On behalf of the German Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Economic Cooperation, State Secretary Jochen Flasbarth pledges support to the long-term future of GLF – and explains why he sees the Forum at the center of efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
The closing plenary featured representatives from the Global Landscapes Forum’s founding and coordinating partners to share and discuss their visions and expectations for the future of the Forum over the next four years.The Forum is undergoing a transformation, from focusing on policy advice to implementing action on the ground and tracking progress toward new climate and development goals. Through scientific input, capacity-building programs, online engagement, thematic symposiums and global events, GLF aspires to introduce one billion people by 2020 to the landscape approach – and connect them in embracing it. The GLF is more than just a series of events: it is a dynamic platform with which diverse stakeholders can collaborate to create a more sustainable world.
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In the podium you’re amongst scientist.
The Director General of CIFOR, Peter, and Executive Director UNEP, Erik; colleagues and friends.
First, I would like to say my apologies, my minister was expected to be here, Barbara Hendriks, unfortunately, and she is kept in the venue COP, in the meeting so that she is unable to attend this conference, at least at this moment. Having said that, I personally feel really privileged that I can replace her,
It’s really great to be amongst the family of landscape people, at such a very important conference here in COP22 in Marrakesh.
You as scientists, experts and supporters of landscape research and landscape approaches are so relevant for addressing the sustainable development agenda. Especially, of course in relationship to land use and sustainable forestry. The Global Landscapes Forum undoubtedly is the global platform leading the debate on sustainable land use and sustainable forestry. Actually, I am convinced that GLF work is in the center of the implementation of the 2030 agenda for sustainable development. More than that, what you’re doing is a masterpiece of implementing the SDGs. What we learned or at least started to learn, all together, after the SDGs and some meetings in NY, is to get out of our silos to look at problems and solutions with an integrated view.
Agriculture, and the worldwide deforestation, ongoing deforestation is the size still of Switzerland, is responsible for one quarter of the global greenhouse gas emissions, and is responsible at the same time for 50% of global loss of biodiversity. Without looking through the landscape lens, I am sure that it will not be possible to meet the challenge of global warming. UNEP just published the gap report, the famous Gap Report, indicating again that there is a gap of 12-17 million gigatonnes reduction of greenhouse emissions to meet 2.0 or even 1.5 degrees target. One third of this gap could be covered if we would run, go along an integrated sustainable land use approach and solving the problem of deforestation, and going into the other direction of restoration of degraded forests. Again, to protect and restore resilient ecosystems and to preserve the richness of biodiversity is undoubtedly linked to a landscape approach. In addition to that, those tools, climate mitigation and biodiversity, are very often mentioned, but I would like to add two more tools, one is more sustainable water management and the second one is to address the dramatic loss of fertile soils. All over the world, it is not an African problem – it’s also an African problem, but we see it all over the world and again, landscape management, land use, sustainable land use, following a landscape approach is the solution for this one.
I am convinced that we need a transition in the land use sector as we have started to transform our energy system, as you know in Germany we do it as our “Energiewende” [transition to sustainable energy] – I am very proud that another German word after “kindergarten”, and German “angst” that entered the English language. And I am sure that without going through a similar process of transforming the land use sector, we will not be able to meet our 2030 target and the different perspectives. Following this line, this will also create economic and social benefits, the restoration of degraded forest landscapes, and you know that we launched in 2011 our Bonn Challenge that is the commitment of 150 million ha of restored forests, and another 350 million ha until 2030. This will create jobs and economic growth, especially in rural areas, that this kind of economic development is desperately needed and so again you see that all this is linked along the overall idea of the 2030 agenda.
Ladies and gentlemen, colleagues, Germany is committed – and I am personally enthusiastic – to the work of Global Landscape Forum, and therefore I am delighted, it is a real pleasure to make an announcement now, and this is an announcement on behalf of my minister, Barbara Hendriks, Minister for the Environment, and also on behalf of the Ministry of Economic Cooperation. I am happy to announce that Germany is willing to host the GLF from the beginning of next year on, in the UN city of Bonn in Germany. I could applaud as well because Germany and Bonn, Bonn is already now a global hub for environment and development, climate environment and development, and I’m sure, we as Germany, Bonn, and the UN institutions in Bonn will benefit a lot from the presence of the GLF in, by the way my hometown, Bonn and all those who will visit Bonn will see that it’s wonderfully located at the Rhine valley, you’ll enjoy also the pleasance of the landscape around Bonn. And vice versa, I am sure that GLF work can be inspired by the work of the institutions that are already located in Bonn.
Again, colleagues and friends, I am convinced that we will see a lot a very positive inputs by your work, by your tremendously important work on landscape and sustainable land use and forestry, and this will influence the way how, and how fast, we will be able to implement 2030 agenda. Thanks lot and looking forward to seeing you next year in Bonn.