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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on May 25th, 2012
by Pincas Jawetz (pj@sustainabilitank.info)

EcoAgriculture Partners
EP Newsletter

Challenges of food security, poverty, climate change, ecosystem degradation, and biodiversity loss have risen to the top of the African development agenda. To address these issues, African leaders are seeking to move beyond zero-sum strategies that solve one problem but exacerbate others. The Inaugural Summit for Sustainability in Africa, during the 24th and 25th of May and convened by The Government of Botswana in partnership with Conservation International (CI), is bringing together these leaders in government, business, and other institutions to design strategies in the pursuit of environmentally sustainable economic development that is mutually beneficial to African nations and their investment partners.

This Summit is a recognition of the unprecedented demands being placed on the rural landscapes of Sub-Saharan Africa – for smallholder livelihood security, for commercial agricultural enterprises, for urban demands of food, fibre, and fuel products, and for biodiversity conservation to ensure the provision of ecosystem services. However, in the landscapes prevalent in Sub-Saharan Africa dominated by agriculture, new approaches and practices to satisfy the multiple demands for people, food, and nature must be explored. Integrated landscape management approaches offer a strategy for conserving natural capital and generating ecosystem services, while also sustaining diverse agricultural production systems and livelihood strategies.

EcoAgriculture Partners and the Landscapes for People, Food and Nature Initiative place great importance on the issues with which these leaders are grappling over the course of the Summit’s two days. To provide an overview of integrated landscape management approaches, EcoAgriculture Partners in collaboration with Conservation International, prepared a Quick Reference Guide to contribute to the Summit dialogue, presenting a pathway towards achieving sustainability in agricultural landscapes.

Moreover, Dr. Sara J. Scherr, President and CEO of EcoAgriculture Partners, is participating in the Summit. She facilitated a breakout session on Thursday afternoon, focused on transitioning agriculture to a more sustainable system that protects natural capital and rural livelihoods alike. The outcomes of the Summit will be reflected in what organizers envision as a concluding Gaborone Declaration. The Summit’s emphasis on innovative public-private will then take these messages to the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development next month in Brazil.

Visit the Summit website at www.conservation.org/ssa for more information and to watch the livestream of the event from 9:00-16:00 Central African Time on the 25th of May.

Follow the discussion on Twitter: @ConservationOrg@BWGovernment; and @ecoagpartners. Join the conversation with #sustainafrica.

To learn more, read the attached Quick Reference Guide on Integrated Agricultural Landscape Approaches. Please also find an information brief on the Landscapes for People, Food and Nature Initiative’s work in Africa.

For more information about EcoAgriculture Partners’ participation in the event, and to for any inquiries regarding theLandscapes for People, Food and Nature Initiative, please contact Dr. Erik Nielsen, Senior Manager for Knowledge Sharing and Policy Advocacy at  enielsen@ecoagriculture.org.  Or visit our website at  www.ecoagriculture.org.

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