7 January 2015

Land use expert: Africa moves towards landscape approaches

By Kate Evans, originally published on Forest News

Paola Agostini, Coordinator of TerrAfrica at The World Bank, said at the Global Landscapes Forum in Lima that the message coming from Africa is that there is huge demand on the ground for implementing landscape approaches.

“Yesterday we had a meeting of TerrAfrica with representatives from 24 African countries, and they all said there was a lot of demand coming from the bottom up for using the landscape approach,” she said.

“Sometimes it makes more sense at the local level because they understand it there—they understand there is a water shortage because their neighbor has cut down all the forest—and it can be easier to explain at the local level than at the national level.”

After 20 years of working at the interface of environment and agriculture, she said, it’s encouraging to see the momentum behind the concept of landscapes both at the country level and at international events like the Global Landscapes Forum.

“Now, things are really coming together,” she said. “I’m in heaven to see how you can have one single place where everybody thinks alike and considers the multiple benefits of landscapes.”

And the next step?

“We need to get political attention,” Agostini said.

“These forums are fantastic as a sharing of knowledge and ideas, but the next step is make declarations and commitments to sustainable, resilient landscape management.”

Watch a brief interview with Agostini, above.