From March sixth to ninth, 2017, 140 ILM practitioners, farmers, researchers, policymakers, and finance, business, and community leaders – 113 from 16 African countries and 27 from the United States and Europe – convened in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia at the African Landscapes Dialogue to promote new ideas, expand networks, confront challenges, and share lessons and experiences among those who implement landscape initiatives. Among their goals: To strengthen their capacities to advance the African Landscapes Action Plan, and to update the plan to reflect progress made, lessons learned and new opportunities. This document is the result of that update.
Summary of ALAP Progress 2014-2017
The period since mid-2014 has seen notable growth in local, national and international public, civic and private investment for sustainable landscapes in Africa. In parallel, strategic partners of the Landscapes for People, Food and Nature Initiative in Africa made significant progress in implementing the African Landscapes Action Plan, in support of the continent’s landscape partnerships. Highlights include:
The Action Plan was formally endorsed by the African Union, and became one of the two operational pillars of the African Resilient Landscapes Initiative, along with AFR100.
Learning landscape networks in Kenya, Ethiopia and Tanzania now link dozens of landscape initiatives together in “knowledge-exchange and action platforms.”
The Business for Sustainable Landscapes Action Agenda assessed the status quo of business participation in landscape partnerships and provides specific recommendations for businesses, finance institutions, governments and landscape programs.
Seven financial mechanisms operating in Africa were evaluated for how they were addressing challenges for intermediation, investment coordination with landscape plans, and aggregation.
The Landscape Academy is now under the wing of United Nations Environment, who has committed to taking it forward as a public resource expected to accelerate the knowledge and skills of landscape leaders across Africa.
The period witnessed a significant increase in landscape-related research across Africa.
Regional initiatives utilizing landscape approaches blossomed, including AFR100.
Outcomes from the Dialogue
A selection of the recommendations for the Action Plan’s six themes.
Clarify existing policies – at national and sub-national levels – to identify gaps; increase engagement of policy makers by regularly sharing ILM successes and innovations; mainstream landscape management into the broader development agenda, especially Sustainable Development Goals.
Strengthen and develop new Landscape Learning Networks at country and sub-regional levels; recognize and support farmers’ contributions to integrated land management; support the role of women and youth in ILM in all ALAP activities, and ensure women’s meaningful participation in multi-stakeholder platforms; establish a Working Group on pastoralists and rangeland management in ILM; improve coordination mechanisms within landscapes through multi-stakeholder landscape processes, and also across public agencies in different sectors and levels.
Create evidence on diversity of “business” in landscapes, such as farmers, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), international supply chains, etc.; take stock of existing business learning networks to incorporate landscapes.
Support landscape initiatives to map existing financial flows and resources that could be used for integrated investments; seek ways to coordinate investments within their landscapes; undertake outreach about landscape investment opportunities with financial institutions in Africa, and mobilize a landscape finance learning community.
Use local knowledge to inform capacity development; promote cross landscape learning; adopt a blended learning approach to advance The Landscape Academy; learn to assess and respond to population dynamics (i.e. migration, etc.) in landscapes.
Research – Building the Evidence
Encourage landscape stakeholders, including indigenous groups, to define development problems and frame the solutions; develop standardized indicators so that progress can be evaluated within—and between—landscapes; build a stronger evidence base for comparative analysis of ILM against other approaches.
Enhancing coordination among regional landscape programs
Map African regional landscape initiatives so new efforts can build on and complement them; collaborate in knowledge management and knowledge-sharing; use regional initiatives to support national strategies and links to sectoral agendas (e.g. sustainable energy).
Find the program agenda, PowerPoint presentations, digital posters, blogs, and photos from the Dialogue at peoplefoodandnature.org/ald2017.