Talk by Dr. Tony Simons on "The Future of Forests, Land Use, and Land Stewardship"

Join us on Friday the 28th of April at 1300 for “The Future of Forests, Land Use, and Land Stewardship” a talk by Dr. Tony Simons, former Director General of World Agroforestry (ICRAF) and a renowned tropical land-use specialist. Dr. Simons has over 35 years of experience in over 40 developing countries. He will share his expertise in research, policy and development domains, as well as work on gender and youth empowerment and private-sector partnerships. Dr. Simons will offer us insights into the interlinkages between forest cover, water cycles, biodiversity, climate change, land health, social equity, and livelihoods. He will talk about the challenges of deforestation and land degradation, and explore innovative solutions for reforestation and land restoration. Don’t miss this opportunity to gain valuable insights into the critical role of forests and land management in shaping our planet’s future.

When? Friday the 28th of April at 1300
Where? Lecture Hall Auf dem Hügel 6, Bonn-Endenich, Institute of Crop Science and Resource Conservation, Horticultural Sciences (INRES - Gartenbauwissenschaft), University of Bonn
Is there an online option? Yes, join us via zoom if you cannot make it in person:
Meeting ID: 628 5962 8080
Passcode: 859300

What exactly is this about?
Our planet’s forests emerged 380 million years ago when CO2 concentrations were 10 times what they are today, and temperatures were 10°C hotter. As trees flourished they made our planet habitable for mammals in general, and humans (women and men) in particular. During the long period of forest and tree cover on our planet we have seen it expand to as much as 65% of land cover but today we live with only 30% tree cover. Given the interlinkages between forest cover, water cycles, biodiversity, climate change, land health, social equity and livelihood options it is fundamental as humanity that we do not drive nor allow forest cover to fall further. Given that forests provide global, national and local goods and services this is a complex as well as collective responsibility.

Deforestation and loss of forest functions cannot be addressed in isolation of the wider management of landscapes. Much is written about the drivers of deforestation and the drivers of land degradation. Although beyond the pledges around halting land degradation and deforestation, we also need much great attention to understanding and enabling the drivers of reforestation and the drivers of land restoration. We have seen with both public sector and private sector efforts that simplistic tree planting schemes have not worked as we see very low tree survival rates. We also see at the sectoral level that forestry is often isolated and ignored as it makes up less than 1.5% of global GDP, yet few realise that without forest the other 98.5% of GDP would not be realized. True cost accounting approaches and factoring in negative externalities can help address this disconnect but maybe not the asymmetry of intention that forestry receives.

The topic of land has been amongst the more neglected globally, and more importantly somewhat stalled at the problem-focused stage. Over the past two decades there are ten times more urls dealing with land degradation than land restoration, and ten times more internet searches for land degradation over land restoration. We know much about the “drivers of land degradation” but far less about the “drivers of land restoration”. The UNCCD and Global Mechanism have been championing land and land issues for several years now, and in 2020 the G20 launched the Global Land Initiative to better balance solutions over problem diagnoses. The G20 GLI Secretariat is hosted by UNCCD and one of its retained advisers, Dr. Tony Simons will present some thoughts and options to help capitalize on existing efforts on land management for greater synergies, efficiencies and impacts.

Prof. Dr. Eike Luedeling
Prof. Dr. Eike Luedeling
Head of Department

I’ve been leading the HortiBonn group since 2018. We work on horticulture, decision analysis, fruit tree dormancy, climate change, agricultural development agricultural systems modeling and possibly other topics.