UN Climate Change Conference

7 – 18 November, Marrakesh
16 November 2016 | 11:00-12:30 | Global Landscapes Forum, Marrakesh Room

Where the rubber hits the road for achieving climate goals: Non-state actors and subnational governments in sustainable landscapes

This discussion forum will address, based on CIFOR research in interaction with partners, the challenges and opportunities presented by the full participation of non-state (e.g. private sector) and subnational government actors in efforts to address climate change on the ground. The presentations are based on comparative research on multilevel challenges conducted in 54 sites of land use change in 11 subnational landscapes in five countries (Peru, Indonesia, Mexico, Vietnam and Tanzania); in-depth studies of the design of monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) systems in two countries (Peru and Mexico); and research on private sector commitments (e.g. through the NAZCA platform).

The research finds that the private sector is becoming increasingly active and influential in the climate debate but is very heterogeneous; there is considerable justification for the UNFCCC to develop guidance for engagement. Similarly, subnational governments are often overlooked, treated as incompetent or “too political”, or seen only as charged with implementing central directives in spite of having important influence over some aspects of local land use and over local citizens. The results highlight the importance of understanding multiple perspectives for the design of effective and equitable solutions, of leadership that challenges business as usual in multiple arenas and of collaboration and innovation with new commitments to transparency and capacity building.

Five panelists representing subnational regions, indigenous territories, the finance sector, NGOs and the research sector will draw from their own experiences to promote discussion on the research findings and examples of solutions.

Key questions addressed:

  1. What are the major challenges to public and private sectors and civil society to working more closely together in efforts to address climate change on the ground (including addressing deforestation and degradation drivers, meeting private sector commitments and transforming economies in equitable and sustainable ways)?
  2. How can we work together across sectors to address climate change on the ground? We would like to hear about successes, progress on the ground, and how challenges were overcome. What do you want the people in this room to know that can help us all move forward?




Christopher Martius
To be confirmed

Speaker's bio:
Christopher Martius is a Principal Scientist on climate change at CIFOR. His research interests are in climate change mitigation and adaptation, land management, the development of integrated concepts for improving sustainability of land use, and the management of biodiversity and biological soil resources. He has more than 20 years of experience working in the dry and humid tropics in Latin America, Africa and Central Asia. He coordinated an international, interdisciplinary project on land and water resource management in Uzbekistan. He is co-founder and Advisory Board Member of DesertNet International, a network of scientists dealing with drylands, land degradation and desertification. He is a lecturer in Agroecology at the University of Bonn, and holds a PhD in Biology from the University of Göttingen, Germany.

Anne Larson
To be confirmed

Speaker's bio:
Anne Larson conducts research on multiple aspects of forest and landscape governance policy and institutions, from local to international scales. She coordinates fieldwork in Peru, Nicaragua, Mexico, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, Indonesia and Vietnam. Current research priorities include opportunities and challenges for forest tenure reforms; women’s rights to land in communal forests; and multilevel governance, REDD+ and low emissions development. Anne is a member of the council of the International Association for the Study of the Commons (IASC) and represents CIFOR to the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI). Prior to obtaining her PhD in 2001, she worked as a journalist, activist and lobbyist. She obtained her undergraduate degree in Environmental Science from Stanford University and her PhD in from UC Berkeley in Wildland Resource Science.

Steve Lawry
To be confirmed

Speaker's bio:
Steven Lawry is CIFOR’s Director of Forest Governance. He leads the Equity, Gender and Tenure research team, consisting of 16 scientists and research associates based in CIFOR offices in Africa, Asia and Latin America. He is a member of CIFOR’s management group and chairs CIFOR’s Resource Development and Partnerships Committee. He has published studies and scholarly articles on the social and ecological effects of the devolution of forest rights from state authorities to communities in developing countries; the governance of land use in customary tenure regimes in sub-Saharan Africa; and tenure factors affecting adoption of agroforestry technologies in West Africa, among other topics. He received a PhD from the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1988.

Pham Thu Thuy
To be confirmed

Speaker's bio:
Pham Thu Thuy received her PhD in pro-poor Payments for Environmental Services (PES) from Charles Darwin University, Australia, and has been working in the fields of PES, REDD+, climate change and poverty reduction for several years in developing countries, including in Vietnam. At CIFOR, her research focus is on political and institutional analysis of PES and REDD+, and the potential of these schemes to be pro-poor. Thuy collaborates with national and international agencies and universities, as well as civil society groups, to support the governments of developing countries in the design and implementation of PES and REDD+ schemes.


CIFOR website usability survey

We're conducting research on our website and we'd love to hear from you about your experience on This will help us make improvements and prioritize new features. The survey should only take 5 minutes, and your responses are completely anonymous.

If you have any questions about the survey, please email us:

We really appreciate your input!

Start survey
I don’t want to participate
Remind me later