CI Joins Partnership to Improve Food Supply, Ecosystem Health and Human Development

11/1/2011

“Landscapes for People, Food, and Nature” launches as new international initiative to team expertise in biodiversity conservation, agriculture and agroforestry

Arlington, VA – An international group of multilateral and non-profit organizations launched a new initiative today to promote successful approaches to agricultural landscape management that seek to meet goals for food production, ecosystem health and human wellbeing while simultaneously helping to address the impacts of climate change.

The Landscapes for People, Food, and Nature Initiative (LPFN) is a three year collaborative effort co-organized by Conservation International, Biodiversity International, EcoAgriculture Partners, Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation, International Partnership for the Satoyama Initiative, United Nations Environment Programme, World Agroforestry Center and United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies. 

The Initiative will advance new pathways for sustainable development of rural landscapes by:

  • Sharing and assessing experience, progress, and challenges in adopting ecoagriculture worldwide;
  • Understanding how ecoagriculture approaches could be adopted more widely and effectively to support food production, conservation, and rural livelihoods;
  • Showcasing tools and methods that can help farmers, community groups, private business, governments, and others implement and support ecoagriculture on the ground;
  • Developing plans and action agendas to support innovators and develop ecoagriculture landscapes at a globally significant scale; and
  • Implementing these plans through policy advocacy, pilot programs, new investments, and grassroots action.

John Buchanan, Senior Director and Lead for the Conservation International’s Food Security Initiative, said: “Identifying landscape strategies that combine conservation of natural areas with implementation of sustainable production practices to increase food production and maintain flow of ecosystem services is essential to our mission. Our core strengths in biodiversity conservation will complement the wide range of agriculture, agroforestry and other expert capacity in this initiative.”

Conservation International’s commitment to the LPFN Initiative is driven by the consensus emerging that many current production systems for food, forest and fish products are unsustainable for people and nature, and threaten the long-term supply of food and fiber.  Yet from sustainable livestock management in South Africa to emerging efforts to improve fish farming in Cambodia, people are working together in landscapes to find better ways to meet current and future demands for food and fiber while also protecting nature’s services and local livelihoods.

Farmers, policymakers, food companies, conservation agencies and grassroots organizations in all parts of the world are generating innovations to meet the challenge, though today these approaches are being practiced on a limited scale.  Since over two-thirds of the world’s land area is shaped by cropland, planted pastures, or other agricultural practices, it is critical to scale up such integrated systems to combat both hunger and environmental degradation.

Over the next three years, the LPFN Initiative will work in three phases:

  1. A Global Review to synthesizing the evidence base and key perspectives for integrated farming landscapes.
  2. A series of Dialogues will be kicked off with an international forum in March 2012 in Nairobi, Kenya.  This series will bring together farmers, governments, NGOs, donors and the private sector to learn from the Global Review and put the knowledge sharing into practice to alleviate food insecurity, poverty and ecosystem degradation. 
  3. Action and Advocacy through 2014 to promote the policy, investment, capacity building and research agendas developed through the Global Review and Dialogue series.

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Conservation International’s Food Security strategy: www.conservation.org/food  
LPFN Initiative: www.landscapes.ecoagriculture.org

For more information, contact:
Patricia Malentaqui, International Media Manager at Conservation International
Office +1 (703) 341-2471 / email pmalentaqui@conservation.org

Bemmy Granados, Food Security Program Manager at Conservation International
Office +1 (703) 341-2548 / email bgranados@conservation.org

Erik Nielsen, Senior Manager, Knowledge Sharing and Policy Advocacy at EcoAgriculture Partners
enielsen@ecoagriculture.org

Note to editors:
Conservation International (CI)
— Building upon a strong foundation of science, partnership and field demonstration, CI empowers societies to responsibly and sustainably care for nature, our global biodiversity, for the long term well-being of people. Founded in 1987, CI has headquarters in the Washington, DC area, and nearly 900 employees working in more than 30 countries on four continents, plus 1,000+ partners around the world. For more information, visit www.conservation.org , and follow us on Twitter: @ConservationOrg or Facebook: www.facebook.com/conservation.intl

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