Who we are
The Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) is the world’s largest knowledge-led platform on sustainable and inclusive landscapes.
Since we began in 2013, we have
connected organizations in our network
countries involved in events
1 billion +
people reached through global and social media
We are here to connect, share, learn and act
Sustainable landscapes are essential for the future we want: for food, livelihoods, health, renewable materials, energy, biodiversity, business development, trade, climate regulation and water.
The GLF is dedicated to the landscape approach. It is at the landscape level that production goals, consumption needs and protection targets can be combined, and that people are organized and ready to restore billions of hectares of idle, degraded land. The landscape approach can protect and conserve biodiversity-rich landscapes; tackle insecure tenure, community and gender rights; address food insecurity and declining rural livelihoods; and promote sustainable value chains and sustainable use of natural resources.
As a global community and working together, we can find the right tools to support locally-led landscape action and measure the progress.
To achieve this, we need to break silos
The GLF works to catalyze a movement that puts communities first in informing and addressing landscape-level issues. We broker connections across sectors and scales. We provide a platform for often-marginalized voices from communities around the globe, especially for women, youth, and rural, Indigenous and local communities. These groups experience disproportionate impacts of environmental, health and social crises and also hold the greatest potential for solving these crises.
Informed by science and knowledge
With science and traditional and local community knowledge at its core, the GLF is designed to spark multi-stakeholder dialogue, share knowledge, inspire action and accelerate best practices in addressing some of the most complex problems facing our Earth and our communities.
The GLF’s five themes
Cross-cutting themes of the GLF include rights (gender, tenure, community and Indigenous), foods and livelihoods, landscape restoration, financing sustainable landscapes and measuring progress towards climate and development goals.
The vision of the GLF is to promote the paradigm shift toward sustainable development and meet the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement and the post-2020 biodiversity agenda, by connecting communities; facilitating knowledge-sharing; and accelerating action to build productive, prosperous, equitable and resilient landscapes.
Connect with inclusion
Share to empower
Act to inspire
1 billion people around sustainable landscapes
The vision of the GLF is to promote the paradigm shift toward sustainable development and meet the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement and the post-2020 biodiversity agenda by connecting communities; facilitating knowledge sharing; and accelerating action to build productive, prosperous, equitable and resilient landscapes.
Mission and objectives
The GLF and all Partners promote:
- Food security and ending hunger – including safeguarding vulnerable food production systems from the adverse impacts of climate change and biodiversity loss;
- Actions that contribute to keeping global average temperature increase to well below 1.5 degrees Celcius above pre-industrial levels, while achieving equity and sustainable development;
- Climate and development actions in the landscape that respect, promote and consider human rights obligations, particularly those of people in marginalized communities and vulnerable situations;
- Gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls;
- The integrity of all types of ecosystems, including oceans and coastal ecosystems, land-based sustainable resource management systems and the protection of biodiversity;
- The importance of education, training and other forms of capacity building when taking action to achieve sustainable development;
- The development of innovative financial instruments, aimed particularly at smallholders and sustainable value chains and resource management systems; and
- The development of indicators to measure progress in all activities.
The GLF works to create an inclusive, diverse and connected global community. We connect people, practice and ideas across sectors, landscapes and scales. We connect with openness and respect for one another’s experience and knowledge. We connect by listening, understanding and learning from all points of view.
The GLF community shares diverse knowledge, science and experience of the Landscape Approach in action that is useful and relevant for the communities it serves. We facilitate this by addressing imbalances in the distribution of knowledge and information. We work together to positively impact people and landscapes around the world.
Collaborative learning and knowledge sharing is a powerful tool to effect positive change. The GLF creates an environment across all its platforms and activities that fosters collaboration among diverse voices and perspectives. Successful collaboration requires inclusive processes that give equal weight and value to each stakeholder’s knowledge and experience, regardless of age, place, gender or professional status.
We are a community of inspiring and optimistic people acting to create productive, prosperous, equitable and resilient landscapes. The change needed requires action at every level, from grassroots change agents to political decision makers. We share success stories, the latest innovations and best practices from our community to inspire further positive action on the ground.
The GLF platform has helped to kickstart critical initiatives for landscapes, ecosystems and communities across the globe – from helping forge the historic Congo Peatlands Agreement to launching a ‘gold standard’ for protecting the rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities to leading the charge towards the 2021–2030 UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. Check out some of our proudest moments in the links below.
Congo Peatlands AgreementxCongo Peatlands Agreement
The historic Brazzaville Declaration was signed by the Congo Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo and Indonesia and establishes a foundation for cooperation on planned agriculture, oil and gas mining, and logging projects in the Cuvette Centrale region, the world’s largest tropical peatland. GLF/CIFOR are part of the Global Peatlands Initiative, which helped forge the deal. The Cuvette Centrale peatland was recently mapped by an international team of scientists, and findings were detailed in the 2017 “Smoke on Water” report released at the Global Landscapes Forum conference in December in Bonn, Germany.
The AFR100 is a pan-African, country-led restoration effort to bring 100 million hectares of degraded landscapes in Africa under restoration by 2030.
International Partnership for Blue CarbonxInternational Partnership for Blue Carbon
Australia, Indonesia, and Costa Rica, along with GRID-Arendal, the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Program (SPREP), the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and Office of the Pacific Oceanscape Commissioner, the Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and the Global Change Institute, launched the Blue Carbon Initiative (with Conservation International, IUCN, Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission – UNESCO) at the 2015 Global Landscapes Forum in Paris. The Partnership brought together collaborative cross-sectoral partners to share knowledge and accelerate action regarding coastal blue carbon ecosystems.
TFA2020 Africa’s Palm Oil InitiativexTFA2020 Africa’s Palm Oil Initiative
The Africa Palm Oil Initiative (APOI) brought together nine Central and West African governments, as well as the private sector, civil society and indigenous and local peoples groups, in a commitment to make this key industry sustainable and responsible. The initiative was launched at an important moment in the development of the palm oil industry in the region, as it is on the verge of becoming a net exporter. High-level representatives of the nine governments met in Marrakesh to sign the pledge, which aims to be a sustainable driver of long-term, low-carbon development in a manner that is socially beneficial and protects tropical forests. The countries concerned are: Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Republic of Congo and Sierra Leone. The APOI was the first major initiative of the Tropical Forest Alliance, a global public-private partnership set up in 2012 that aims to reduce deforestation linked to key global commodities.
Global Peatlands InitiativexGlobal Peatlands Initiative
Launched at the 2016 Global Landscapes Forum in Marrakesh, this is a new UN Environment-led multi-partner effort to save peatlands- which store the largest quantity of carbon stocks of any ecosystem.
Tropical Landscapes Finance Facility (TLFF)xTropical Landscapes Finance Facility (TLFF)
The Tropical Landscapes Financing Facility (TLFF) was launched at the Forum in Marrakesh in 2016. TLFF uses a novel structure, leveraging public funding to provide access to long-term finance at affordable rates to support smallholder producers, renewable energy production and other land users’ investment in sustainable Indonesian landscapes.
Youth in Landscape (YIL) InitiativexYouth in Landscape (YIL) Initiative
The Youth in Landscapes (YIL) Initiative is a growing global network and movement of over 60,000 young people ages 18-35 working and studying in landscapes around the world. The Initiative is a partnership between the International Forestry Students’ Association (IFSA), Young Professionals for Agricultural Development (YPARD), the Global Agroecology Alliance (GAEA) and Youth 4 Nature (Y4N). The young leaders from these organizations have joined forces to deliver workshops, mentorship, training and networking to students and young professionals in landscapes around the world.
Whether online or in person, YIL programs connect, support, and inspire young people to step into courageous leadership.
UN Decade on Ecosystem RestorationxUN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration
The GLF has been named an official core partner in preparation for the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, 2021-2030. The Decade is conceived as a global movement that can achieve the mission of ending ecosystem degradation by harnessing the power of nature and local communities. In addition to informing the Strategy, the GLF serves as a key partner in knowledge management and a critical intermediary between grassroots restoration action, Decade partners, and leading organizations. The new GLFx initiative will bridge local voices to global agendas and catalyze restoration action across the world. The GLF, alongside the Youth in Landscapes Initiative (YIL), has also developed the Generation Restoration campaign and Restoration Steward program to ensure youth leadership in restoration.
Gold Standard for RightsxGold Standard for Rights
In cooperation with charter members IPMG and RRI, GLF in 2019 launched the “gold standard”, a set of best practices for protecting the rights of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities, to be endorsed by organizations and governments worldwide. Institutions endorsing this “gold standard” commit to integrating safeguards, co-created by rights holders through global participatory consultations, that transfer decision-making over lands, territories, and resources to Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities, particularly women.
Initiative 20x20xInitiative 20x20
The GLF conference that was held alongside COP20 in Lima in 2014 saw the launch of Initiative 20x20, through which countries and regional programs across Latin America and the Caribbean have committed to protecting and restoring over 50 million hectares of degraded land by 2030.
Food Systems, Land Use and Restoration (FOLUR) Impact ProgramxFood Systems, Land Use and Restoration (FOLUR) Impact Program
GLF contributes to strategic knowledge management and communications in the Food Systems, Land Use and Restoration (FOLUR) Global Knowledge to Action Platform, which is led by the World Bank and forms part of its Impact Program on the same topic. Based on the growing recognition that food production systems and land use must improve for the health of people, planet and economies, the platform aims to promote sustainable integrated landscapes and efficient food value chains at scale.
Landscape AcademyxLandscape Academy
The center of GLF's learning activities, the Landscape Academy is the hub for landscape learning and training, offering online and in-person learning opportunities. The Landscape Academy is a collaboration between GLF, Wageningen University and Research and the UN Environment Programme, as well as GLF partners, schools and universities across the world. Its aim is to strengthen the capacities of young, current and future professionals in landscape approaches, restoration and governance. As of 2021, over 18,000 learners have enrolled in the GLF-led Sustainable and Inclusive Landscapes certificate program, including online courses on landscape leadership, landscape governance, landscape finance, climate action, and biodiverse landscapes.
Investment CasesxInvestment Cases
The GLF Investment Case has become one of the top sustainable finance forums globally, providing a regular convening space for a powerful community of leading sustainable financial actors that review and launch new innovative strategies for land-based investments. 1,800 participants were selected to participate in person at the first four Investment Case events in London (2015, 2016), Washington D.C. (2018) and Luxembourg (2019), while thousands more tuned in virtually via live-stream. These events saw the launch of multiple major sustainable finance innovations, including the Tropical Landscapes Financing Facility (TLFF) in Indonesia and the Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) Fund.
Charter MembersxCharter MembersThirty-three of the world’s leading development, environmental, farmer, rights and research organizations currently serve as GLF Charter Members. Each of these organizations has signed the GLF Charter, and shares a strong commitment to the vision of advancing, mainstreaming and implementing the Landscape Approach to building landscapes that are productive, prosperous, equitable and resilient.
Luxembourg-GLF Finance for Nature PlatformxLuxembourg-GLF Finance for Nature Platform
The Luxembourg-GLF Finance for Nature Platform aims to shift financial flows towards sustainable land-use models that are sustainable, equitable, inclusive and profitable. To achieve this vision, the Government of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and the GLF are joining forces to
- share knowledge on existing innovations and continuously build relevant (new) solutions,
- enhance mainstreaming of sustainable finance for nature-based solutions, and
- catalyze private sector engagement in sustainable land use financing.
What is the landscape approach?
A landscape approach (more correctly termed landscape approaches) is known for its holistic way of looking at areas or landscapes and the people within. It builds on the notion that people depend on their landscapes for their food, livelihood, income, culture and identity, and that these need to be handled with care.
A landscape approach builds on the premise that combining conservation, development and human well-being is possible. It has been done in the past, and is still being done today, as proven by many Indigenous and local communities worldwide.
It needs to be done, however, at a much wider scale to counter the negative impacts of unsustainable land use and unlimited resource extraction, which increasingly lead to resource depletion, biodiversity loss, food insecurity and poverty, and climate change. A landscape approach instead highlights the need for more sustainable use, management and governance of natural resources by maintaining or developing sustainable production models, designing transparent spatial management plans, and making legitimate spatial decisions through participatory and inclusive governance mechanisms that work.