Through which global political approaches can a (more) sustainable land use be reached? Over the last four years, the GLOBALANDS project team has attempted to answer this primary research question. On 19 May 2015, the final conference of the project took place at the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building, and Nuclear Safety. Stephanie Wunder, Senior Fellow at Ecologic Institute, presented the project results related to global governance of urban-rural relations. All presentations are available on the GLOBALANDS website.
Among the participants at the workshop were decision makers from various political spheres such as BMUB and UBA, BMZ, BfN, and GIZ as well as representatives from civil society and applied research.
The GLOBALANDS team presented the integral findings from the research. An array of policy options and leverage points were identified to drive forth the topic of sustainable land use on the international level – for example, the current Post-2015 process to develop and implement global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), but also reforms within the scope of existing international conventions such as the CBD and UNCCD. It became clear that achieving an improved land use policy does not necessarily require developing new instruments, but that special attention needs to be given to the integration of aspects of sustainable land use into existing processes – e.g. in the RAI principles for responsible agricultural investments, the implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines for the Responsible Governance of Tenure (VGGT), as well as the revision of the World Bank Environmental and Social Framework.
With an analysis of the global governance of urban-rural-linkages, Stephanie Wunder introduced a current and politically relevant research area and thereby made it clear how the discussions can be used to strengthen sustainable land use in cities as well as in rural areas. She focused especially on the opportunities presented by
- the upcoming HABITAT III UN Conference, which will take place in 2016 and is currently in preparation,
- the role of a separate SDG goal for cities,
- the changing perception of urbanization as an opportunity for more sustainability, and
- the increasing importance of actors on the local level
In the subsequent discussion with the participants, it became clear that the research results of the GLOBALANDS project were right in step with current developments and that they are very applicable to ongoing political processes.
On the GLOBALANDS website, a collection of reports and papers written within the project are available for download. A synthesis report of the project will be published in the near future.