Changing outlooks on food, fuel, fiber and forests

Photo: Murdani Usman (CIFOR)Organization: The Forests Dialogue

Some global issues—like the possibility of living within the means of our planet and under 2°C of global warming—require global attention, and long-sighted, integrated discussion to identify feasible ways forward. The Forests Dialogue is provoking conversation catalyzing action to determine whether producing sufficient food, fuel and fiber for the world must come at the expense of our forests, and, in the end, our climate.

What role should global stakeholder dialogues play in planning for a sustainable future, and to what extent can or should theses dialogues play into local or country-based discussions? What can the case study of Brazil tell us about the usefulness of interactive dialogue to inform relevant policy and management practices? How can we be sure that discussion actually translates into action on a meaningful scale? Share your views – join the discussion at the bottom of this page!

Live presentation

Poster

Presentation

Synopsis: For the world to feed its growing populations, without destroying or overtaxing natural systems, decisions about land use need to be made carefully and with the participation of all key stakeholders. The Forests Dialogue, a platform and process for multi-stakeholder discussion and collaboration, worked with its partners in 2011 to create the “Changing Outlooks on Food, Fuel, Fibre and Forests” Initiative to achieve better, fairer and more sustainable land use decision making.

The Problem ↓

Conflicts over land-use priorities arise because agriculture, forest sectors and civil society do not engage effectively. For the world to feed its growing populations, without destroying or overtaxing natural systems, policy and management decisions about land use need to be made carefully and with the participation of all key stakeholders. Over the next 30-40 years, food, fiber, and fuel production will compete intensively for limited land and water resources.

Keeping space for forests requires forestry and farming practices that produce more with less land, water and pollution, and new consumption patterns that meet the needs of the poor while eliminating waste and over-consumption by the affluent.

Larger consensus, involvement and collaboration from all key stakeholders will be required to move ahead.

The Solution ↓

The Forests Dialogue (TFD) is a platform and process for multi-stakeholder discussion and collaboration on the most pressing local and global issues facing forests and people.  Our primary tool – focused dialogue – is simple and powerful. Dialogues take place on a global scale with national, regional, or local focus where necessary. TFD involves a wide gamut of stakeholders including local communities, governmental organizations, non-governmental organizations, indigenous groups, industry, academia, and businesses.

TFD worked with its partners in 2011 to create the “Changing Outlooks on Food, Fuel, Fiber and Forests” (4Fs) Initiative.  The ultimate objective of the partnership is to effect fairer and more sustainable land use decision making by taking initiative on the following:

  • Promote responsible land-use
  • Provide best management practice guidance
  • Increase stakeholder engagement
  • Support key research and dissemination of research findings
  • Focus on integrating landscape scales

The Method ↓

TFD develops and facilitates multi-stakeholder dialogue-based initiatives on issues key to the forest sector. TFD builds a dynamic, bottom-up form of dialogue to ensure that stakeholders’ concerns are well represented. We use techniques that range from intimate, small-group dialogues to large forums involving hundreds of participants. Direct engagement with issues on the ground at field sites is an important component of many dialogue processes. At the conclusion of each dialogue and initiative, TFD produces summary publications, forms coalitions among key actors, and meets with decision-makers to move from ideas to action.  In particular, the 4Fs Partnership seeks to better understand how to best address the problems posed by growing resource demands, and involve key actors across different sectors to identify solutions and motivate broad political support for their implementation.

TFD’s greatest value is that it allows a large variety of stakeholder to engage and explore this difficult issue, and to find collaborative solutions. By identifying solutions and sharing the outcomes widely, TFD seeks to catalyze positive changes towards fairer and more sustainable land use decision making.

Comments
  • Rivaldo Kpadonou November 29, 2012 at 10:20 am

    This is a good idea. Land issue is very challenging for food security and sustainability, since its involves many others development issue such water, forest, biodiversity, etc. But, to make this idea effective and worktable, we need to strengthen the institutional and law frameworks of the lands including in Africa. Indeed, the land deals grabbing on going in African countries is a real threat to food security, environment and young people. Africa need to strengthen his legal mechanisms to control or stop this situation.

  • keron bascombe November 29, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    I agree with Rivaldo. Legal frameworks for land use and enforcement of these laws are important. In the same breath so is the ground level interaction. The aim of TFD is to be bottom up but I am still not sure if these will be sufficient plans of action. Usually when talking of ‘global action’ care is taken to represent or include stakeholders at the ground level but many times they are left our or misrepresented and these stakeholders such as local communities are the most important. I hope their voice, no matter the country is truly made present and listened to, rather than just being heard.

  • john November 30, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    It reminds me of the “nexus approach” for water (see http://waterandfood.org), where all stakeholders competing for the same water resources are brought together. Your project is similar, but about the limited resources of land and forestry. I like it.

  • Post a comment
    You must be logged in to comment. Log in