintain ecosystems, that strengthen capacity for adaptation to climate change, extreme weather, drought, flooding and other disasters, and that progressively improve land and soil quality
2.5 by 2020 maintain genetic diversity of seeds, cultivated plants, farmed and domesticated animals and their related wild species, including through soundly managed and diversified seed and plant banks at national, regional and international levels, and ensure access to and fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge as internationally agreed
11.a support positive economic, social and environmental links between urban, peri-urban and rural areas by strengthening national and regional development planning
11.b by 2020 increase by x% the number of cities and human settlements adopting and implementing integrated policies and plans towards inclusion, resource efficiency, mitigation and adaptation to climate change, resilience to disasters, develop and implement in line with the forthcoming Hyogo Framework holistic disaster risk management at all levels
15.9 by 2020 integrate ecosystems and biodiversity values into national and local planning, development processes and poverty reduction strategies, and accounts


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