How do we feed the world without eating the planet? This was the question posed to speakers and participants alike at the GLF Bonn Digital Conference: Food in the time of crisis held on 3-5 June 2020.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a global health crisis on a scale that has not been seen in a century, leading to millions of infections, more than 450,000 deaths, countries in lockdown, lives disrupted by economic hardship, social isolation and the growing threat of hunger. The global emergency has also highlighted the need to reconsider humanity’s relationship with the natural world and the consequences of ignoring the nexus between humans, wildlife, and landscapes that provide food and livelihoods.
In June 2020, the GLF community addressed these crises by creating a three-day knowledge system on sustainable landscapes rooted in the notion of knowledge commons, utilizing digital conference technology. Looking at sustainable landscape knowledge as a shared resource, nearly 5,000 participants joined in from 146 countries and 6 continents to discuss how to rebuild the planet’s food systems after the coronavirus pandemic. The numbers — 300 speakers, hundreds of organizations, 235,000 engagements on social, 22,000 messages plus 2,500 articles exchanged amongst participants — highlighted the need for platforms like GLF to grow and continue including the voices of diverse knowledge holders from every corner of the world.
“I can’t believe it,” said one participant. ”I am in the middle of the nomadic Mongolian countryside and enjoying the Global Landscapes Forum [Digital Conference]. Thanks to the digital world.”