The World Resources Institute (WRI) is currently working with the World Bank and other collaborating institutions to improve our understanding of the economics of drylands resilience in sub-Saharan Africa. The World Bank is leading the preparation of a report on this topic, designed to inform the ongoing dialogue among policy makers and practitioners about measures to reduce vulnerability and enhance resilience of populations living in dryland regions. WRI will contribute to this effort by analyzing aspects of a "landscape approach" and its role in sustainable development of the drylands of sub-Saharan Africa. The objectives of our research are to provide a synthesis of existing knowledge of landscape approaches and develop a foundation from which to formulate policy recommendations. We are working with partners of the Landscapes for People, Food and Nature (LPFN) Initiative who have been working to promote learning and action on integrated landscape approaches. The envisioned report will provide the following:
• Conceptual framework for defining a landscape approach.
• Ecological and economic evidence for a landscape approach.
• Role of public and private stakeholders.
• Case studies where the landscape approach has been followed in African drylands.
• Recommended polices and other interventions needed to advance a landscape approach for Africa’s drylands.
The purpose of this WRI-World Bank side event is to provide a forum for a consultative workshop to review and discuss our research and preliminary findings. Major topics of discussion include:
• A proposed definition and framework for the landscape approach.
• Progress in developing an economic valuation methodology.
• Preliminary information from case studies of a landscape approach in Africa.
• Recommendations for additional data sources and information for more comprehensive assessment of costs and benefits of landscape approaches.
Regreening initiatives in Niger will be a focus case study. Chris Reij and an in-country expert, Yacouba Sawadogo, will give a detailed presentation focusing on overcoming hurdles of scaling up and disseminating good practices.
We aspire to provide participants with an understanding of important concepts and solicit feedback on our approach to help inform the development of the report and more effective application of landscape approaches at the country level.