United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Ms. Cécile Bibiane Ndjebet, Director, African Women's Network for Community 4 Management of Forests (REFACOF), Cameroon

UN-DESA Division for Sustainable Development Goals

Expert group meeting in preparation for HLPF 2018 on Sustainable Development Goal 15: Progress and Prospects
UNHQ, 14-15 May 2018

Session 4: Holistic and integrated approaches to achieving SDG 15 

Talking Points:

SDG 15: Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss (Life on Land)

Short introduction of REFACOF:
• Created in May 2009 in Yaoundé, Cameroon
• Composed of 17 West and Central African countries and Madagascar
• REFACOF is an advocacy platform focused on African women’s tenure rights in land and forest reforms
• Mission: Promote women’s rights in Africa and advocate to shape policies and practices for gender equity in relation to land and forest tenure

Discussion questions
Q1: What are good practices in employing these approaches at scale?
1) There is an increasing recognition that the Landscape approach has good potential in achieving sustainability at scale
- With the “shift from conservation-orientated perspectives toward increasing integration of poverty alleviation goals” (Sayer et al. 2013), the landscape approach is seen as a combination of holistic and integrated way of managing forests at scale
- The ten principles that were developed and translated into methods and tools for their implementation can contribute very significantly to address conservation and poverty reduction perspectives:
- Principle 1: Continual learning and adaptive management
- Principle 2: Common concern entry point
- Principle 3: Multiple scales
- Principle 4: Multifunctionality
- Principle 5: Multiple stakeholders
- Principle 6: Negotiated and transparent change logic
- Principle 7: Clarification of rights and responsibilities
- Principle 8: Participatory and user-friendly monitoring
- Principle 9: Resilience- System-level
- Principle 10: Strengthened stakeholder capacity

2) Multi-stakeholders dialogue
Though this can be part of the landscape approach, the MSD is very effective in building trust and consensus, addressing challenges, conflicts and achieving equitable resources management, etc.
- It can be used for planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation processes;
- It helps to linking actors across scales and strengthen accountability
- It helps to build gender equity during the dialogue process, …
- It helps to put in place multi-stakeholder platforms that have shown to be very effective in some processes such as REDD+, VPA/FLEGT, Landscape management project in many countries.

3) Gender equality approach
- The holistic and integrated approaches need to be gender-responsive to achieve sustainability
- They should take into account the specificity of women (rural and indigenous); their specific needs, interests, challenges, expectations, rights, etc. …
- Recognizing the power relation between men and women, the distinct characteristics of different actors and their unequal action resources, … unequal access to decision-making, etc. …
- Gender analysis helps better understand the dynamics among the different stakeholders, the access, control, …

4) Free, Prior and Informed Consent of Indigenous peoples
- The FPIC approach will guarantee the participation of the IP at all levels
- …

5) Value chain development approach
- Taking into account human needs, priorities and development expectations including women, IPs and other marginalized people will contribute to achieving SDG 15
- Investing in capacity building and providing adequate financial resources to small-scale producers and their organizations including rural women
- Promoting sustainable agriculture production techniques and practices
- Prioritizing livelihood development activities

Q2: How effective are current approaches based on valuation of ecosystem services, natural capital accounting, etc. in capturing the true value of nature, and integrating them into planning and decision-making processes at national and cross-national levels? What challenges must be overcome to make these approaches more effective?

The key challenges are:
1) Understanding the relation between ecosystems and people’s life, the high dependence of local communities (including women and IPs) on natural resources in general, forest and resources in particular
2) Understanding the culture that govern traditional management practices of and rights to forests and land more specifically
3) Addressing the tenure issues and securing the rights of rural women and IPs
4) Improving the quality and upscaling small-scale producers (men and women) initiatives and their organizations that have proven to be effective in sustaining community livelihoods and natural resources management

Q3: How can we achieve a more holistic accounting of the value of nature and its ecosystems, and what role can governments play?
1) Strengthen the role of Civil society organizations
2) Encourage government cross-sectoral coordination
3) Support reform processes to create enabling environment for sustainable management of natural resources and business development

Q4: What changes are needed in governance institutions and structures at all levels to enable greater efficiency and effectiveness in achieving SDG 15?
1) Encourage private sector involvement
2) Support the establishment of good policy and legal frameworks to enable direct involvement of all stakeholders, including private sector, local communities, rural women, IP’s, small scale forest and farm producers, researchers, funding agencies, etc.
3) Promote de 6 “P” approach “Production-Protection-Private-Public-People-Partnership” to achieve SDG 15 and targets
4) Develop strategies to protect the rights of rural women, IPs and local communities in general
5) Combat corruption, promote transparency and develop effective law enforcement mechanisms
6) Build on the existing networks and platforms (civil society, women, local communities and IP’s)
7) Promote participatory approaches
8) Involve local communities including women, youth and IP’s and build their capacities
9) Mainstream gender in all
10) Promote rights-based approach and drivers-based approach
11) Empower rural women small scale producers, IP’s and their organizations

Q5: How can we change the narrative of how we approach SDG15 to capture a more holistic way of thinking?
2) Organize multi-stakeholder dialogues and build on the exiting initiatives such as The Forests Dialogue (TFD)
3) Build the capacities of all stakeholders at all levels and cross-sectoral on landscape approach, gender equality, value chain development, etc.
4) Develop robust programs on SDG 15 and learn from them

Please let’s get to the implementation of SDG 15! Most of the indicators are for 2020 !!! We need to start now!!!