Benefit for local communities is central for sustainable land-use change
Market systems and value chains should be assessed for their sustainability, for the inclusion of women and for the possibility for women and men to equally engage, participate and benefit.
Sustainability and scalability are oftentimes a challenge in many government- and/or aid-financed FLR initiatives. When the project ends, typically after 3-5 years, the self-supporting mechanism for continuation is rarely secured.
The approach in the LoCoFoRest programme is to identify and evaluate solutions with long-term sustainability, regarding the prosperity of both the forest landscape and local communities alike. We will use Swedish experiences and international examples during discussions, to illustrate how local entrepreneurship, innovations related to small and medium scale process technologies, new products/services, and new markets, can secure long-term incomes - enough to both restore the forest landscape and for local communities to prosper.
A more circular economy
In the LoCoFoRest programme we link the global need for transformation from a fossil fuel-based economy to a more circular economy, based on local production of bio-based products. New and improved relations between urban centers and rural landscapes is central to this.
Historically, growing urban centers have often seen the rural landscape as a source for unlimited exploitation of cheap food, water, energy, and raw materials. The need to invest in responsible, sustainable, and resilient management of these landscapes, and their natural resources and services, has often been neglected. Ways to secure the prosperity of both the fast-growing urban centers and that of the of the rural communities, will be discussed in the programme.
Connecting rural forests with urban demand
The UN estimates that 800 million more people will live in cities in the next 30 years in Africa alone, which equates to three new London every year. This will create a huge need for building materials, fresh water, and energy. Producing and using more products from the forest landscapes, protecting ecosystem services, securing fair income distribution in the entire value chain, are necessities which will be explored in the programme.