By Ian Johnson, Secretary-General of the Club of Rome; Chairman of the Land Use and Ecological Services Commission, GLOBE; former World Bank Vice President; former GEF Assistant Chief Executive Officer
Keynote Ian Johnson.pdf
Ian Johnson delivered the keynote address on the interconnectedness of land and climate change, and the action needed. He warned that small changes in the climate may result in large impacts on land, drew attention to the four concurrent global challenges of food, finance, poverty and ecology and highlighted the importance of land as a natural capital. He identified the flaws in the contemporary economic model, which fails to take proper account of long term sustainability and propagates inequality. He called for a new model that is rooted in systems thinking, and places land use and land use change in this wider context. He also called for resource mobilization on a massive scale, investment in research and initiatives aimed at multifunctional farming.
In his responses to participants during a brief question and answer session that followed immediately thereafter, Mr Johnson stressed going beyond tropical forests in the discussion on land use and land use change, and for a new way of economic thinking. He described a looming ‘perfect storm’ that will arise from a convergence of high population growth, a high consumer society and massively increased economic growth on the one hand, and the dependence on the same size earth and shrinking natural resources, on the other.