Solidaridad: A catalyst for sustainable landscape development

During the Global Landscape Forum in Paris this month, an international team from Solidaridad reached out to influential organizations to promote awareness and understanding of a sustainable landscape approach. The statement below explains Solidaridad’s vision, approach and role in sustainable landscape development.

Mankind has altered half of the earth’s land surface, and this will likely rise to more than 70% in the next decades. As a result, biodiversity is endangered and the wide range of resources we harvest from complex ecosystems are under pressure. Climate change is expected to exacerbate this situation. Many of the planet’s natural cycles are at risk that are crucial to human survival, including purification of air and water, availability of nutrients for agriculture and fisheries, pollination of crops and regulation of our global climate. We need to balance sustainable economic development with the carrying capacity of nature and society. The efficiency and quality of our production, and even the ability to feed the growing world population, are at stake. A balanced approach is a precondition for a prosperous future.

At Solidaridad, we realize that sector-specific policies alone cannot safeguard the resilience of ecosystems and society. Together with our partners, we are increasingly focused on a landscape approach which transcends a single sector, and looking for opportunities to strengthen local ecosystems and communities.

Joint analysis and consolidated solutions

With almost 50 years of experience and a strong worldwide network, we know what financers, governments and bus
inesses need and how to bring together local organizations and farmers in a sustainable supply chain. We have Regional Expertise Centres all over the world, where our professionals on the ground possess local knowledge, experience and contacts. By encouraging different parties in a certain area to make a joint analysis, we reach unified solutions. That makes us an ideal catalyst for cooperation in sustainable landscape development.

Successful cooperation in Brazil

An example of successful cooperation between businesses and suppliers is our programme in the Brazilian Sao Paulo region to stop the pre-harvest burning of sugarcane fields and introduce climate-friendly mechanized harvesting, while also preparing field workers to take advantage of new job opportunities.

In a collaborative effort supported by the sugarcane industry and local labour unions, we developed several retraining programmes to employ former sugarcane workers in mechanized harvesting or in other sectors of the Brazilian economy. The programme was successful and is now run by the regional government. It includes a special basic programme for the least educated and most vulnerable workers, including many women. 

Ongoing programmes in landscape development

Different programmes of Solidaridad contribute to sustainable landscape development, such as:

  • The Sustainable Trade Platform in Colombia: pre-competitive collaboration for sustainable production in bananas, coffee, flowers and palm oil.
  • The BACK to REDD+ programme in Mexico, Colombia and Peru combines increased productivity in coffee and food production with nature conservation, climate adaptation and mitigation.
  • Creation of resilient livelihoods in coastal polders of Bangladesh.
  • Introduction of climate smart agriculture in the Ghanaian cocoa sector.
  • Improvement of water management for agriculture and leather production in the Indian Ganges basin.
  • Intensification of sustainable land use by smallholder palm oil growers in Indonesia.

Solidaridad’s approach to sustainability

Learn more about Solidaridad's work in global commodities or contact us to discuss opportunities for cooperation.

Read about Solidaridad's recent participation at the Global Landscape Forum (GLF) on the sidelines of the 2015 Paris Climate Conference (COP21).