Global Landscapes Forum concluded yesterday in Warsaw

Shaping the Climate and Development Agenda for Forests and Agriculture was the theme of the Global Landscapes Forum, which concluded yesterday in Warsaw. The event gathered nearly two thousand people – ministers, experts, policy makers, business leaders and ecologists. "I am pleased that we are meeting at a forum which originated from the most influential discussions related to forestry and agriculture within the context of climate change," said Marcin Korolec, the Minister of the Environment, at the official opening.

The Global Landscapes Forum (GLF), which takes two days, is one of the most important events in the area of sustainable development. Its participants searched for an answer to the questions of how to invest in sustainable landscape? What are the benefits of "green" investments? How can we use the potential of forests and agriculture to mitigate climate change? Can agriculture be developed without deforestation? And finally – are we capable of producing food for 9 billion people without destroying forests and accelerating climate change?

"Forests play a crucial role in ensuring climate stability. Because of this, we may not forget about the need to stop deforesting the Earth and the need to reduce greenhouse gases emission. We can achieve it through sustainable forest management required to preserve various services of forests, which remain a fixed component in the structure of sustainable landscape," observed Marcin Korolec. On the whole planet, forests serve important functions in ecosystems, such as hydrological or climate regulation. In Europe, half of the territory is covered with forests, but in other geographical areas forest landscapes shrink due to the expansion of agriculture and other manners of land development. On the other hand, agriculture is the basic means of subsistence in the countryside all over the world, and has great significance for the achievement of the future sustainable development goals. Unfortunately, according to estimates, agriculture is a direct cause of 80 percent of deforestation all over the world. These data inspired researchers from both sectors to develop common solutions.

"Combining these two fields into a single term – landscape – is a brilliant example of the development of measures towards a common programme for climate and development. By bringing together two debates of similar content, we are able to see the problems of forestry and agriculture from a broader perspective. We definitely need a holistic strategy to make our efforts more efficient,"Minister Korolec stressed the significance of the meeting.

The Global Landscapes Forum accompanied the 19th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Climate Change Convention (COP19) held in Warsaw.

In the words of Minister Korolec: "The GLF proves to the world that we care for progress on the way to a new global agreement for sustainable development. I strongly believe that together we can make this world a better and a safer place for us and the future generations. As the host of both COP19 and GLF, Poland will spare no efforts to support collaboration and the joint search for the best solutions."

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