Solutions from the Land (SfL) was created seven years ago as an ambitious undertaking to advance land-based solutions to global challenges. Our founders aimed to fully engage agricultural leaders and inspire, educate and equip them to innovate and spur others to sustain productivity, enhance climate resilience, and contribute to local and global goals for sustainable development.
A review of SfL activities last year more than attest to the dynamic approach taken by those involved – especially the growing cadre of volunteer leaders recruited across the country and now around the globe. Thanks to their leadership and hard work, SfL has passed the proof of concept stage and has effectively demonstrated how, with the right enabling polices, markets and partnerships, well managed farms, ranches and forests can deliver near-term, cost-effective, integrated solutions to global mega-challenges: food and energy security; sustainable economic development; and environmental improvement.
- Facilitated farm and food stakeholder development of a unique action plan to address mega challenges facing Ohio.
- Launched the Florida Climate Smart Agriculture Work Group. held a forum and field day to introduce Florida stakeholders and House Rep. Kathy Castor, chair of the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, to the initiative.
- Formed the Iowa Smart Agriculture Work Group and held an educational forum on climate smart agriculture.
- Posted over sixty blog posts, issued fourteen press releases and multiple op-eds and articles on agricultural solutions to national and global challenges.
- Commented on federal rules and actions in support of clean energy and biofuels, calling for maintaining enabling policies like the Renewable Fuel Standard and establishing new frameworks for disaster relief, resilience and energy efficiency.
- Testified before the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis at its hearing “Solving the Climate Crisis: Opportunities in Agriculture.”
- Promoted the progress of partners and formed new partnerships with Field to Market and the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance.
- Issued a statement on a special report issued by the UN International Panel on Climate Change on the changing climate and land.
- Became an official observer organization in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
- Created a set of guiding principles for the UNFCCC’s Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture (KJWA).
- Facilitated KJWA submissions from the North America Climate Smart Agriculture Alliance (NACSAA) on soil health and adaptation and nutrient and manure management.
- Co-hosted the North America Landscape Finance Forum.
- Co-Chaired development of aChicago Council on Global Affairs’ recent report, “From Scarcity to Security: Managing Water for a Nutritious Food Future.”
- Keynoted the Global Alliance for Climate Smart Agriculture annual conference.
- Advanced the SfL vision at global, national, regional, state and local conferences.
- Led SfL and NACSAA delegations to the UNFCCC COP intersessional in Bonn, Germany and COP 25 in Madrid, Spain.
- Welcomed Dr. Lois Wright Morton and Ray Gaesser to the SfL Board of Directors. and
- Created a new vision statement for Solutions from the Land:
A 2020 Work Plan adopted by the SfL Steering Committee this week ensures an equally ambitious effort of the next 12 months, encompassing the continued mobilization of farmer leaders to call for climate smart agriculture action, and enabling leaders and ag landscapes to deliver near-term, cost-effective, integrated solutions to sustainable development goals (SDGs). SfL will also continue sharing knowledge and advocating for CSA adoption and enabling policies through a national climate communications outreach program.
Work on behalf of ag-based solutions, including CSA, will continue, both on the international level through global negotiating platforms, and domestically with additional work in Iowa, Florida and Ohio, as well as several new states.
As SfL enters a new year of service, its leaders extend their heartfelt appreciation and gratitude to the many friends and partners who together helped the SfL vision take root and become the new model for land management in the 21st century. Stakeholders are invited to send any suggestions they have for accelerating the achievement of the SfL vision:
By 2030, America’s farms, ranches and forests are at the forefront of resolving food system, energy, environmental and climate challenges and achieving global sustainable development goals.