At this year' Global Landscape Forum (GLF 2019), one message was loud and clear: diversity is key to restoration and sustainable landscape management, more specifically the emphasis on a variety of viewpoints and stories, is what will help us reach our goals!
This year's Forum in particular put land rights at the center of its agenda. As we were eagerly wait to host our Learning Café event, jointly organised with GIZ, we sneaked around different sessions during the opening day. We began day one by listening in on stories of land rights defenders from all corners of the globe - people putting their life at risk everyday, for the recognition of the rights to land and natural resources for their communities. While each story and context is different, the message is once again, unanimous:
We are not fighting against development, but for a different development model, where indigenous people and community land rights matters just as much as the interests of governments and private companies.
Later on, we joined the GIZ panel discussion, which brought together a variety of different stakeholders involved, when in comes to land rights and forest restoration. So many different perspective, as diverse as our landscapes, emerged: from the key ingredients for a sustainable land reform in Madagascar, to the voice of indigenous people in Brasil; from the experience of the Ethiopian private sector in combining agricultral productivity and landscape protection, to the robust scientific evidence around multistakeholders approach as a key ingredient for sustainable development, and to the use of new technologies to support land titling of indigenous communities in Peru through participatory mapping.
With our mind still tuned on the last panel discussion and on the variety of implications related to rights-based approach for landscape, we go back to the main room, for the closing session of day 1. We take part in a number of vibrant and inspiring talks.
We need to change the narrative, and for doing so, we need to empower people to tell their own story.
Clearly, this message resonated very much with us at the Land Portal. And it is from these words, that we start our journey towards day 2 of the GLF. The morning is short but vibrant, and it is already time to go to the Learning Café event that we are jointly organising with GIZ. We call back the panelists from the GIZ session organised on the previous day, and we ask them to grab a cup of coffee, sit back, relax, and tell us their own story.
We embark on the journey spanning from traditional indigenous knowledge to big data and the result is amazing. Our session attracts an impressive number of participants, with many people standing and struggling to find a space to listen in!
When the session ends, we have the strong feeling that we have done our part, by bringing our contribution into the wider arena: we have passed the microphone over to our guests, and we have given them opportunity to speak out loud, reaching a wider audience with their story.
The diversity of landscapes mirrors the diversity of the people that depends on them, and we will keep working hard to provide a friendly, inclusive and open access space, helping everyone to tell their own story. Our mission has just started, and we will keep adding more stories to enrich the soon-to-be-launched Portfolio on Forest and Landscape Restoration, so... stay tuned for more stories and help us in telling everyone's story!