Our multifunctional landscapes: Global Landscapes Forum

These are our multifunctional landscapes. They give us clean air, abundant and safe water, a home for precious biodiversity, a storehouse for carbon, and regulation of the climate. Here, people make a living… from farms and from forestry. They harvest the bounty of the forest and work to keep our ecosystems healthy. But our landscapes are under threat: human activities are degrading the land. Deforestation is jeopardizing the health of our planet. Yet we continue to put pressure on our environment: on the diversity of life it sustains, on the complexity of its processes, on the people that inhabit forested landscapes. Careful planning on using our land will give us all benefits: more and better foo for all, well-being from traditional livelihoods, conservation of biodiversity, healthy ecosystems.

Managing landscapes means looking at the small, local scale, the larger picture, and further, beyond borders. Because decisions made in one region of the world affect the lives and livelihoods of people in another continent. Decisions should always include those on the frontlines, who often feel the effects of environmental change the most, even as they seek to protect the landscapes where they live and work. Multifunctional landscapes are at the heart of sustainable development, at the core of the climate system. They are the source of our livelihoods, the foundation of our energy systems, the haven of species that have nowhere else to go, and our best insurance policy against the effects of climate change.

Learn more: www.landscapes.org

Photo credits, by order:
Jesse Lewis, Alexis Huaccho Magro, Michael Seiden, Juan Carlos Huayllapuma Cruz, Gema Lorio, Enrique Pezo, Percy Ramírez Medina, Elmer Ayala, Diego Pérez, Heriyadi Asyari, Juan Izurieta, Sri Sadono, Apolinario Robles, Apolinario Robles, Javier Florez, Sabrina van de Velde, Dr Stanislav Shmelev, Jorge Martinez, Trinidad del Rio, Elmer Ayala, Trinidad del Rio, Frank Suárez, Diego Pérez, Jim O’Neill, Mark Levitin, Mark Levitin, Eugenio Fernández Vázquez, Mourad Shalaby, Alexis Huaccho Magro, Ernesto Benavides, Irwandi M.Gade, Anirban Mahapatra, Emilio Vilanova, Ricky Martin, Diego Lagos, Patrick Campbell, Renata Leite Pitman, Daniel Porras.