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PUBLIC RELEASE DATE:
25-Jun-2014

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Contact: Daniel Kapsoot
D.Kapsoot@cgiar.org
254-072-573-3895
World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF)
www.twitter.com/ICRAF

Major meeting to propose large-scale solutions to landscape challenges in Africa

How will African farmers deal with climate change? Can we preserve biodiversity while lifting millions of rural Africans out of poverty? What needs to be done to create healthy and prosperous African landscapes? An international conference to be held in Nairobi on 1-3 July 2014, entitled "Landscapes for People, Food and Nature in Africa" will seek to answer these questions.

This ground-breaking conference will bring together leading minds from African government, research, civil society and the private sector. They will put together an action plan to respond to the critical challenges of climate change, environmental degradation and rising food demand. The decisions taken at the conference will feed directly into major initiatives for action and investment already being planned in Africa.

So far, the most common response to these challenges has been to pursue strategies that respond to specific needs: for example, produce more food or conserve more habitat. Unfortunately, these single-objective strategies often solve one problem but worsen another.

New approaches are needed with a wider perspective, because future solutions will have to take an integrated approach that considers the whole landscape and all of its parts; people, animals, crops, land, water and the environment.

Over 150 participants will attend, including African government, NGO, business, finance, and farmer leaders, donors, experienced landscape initiative/program practitioners, and technical experts and researchers involved in integrated landscape management that links food, biodiversity and climate objectives.

Integrated approaches to rural landscape management are often the best way to meet current and future demands for food and fiber, rural poverty alleviation, income generation, and conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services. Innovations led by farmers and supported by grassroots organizations are demonstrating the feasibility and value of such approaches. The diverse participant group will conduct a critical review of lessons learned from the hundreds of integrated landscape initiatives that have arisen over the past decade on the continent.

The Conference is being hosted by the World Agroforestry Centre on behalf of the Landscapes for People, Food and Nature Initiative, a global partnership of leading conservation, agriculture and food security organizations. The conference will look to develop initiatives to address the full set of products and services required from land, biodiversity, water and other resources. By sharing the best in landscape management research and the lessons from years of local and national initiatives on the continent, meeting invitees will generate a powerful set of policy and program recommendations for national, regional and international action.

With sponsorship from the Government of the Netherlands Ministry of Economic Affairs, and joint co-organization by jointly organized by the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), the United Nations Environment Programme, EcoAgriculture Partners, and NEPAD/TerrAfrica, the meeting will generate policy and action recommendations aimed at national, regional and international levels, stakeholders, program leaders and the business community.

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