Grounding Sustainable Development in Geneva

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Caux Initiatives of Change in partnership with World Vision International organized a follow-up event to the 2015 Caux Dialogue on Land and Security (CDLS) at the Geneva International Environment House on 15 July. The objective of the event was to share the conclusions of the 2015 CDLS with the broader Geneva environmental community and continue the discussions and brainstorming on grounding sustainable development.

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The event began with a panel that introduced Caux Initiatives of Change and the Caux Dialogue on Land and Security. Barbara Hintermann, Secretary-General of CAUX-Initiatives of Change Foundation gave a historical overview of Caux and the Initiatives of Change movement. Beris Gwynne, Director of World Vision International Geneva, meanwhile introduced the collaboration between World Vision International and Caux Initiatives of Change. Chris Evans, coordinator of Initiatives for Land, Lives, Peace that organized the CDLS then continued the panel and expressed hope that people from the military and security sectors are taking an interest in issues of sustainable land management. Patrick Worms, Senior Science Policy Adviser, World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), continued by presenting some of the main conclusions of the 2015 Caux Dialogue on Land and Security, and stated that “by managing resources more efficiently, it is possible to have your cake and eat it.” Yousif El Tayeb, Executive Director, Darfur Development and Reconstruction Agency meanwhile pleaded to all to “please do not give up in supporting peace in Darfur.” Finally, Gabriel Lagat, Deputy Governor, Elgeyo Marakwet County, Kenya, expressed a wish and hope for the Caux Dialogue on Land and Security to be brought to Kenya next year.

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After the presentations about Caux Initiatives of Change and the Caux Dialogue on Land and Security, three practitioners with experience of land restoration, Come N’Dour, World Vision Senegal, Gutu Tesso, World Vision Ethiopia, and Tony Rinaudo, World Vision Australia, presented examples of success from their work. Tony Rinaudo presented the technique of Farmer-managed natural regeneration (FMNR), a low-cost method of land restoration that is experiencing increased adoption and which still has great potential for scale-up. The introductions and presentations were followed by a short round of questions and answers.

After a lunch break, the program continued with a discussion session conducted under Chatham House rules. Among the issues discussed were the relational dimensions of issues related to sustainable land use and management, the need for a continuum between the humanitarian, development, and climate change constituencies and the break-down of existing silos, the scalability of community mobilization, the necessity for more research, and the importance of clear and effective communication. The discussion session was followed by the Geneva premiere of the new documentary, Ethiopia Rising. Cornelio Sommaruga, former President of the International Association for Initiatives of Change concluded the program with some closing remarks drawing upon his extensive experiences in humanitarian work. This was then followed by a networking aperitif hosted by World Vision International that allowed participants to continue discussions in a more relaxed setting.

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