Following a year of unprecedented growth, the Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) is quickly becoming the epicenter for discussions and solutions on landscape sustainability and restoration, connecting people from all sectors and continents to combat climate change through the landscape approach.
The GLF was launched with an ambitious goal of reaching 1 billion people with the science, strategies and inspiration needed to create more sustainable, profitable, equitable and resilient livelihoods and landscapes. Now six years in, the GLF is quickly seeing this target come into view.
Already, it has reached more than 250 million people with its message, making the GLF the world’s largest knowledge-based platform on landscape sustainability.
The culmination of GLF’s 2018 agenda – GLF Bonn – is expected to attract more than 2,000 attendees to the World Conference Center in Bonn, Germany, on 1-2 December, with tens of thousands more joining to listen and participate online.
Past GLF events have helped create numerous successful global restoration initiatives, including AFR100 and the International Partnership for Blue Carbon, both launched at the GLF Paris in 2015, and Initiative 20×20, launched at the GLF Lima in 2014.
GLF Bonn will see new members sign the GLF Charter, a group of major world donors and research organizations pivotal to achieving such initiatives, including the U.N. Environment Programme, the World Bank Group, the World Agroforestry Centre and others.
While high-level involvement from government and organizations is imperative to curbing global emissions, a core tenet of the GLF is to empower two groups key to the planet’s sustainable future: youth and local communities.
Already, the GLF’s youth programs have directly impacted more than 20,000 youth under the age of 35 through bootcamps, mentorships, trainings and youth ambassador programs. Numerous indigenous leaders and representatives will be spotlighted at Bonn, increasing the ideas and stories of rural landscape communities on the global stage through the Voices of the Landscape platform.
While the GLF is founded in the power of people coming together in the flesh around a common cause, the past year has also seen the GLF’s digital presence expand in spades. Landscape News – a Google News-accredited news outlet covering environmental, development and social issues – now receives more than 20,000 monthly readers, while social media and video content make GLF events publicly available and bring our global audience together.
In the past year, the GLF has experienced the following growth:
- 107% increase in GLF website traffic
- 76% increase in readership of Landscape News
- Doubling of unique visitors to Landscape News between July and August
- More than 89,000 real-time viewers of GLF events via the GLF livestream
- Nearly 400,000 views of YouTube event footage in four months alone
- 2,400 participants in Digital Summits on topics ranging from sustainable fashion to the Congolese peatlands
- 216% increase in Facebook likes
- 19,100 Twitter users with engagement of more than 30,000 likes and retweets
- More than 130,000 views of GLF photos on Flickr
Lastly, the GLF has recently established its secretariat in Bonn, neighboring its partners the United Nations as well as the German federal ministries of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and of Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety (BMU), with whom it signed last year a five-year partnership. This headquarters serves as an open-door ‘war room’ for the GLF mission.
It is equipped with a digital conference center that will not only be stage for online GLF events throughout the year, but it is also available for use for groups and organizations in need of a place to convene in Bonn.
With the new secretariat, partners and active participants from all sectors and walks of life joining the GLF, the past year has been pivotal on all accounts for its mission to restore and improve life on this planet.
As the pace continues to quicken with the upcoming GLF Bonn conference as well as GLF events following in Katowice alongside December’s COP 24, and in Kyoto and Luxembourg in 2019, the ambitious goal of reaching 1 billion people is quickly coming into reach.
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