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Boundary issues

Which of the world’s forests are natural and which have been planted by humans? What sounds like a simple question has actually presented a puzzle to researchers for years. Yet, understanding which types of forests are affected by land use change is important for stopping future deforestation.

  • Follow the pixels: Newest satellite images indicate that 90% of tree cover loss occurs in natural forests, not plantations
  • Put the people on the map: Crowd-sourced data zooms in on information that satellites fail to provide, argues indigenous leader Abdon Nababan
  • Read up on the science: A new book explores dynamics in seven multifunctional landscapes

Sustainability finance

Opportunity (and) costs

The expert verdict seems clear: Putting your money on landscapes makes good economic sense. Investments can yield financial returns along with benefits for the local environment and global climate. So why are initiatives like REDD+ still struggling to connect to the private sector?

  • Read the expert blog: UNEP’s Gabriel Labbate explains the math behind Panama’s REDD+ triple-win
  • Save the date: Experts from finance, development, agriculture and conservation will convene in London for the second edition of Global Landscapes Forum: The Investment Case on June 6. Contact Ann-Kathrin Neureuther ( for more information on the invitation-only expert symposium.

Joseph Zulu, a farmer from Zambia, has never used the term “climate-smart agriculture”. And yet he practices it: By planting fertilizer trees between rows of crops, increasing both productivity and resilience of his fields. However, few of his neighbors follow his lead. One reason might be insecure access to land.

  • The real tragedy of the commons: Why is it that investment and government policies focus on land that is either privately or publicly owned – as opposed to land managed directly by the communities living off it?

At the 2015 Global Landscapes Forum, governments, private sector and partners from research committed to restoring 127 million hectares of degraded land across the globe. Two months later, it is time to take a look at implementation.

  • From Paris to Accra: Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan will join Africa’s biggest forestry companies and global investors to realize Africa’s restoration goals (16-17 March, Ghana).  
  • Linking restoration targets and climate goals: More than half of the 158 submitted Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) highlight the agricultural sector. But how do they connect to farms and farmers on the ground?

Returning in 2016: Save the date!

Global Landscapes Forum: The Investment Case
6 June 2016
Royal Society London




From Lifelines to Livelihoods: Non-timber Forest Products into the Twenty-First Century

Futures of tropical production forests

Land degradation neutrality fund: An Innovative Investment Fund project

Agrarian change in tropical landscapes

Forum outcomes

Outcome Statement of the 2015 Global Landscapes Forum

Background Brief: Measuring progress toward climate and development goals

Background Brief: Finance and trade

Background Brief: Tenure and rights

Background Brief: Landscape restoration
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