1000L in 2023: A Banner Year for Landscape Action

by | December 15, 2023 | 1000L News, Events, Finance and Economics, Landscape Partnerships, Landscape Restoration and Management

This year, we marked a pivotal transition for 1000 Landscapes for 1 Billion People (1000L) as we prepared for a new phase in igniting landscape-level change: taking our efforts to scale. We led the charge in reimagining the financial system to benefit people and nature, launched our first global advocacy campaign, convened experts on an international stage to share their insights, and helped establish and grow coalitions worldwide, all with an eye toward a future where integrated solutions are the standard for how governments, businesses, and civil society manage and preserve their natural resources. Amidst all the action, we also found time to produce our first set of animated explainers, breaking down the essential components of what makes integrated landscape management (ILM) such a unique approach to tackling global problems.

We’re excited to see what 2024 has in store for our growing initiative. In the meantime, here is a look back at our most impactful achievements this year.

We launched our first open letter advocacy campaign to transform global finance for landscapes. 

This year unveiled an increasing need to transform the global financial system to boost local livelihoods and support a more sustainable planet. To ignite action within the finance community, 1000L and partners launched our first-ever advocacy campaign, Funding a Better Future: An Urgent Plea and Plan to Remake the Financial System to Support Holistic Landscape Development Led by Local People. The open letter, which debuted at this year’s UNFCCC COP 28, urges leaders in the finance and government sectors to adopt integrated landscape finance (ILF) as a more holistic, sustainable funding approach that can address multiple interconnected biodiversity, climate, and land-use challenges. 

With more than 75 signatories from across the public, private, civil society, and government sectors signing on in the first days of the letter’s launch, 1000L and its partners will continue to build momentum around this effort well into 2024, leveraging new relationships and long-standing champions to help spread the word. Be sure to add your name and stay tuned for developments on this exciting campaign for change. 

We saw a nascent coalition of landscape leaders take flight in Kenya.

Partnerships are at the heart of 1000L’s work, and there is no better example this year than the launch of the Kenya Landscape Actors Platform (KenLAP). This growing coalition emerged on the heels of several collaborative sessions with our coalition-building team to assess and address the needs of Kenyan landscape actors across multiple sectors and regions. 

With more than 30 members representing landscapes, government, and various nonprofits across Kenya, the coalition has already begun to make its mark. In October, KenLAP attended the Global Landscapes Forum annual conference in Nairobi, showcasing their strategic plans for action in the coming year. They also hosted delegates from the European Union’s Landscapes For Our Future program at a learning exchange in Kenya’s Lari landscape

With plans to formally introduce their coalition to an international audience in the next few months, we can’t wait to see what’s in store for KenLAP. We look forward to igniting more collective action across even more landscapes in 2024.

We hosted robust discussions that brought together leaders across finance, philanthropy, and development.

Finance is a core focus throughout the 1000L partnership, and for a good reason: Though nations and foundations allocate trillions of dollars to climate, land use, and sustainable development goals, much of it fails to reach the on-the-ground initiatives that need it most. 

With this in mind, 1000L set out to bring leading voices in these sectors together to brainstorm ways to redirect funding flows more effectively for greater impact. 

We started the year with our hit dialogue series, Accelerating Finance for Thriving Landscapes, a three-part, interactive exploration into the challenges and opportunities for financing landscape-level solutions. A combined audience of more than 300 participants heard from landscape partners about their experiences and challenges in building a portfolio of investments, developing the infrastructure for finance planning, and working with finance actors in their landscape. To continue the momentum from these sessions, 1000L used feedback from participants to develop 11 areas for collaborative action outlined in the report Towards Systemic Change in Landscape Finance

The team zoomed in even further with the subsequent series Pathways to Thriving Landscapes, where our finance innovations team spotlighted several innovative mechanisms for financing landscape initiatives, including landscape bonds, carbon credits, and more. 

Eager to engage beyond the virtual world of webinars, 1000L, and the IKEA and Laudes foundations also hosted two in-person events that brought together landscape leaders and financiers to explore opportunities for shared learning in the world of landscape finance. The first, a learning workshop in Dubai, featured representatives from groups known as regenerative production landscape collaboratives who work to foster eco-friendly agricultural practices that also support responsibly sourced supply chains. During the session, members shared their experiences accessing integrated finance for their initiatives and exchanged insights with participants from organizations focused on measuring impact and sustainability claims in these types of landscapes.

1000L convened another group during New York City’s Climate Week with a focus on the role of philanthropy in funding landscape initiatives. The event united philanthropists supporting sustainable landscapes to discuss strategic areas for collaboration. The rich conversation concentrated on strengthening landscape partnerships through long-term support, stimulating funding for landscape investment portfolios, and fostering finance system transformation. 

We tested new tools to strengthen landscape capacity. 

Our capacity-strengthening team hit its stride this year by testing and delivering several ILM learning modules in landscapes worldwide. Most recently, the team worked with the Dutch NGO Ginkyo Foundation to support a new landscape partnership in rural Tanzania. The Ginkyo team tested half of the Intro to ILM module developed by 1000L in collaboration with local landscape leaders from the Shinyanga Landscape in Tanzania, which brought together farmers and governmental representatives from their landscape.

On the other side of the Atlantic, our teams collaborated with the Latin American Model Forest Network (LAMFN)  management group to pilot a short online ILM, ILF, and resource mobilization training course.

The team rounded out their work this year in Brazil’s Pantanal Model Landscape, where our partners at the Landscape Finance Lab supported the testing of three learning modules: Introduction to ILM, Facilitation for ILM, and Shared Vision for a Thriving Landscape. 

We highlighted integrated action for landscapes on a global stage.

All of our hard work at the forefront of finance, policy, and learning for landscape initiatives coalesced at this year’s UN Framework Convention on Climate Change COP 28 in Dubai, where 1000L showcased its portfolio of work during several side events, each with its own focus.  

Our delegation kicked off the 1000L presence with the official side event, Integrated Landscape Restoration Finance: Funding to Turn Local Action Into Broad Climate Resilience. Participants heard from landscape finance experts, organizations focused on cross-cutting climate action, and local leaders who spoke about their experience of securing landscape-scale funding. 

Together with Commonland and newly minted partner Regen10, we launched the report Landscape Collaboration for Regenerative Food Systems: Towards an Action Agenda at the side event Reshaping Our Food Systems: Landscape Transformation for People, Nature, and Climate. Here, panelists shared lessons and insights about the enabling conditions for landscape regeneration, the expected financial costs and benefits of transitioning to regenerative agriculture, and the need for a shared long-term vision and commitment at the landscape level.

Looking ahead.

We accomplished so much this year, but there is still much more work to do. We look forward to unlocking more finance, resources, and learning opportunities for landscape partnerships in 2024. We hope you’ll come along for the ride! 

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