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This blog was originally published on the Landscapes for People, Food and Nature Initiative Blog here.

The Landscapes for People Food and Nature Initiative Blog, International Center for Tropical Research (CIAT) and the Agriculture and Ecosystems Blog of the CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE) have been investigating the topic of large-scale land initiatives over the past month.

Agricultural land outside of Nairobi, Kenya. Photo: Neil Palmer/CIAT Agricultural land outside of Nairobi, Kenya. Photo: Neil Palmer/CIAT

Set against the backdrop of two topical sessions at the recent Global Landscapes Forum on creating conditions for success in large-scale land initiatives and building a global alliance for landscape resilience, this month’s posts seek to answer the central question: can large-scale land initiatives fulfill their promises?

It turns out that experts around the world are feeling optimistic about large-scale land initiatives. In her post on soil restoration, Georgina Smith of CIAT not only asserts that these types of interventions can fulfill their promises, but that in the case of soil restoration they are the only way to go. When facing large-scale problems, it follows that large-scale interventions are the preferred method among experts from the U.S.-Mexico border to Fiji.

The series of posts written by WLE scientists and guest authors draw upon concrete examples from around the world and raise many compelling questions from the big picture down to the details:

The new battle cry uniting climate campaigners, environmentalists, agriculturalists and advocates of a landscape approach to planning is for the restoration of former forest land. But what do we mean by “restoration”? Restoration to what? And for whom?

How can incentives be factored in to encourage investment in large-scale land initiatives? How can a balance be struck between restoration and production? While many important areas remain to be developed and researched, the topics covered throughout the past month serve as poignant examples of successful large-scale initiatives:

[S]howing by doing is probably one of the most effective ways to scale up in a decentralized way.

What did you think of the posts from this past month? What does the future hold for large-scale land initiatives? Leave your thoughts and opinions in the comment area below!


Review all blog posts that were part of this discussion here.

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