Give local communities stewardship, not pressure, says One World – No Hunger leader

Deputy Director-General and Commissioner of BMZ's One World – No Hunger initiative Dr. Stefan Schmitz speaks at the 2018 GLF in Nairobi. Global Landscapes Forum
10 October 2018

While strategies and partnerships to restore the world’s degraded forests and landscapes might be conceived in donor offices and government hallways, it’s often local communities who take these plans and put them into world-changing actions.

But how do you make sure that this implementation actually happens, and that these agendas to combat climate change actually get carried out on the ground? As Deputy Director-General and Commissioner of One World – No Hunger, an initiative led by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) that invests some 1.5 billion euros annually in food security and rural development, Dr. Stefan Schmitz is thoroughly familiar with how this best works.

According to Schmitz, it’s all about empowerment. In order for restoration efforts to be successful, governments and institutions need to make communities feel like they have stewardship over projects, rather than feel like they’re under pressure to complete them.

Here, Landscape Voices covers some of his thoughts on this topic, shared in a recent GLF Digital Summit on landscape restoration.