Global Landscapes Forum: Best of 2020

This week's focus:


Indigenous and local communities are stewards and knowledge-holders for the lion’s share of Earth’s remaining intact landscapes. In 2020, GLF has continued to center and platform Indigenous and local voices in restoration and development, including championing the recognition of Indigenous rights to lands and resources. As countries across the globe turn their attention to ‘building back better’ in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, GLF has emphasized that such rights-based approaches will be crucial to forging a green, just recovery process.

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Why global food systems should resemble those of the Indigenous Peoples

Lessons for more resilient and sustainable food systems

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Voices of the Landscapes

Indigenous Peoples are the time-immemorial guardians of many of the world’s remaining biodiversity-rich landscapes – and of the spirituality, values and worldviews embedded in these spaces.

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5 books to give you Indigenous wisdom

Recommendations for your reading list for Indigenous People’s Day 2020

Session highlight: Voices of the Landscapes

The Voices of the Landscapes plenary session at the GLF Biodiversity Digital Conference served to amplify the voices of Indigenous landscape guardians, and provided a platform for civil society groups, the private sector, policy-makers, local authorities and youth to discuss processes that draw from Indigenous peoples' and local communities' knowledge to generate scalable solutions to contemporary challenges.


Voices of the Landscapes

This plenary session featured the work and voices Indigenous environmental guardians from across the globe, and offered an opportunity for policymakers and local actors to explore ways of scaling Indigenous and local communities’ solutions to ecological and social challenges.

If there’s one thing 2020 has shown us, it’s how deeply we’re all connected. This year, GLF has consistently advocated for a ‘One Health’ approach to preventing future pandemics and addressing the current climate and biodiversity crises, by holistically addressing human, animal and ecological health. To this end, GLF’s Biodiversity Digital Conference centered on the theme of “One World – One Health,” and the conference drew international attention to this promising strategy for confronting complex, intertwined issues.

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One Health, one cure

The history of the approach to health that promises to prevent future pandemics

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Biodiversity 101: Why it matters and how to protect it

The ins and outs of protecting our planet’s species

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World leaders on what is next for the environment movement after COVID-19

This session at GLF Bonn 2020 describes how we can ‘Build Back Better’ in coming months and years

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For these 6 species, there could be fewer than 100 left

Here are some of the most critically endangered species on Earth

Event Focus: GLF Biodiversity

As the United Nations’ Council on Biological Diversity sets the course for the coming decade on halting biodiversity loss, the GLF Biodiversity Digital Conference 2020, held on October 28-29, played a major role in highlighting pathways by which humanity can make the transition from exploiting to restoring the Earth’s ecosystems.

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Global Landscapes Forum Biodiversity

The conference anchored the importance of addressing human, animal and environmental health holistically through the ‘One Health’ approach. It convened more than 5,000 people from 148 countries online to exchange knowledge and inform decision-makers about the crucial interdependencies of all life on Earth.

This year, GLF has played a key role in informing and shaping the upcoming UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, whilst facilitating educative forums on pressing issues such as wildfires and effective tree-planting. The organization has also launched several restoration-related initiatives of its own, such as the youth-focused Restoration Stewards program and the GLFx local chapter network.

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Forgotten Forests

A serial exploration into the planet’s most precious – yet neglected – tropical forests

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GLF in Action

GLF in Action: Kicking off the first GLFx chapters and announcing the Restoration Stewards

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Trees are having a heyday in the headlines, but we must be careful what we say

What do we talk about when we talk about tree-planting?


The ‘Digital Forum: Can tree planting save our planet?’ took place on 29 September and highlighted the many ways to make tree planting good for people and the planet. An integrated approach that features mosaic landscapes is needed for successful land restoration, and a policy of ‘radical inclusion’ should harness the wisdom of landscape inhabitants, NGOs, communities and policy makers, women and youth.

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Digital Forum: Can tree planting save our planet?

Scientists, community leaders, forestry experts, investors and policymakers participated in the half-day event, the largest ever staged by CIFOR-ICRAF. Almost 5,000 participants from 123 countries tuned in to the forum which reached 5 million people via social media.

How can we feed the world without eating the planet – and continue to do so in times of crisis? These were the principal questions posed at GLF Bonn 2020, which was held online in June, as the COVID-19 pandemic claimed lives and livelihoods, and disrupted food systems across the globe. This year, GLF has ‘gone deep’ into sustainable ways of producing food and securing livelihoods, with a view to developing more resilient and adaptable systems to confront the crises of the future.

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What are – and aren’t – nature-based solutions?

Multinationals are increasingly harnessing nature to reach green goals, but it can be a tricky business

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A library for understanding the soils of the world

New soil spectral library addresses global food supply through advanced soil analysis

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Jane Goodall

Dr. Jane Goodall shares 5 key goals for food security at GLF Bonn 2020

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Youth Daily Show – No food waste

Being able to choose what and how much you eat is a privilege, and we should use this privilege to stop eating our planet

GLF Bonn Digital Conference

The GLF Bonn Digital Conference 2020 represented a watershed moment for GLF: forced by the COVID-19 pandemic to take the gathering entirely online, the organization rose to the challenge and fast-tracked its digital development to create a highly interactive and inclusive event, which was attended by 5,000 people from 146 countries.

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GLF Bonn Digital Conference

Discussions centered on how to rebuild the planet’s food systems, which had been severely disrupted by the pandemic, for resilience and sustainability in the face of ecological and health crises.

It’s painfully clear that the less action we take now on biodiversity loss and climate change, the more costs we accrue in the long run. But we can’t alter our course without the cash to do so, and that means channeling private sector funds into the changes we want to see. GLF continues to advocate for the business benefits of green investment in all its guises, from green bonds to financing biodiversity and more.

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Building the business case for biodiversity

Why investing in natural capital makes sense for people, planet (and profit!)

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How to improve smallholders’ access to finance in sustainable farming systems?

Four entrepreneurs from Global Innovation Lab joined the session to share their practical experience in developing climate finance instruments for agriculture business

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Green bonds fall short in biodiversity and sustainable land-use finance, says research

Energy projects receive most green bond proceeds, new paper discusses finding balance

Session highlight: Financial incentives for a biodiversity-friendly future – is green recovery a catalyzer?

At the GLF Biodiversity Digital Conference, the session entitled 'Financial incentives for a biodiversity-friendly future – is green recovery a catalyzer?' explored how financial instruments can be customized and redesigned to align with the implementation of the Post-2020 Biodiversity Framework. The session brought together public- and private-sector experts to discuss how to bring successful approaches to scale in the context of 'green recovery' from the COVID-19 pandemic.


Financial incentives for a biodiversity-friendly future – is green recovery a catalyzer?

In this session, public- and private-sector discussed how to rework financial instruments, and scale up successful existing approaches, to help meet the objectives of the Post-2020 Biodiversity Framework in the context of ‘green recovery’ from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Best of 2020


4 events are on the horizon for 2021, including a new Investment Case Symposium, GLF Africa: Drylands in June, GLF Amazon in September, and GLF Glasgow (6-7 November) alongside COP26. Be one of the first to know more by signing up for the Global Landscapes Forum newsletter, delivered straight to your inbox once a month. Click on an event below, sign up for our newsletter and stay in-the-know.