GLF breaks new digital ground

The Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) continues on its path to spark a movement of one billion people around prosperous, equitable and resilient landscapes. The GLF has reached more than 700 million people from 185 countries, making it the world’s largest knowledge forum on integrated and sustainable land use. It continues to break new ground with digital conferences and GLFx – a global network of local chapters connecting online in dedicated communities of practice to take direct action at a local level.

In 2019, the Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) ran five major events, attended by over 3,000 people in person – with millions more engaging online.

“It’s not too late for climate and landscapes” was the message at GLF Kyoto, which streamed live across five continents. Kyoto mayor Daisaku Kadokawa pledged the city would meet a target of zero emissions by 2050.

GLF Bonn put rights in the landscape center stage. Participants rallied behind the recognition of indigenous and local communities’ rights, and developed a draft ‘gold standard’.

In New York, key details for the upcoming UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration were hammered out.

In Ghana, GLF Accra shone a spotlight on successful African restoration projects at various scales.

And at the fourth GLF Investment Case Symposium in Luxembourg, participants explored ways to bring sustainable land-use financing into the mainstream.

At COP25 in Madrid, the GLF communications team brought on-the-ground coverage to the world, including live interviews with participants in the conference – and activists outside it.

We need to be a downpour. We need to be a human flood over this next decade coming together in a peaceful way to wash away much of the old world and make room for what must now come next.

Bill McKibben

Author and founder of 350.org

Sparking conversation, igniting ambition

As the world’s largest knowledge-led platform on sustainable land use, GLF continues to find new ways to reach diverse people and create impact.

Youth in Landscapes launched a Youth 4 Rights infobrief series, held a ‘hAccrathon’ at GLF Accra and a Youth Dialogue on the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.

In 2019 GLFx, a new digital platform for the Global Landscapes Forum community, was launched. It is designed to enable and empower community members with the connections, knowledge and technology to connect, share, learn and act globally online and in person in their local community.

Also this year, with support from the Sparkassen Foundation, a state-of-the-art GLF Digital Broadcast Center was established at the CIFOR-ICRAF GLF office in Bonn. The center produces cutting-edge digital conferences and virtual events broadcast worldwide while significantly reducing GLF’s carbon footprint.

Forests in a
time of crises


In 2019, the world witnessed some of our greatest challenges shift gears from urgent to emergency – from climate crisis to landscape degradation to the wildfires that devastated ecosystems across several continents. But it also saw momentum build with the announcement of the UN Decade of Ecological Restoration, a focus on nature-based solutions, and the recognition of local forest communities and Indigenous Peoples are the best land managers for forest conservation.

Another exciting development – the merger of CIFOR and World Agroforestry (ICRAF) – set the stage for more evidence and solutions that will improve people’s lives, help to conserve and restore the ecosystems that support people and nature, and respond to the global climate crisis.

Our scientists advanced critical knowledge on forest landscape restoration, wild foods and timber legality in Zambia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and peatland fires, biofuel, oil palm and wetland ‘blue carbon’ in Indonesia – with clear policy impacts in Southeast Asia from 10 years of social forestry research and engagement. Our ongoing Global Comparative Studies – GCS REDD+ and GCS Tenure – continued to bring science to policy makers across Africa, Asia and Latin America. Gender researchers looked deep into a myriad of topics, and we mourned the loss of principal scientist and Nairobi hub leader Esther Mwangi, whose legacy of achievements in gender and land rights won’t be soon forgotten. Finally the Global Landscapes Forum brought even more people together, both at events from Accra to Luxembourg as well as through exciting new digital innovations.