Yolanda Kakabadse Navarro – Opening Keynote: Landscapes for climate and development

President of WWF International, Yolanda Kakabadse Navarro, speaks in this opening plenary from the second day of the Global Landscapes Forum 2014, in Lima, Peru, during COP20. In 2015, the Sustainable Development Goals will replace the Millennium Development Goals. At the UNFCCC COP21 in Paris, international leaders are expected to reach a new climate agreement as successor to the Kyoto Protocol. This panel discusses how the new climate and development agendas will offer unprecedented opportunities for a number of sectors to jointly support healthy and sustainable landscapes.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Global Landscapes Forum, Lima, Peru

#COP20GLF #ThinkLandscape

Yolanda Kakabadse Navarro – Opening Keynote- Landscapes for climate and development (Transcript)

YKN:                  [0:04] It’s a pleasure to be amongst so many friends and new people that are interested in this fantastic utopia that is sustainability. Like all utopias, it is not a static vision, and it is permanently evolving. And the permanent adaptation of goals at national, regional, and international levels has now to incorporate other factors. Those related to climate crisis, a crisis that affects the planet, each one of us, all of our nations. Some of this evolution is just a demonstration that the changes are more severe or just unexpected. Therefore, merging the vision of sustainability – a proactive assignment – with the reactive practice to climate change needs to be a continuous exercise.

[1:23] Strategies, plans and timelines are affected. We have no alternative but to react to this reality and incorporate threats and opportunities that this climate reality brings along. And it is at the landscape level where theory becomes practice, where this integration happens. Where we can measure if the two agendas have become one. We must make sure that mitigation and adaptation measures at the landscape level addresses development needs. This requires commitment at various levels of government to enable an integrated approach to land use management. At the political level, this means mainstreaming climate and development objectives across sectors. We should acknowledge that market forces have a clear impact at the landscape level, as Paul has already mentioned. As they affect decisions made on a daily basis by land managers, be they governments, multinational corporations, or small farmers.

[2:43] The New York Declaration on Forests and other multilateral initiatives demonstrate that this approach, an integrated approach, is possible. We already have successes at the landscape scale. For example, watersheds. And because of the urgency created by climate threats, it is important to share and learn from these experiences, to apply them across other landscapes. Catskills watershed in New York is an example of this. We should restructure our institutions and financing around landscapes. Integrated management requires new visions, new skills, new models of implementations. Be it at the project level or scaled up interventions. We must tackle the challenges holistically. Working at the landscape level where we integrate social, environmental, cultural, economic needs is more cost effective in needs of meeting society’s demands.

[4:02] Experience has proven that modifying patterns, models of work, is not easy. It’s quite complex, really. It’s quite a challenge to recognize that structures, methods, frameworks needs to be revised. But we have no choice. All of us – governments, businesses, civil society, and indigenous groups must make that transition. To break down silos, to create spaces for people to work across sectors, resources, nations, needs and more. To even modify behaviors such as, for example, the one on food waste. If we don’t integrate analysis and responses to hunger, food waste, consumption patterns, agricultural production and deforestation, we are missing the point.

[5:10] When you break silos, you can work across sectors and across institutions. At different levels, at different scales  – small and large. Constituencies, not only institutions, need to work together, from heads of state to grassroots groups. We need to see these changes happen both top down and bottom up. We are seeing a paradigm shift. In the past, governments made land use decisions. The advent of participatory processes and the proliferation of technology have allowed and facilitated this shift to participatory decision making. There are opportunities and instruments that have been developed through the UNFCCC through this process that may help the private sector and conservation groups and communities to work together in landscapes.

[6:28] For example, REDD+ can be a major lever or motivation for sustainable landscape management. At WWF, we are already on that path. Let’s use Lima, this fantastic and warm city, as an opportunity to connect, to strengthen existing connections, to embrace the concept of a landscapes approach. We can do that. Thank you.