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Harness ‘power of landscapes’ to fix health and environmental challenges, report says

Youth in Landscapes Initiative and Global Landscapes Forum produce roadmap
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Village near Mount Halimun Salak National Park, West Java. CIFOR/Aulia Erlangga

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Governments must act on the vast benefits of conservation and support the rights of people living in biodiverse landscapes to re-establish environmental equilibrium and protect humanity from the consequences of climate change and biodiversity loss, a new report states.

The Global Landscapes Forum and the Youth in Landscapes Initiative teamed up to publish seven biodiversity policy recommendations and eight guidelines for implementation jointly crafted by its network of partner organizations, including the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), World Agroforestry (ICRAF) and the U.N. Environment Programme.

The actions proposed in “One World, One Health: Recommendations for harnessing the power of landscapes” aim to tackle threats of a mass extinction, which experts project could soon lead to the loss of up to a million species.

The report recommends:

  • Tearing down silos that separate public health and environmental sectors
  • Stimulating youth employment in conservation and restoration
  • Returning ownership of food systems, value-chain decision making and financing mechanisms to Indigenous and local communities

Last year, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, scientists at CIFOR-ICRAF demonstrated how biodiversity loss and unsustainable wildlife extraction in forests facilitate the spread of viruses between animals and humans.

This year, the United Nations will launch a new Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework and the Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030. These initiatives are entwined with efforts to meet the 17 U.N. Sustainable Development Goals, which are set to expire in 2030, and encourage transformations in the financial sector.

This research forms part of the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry, which is supported by CGIAR Fund Donors.
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