A dam in the U.S. Dan Meyers, Unsplash

“The climate crisis knows no borders.”

Our pick of quotes from GLF Climate alongside COP26

The world is at a crucial point in the fight against climate change. With the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) declaring a near certainty that the planet will surpass the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius, the pressure is on to take dramatic action within this decade. As country representatives, activists and organizations continue to gather in Glasgow to take part in the COP26 summit, the Global Landscapes Forum held its own event, GLF Climate, to spur discussion on climate change and the transformations in forest management, agriculture and finance needed to address it. Here is a selection of notable quotes from the event:

On forests

“The whole economic system is working against forests.” – Pablo Pacheco, Global Forests Lead Scientist, World Wildlife Fund (WWF)

“How much of donations for reforestation in Africa really gets to the local communities? It is necessary to cut the middleman that retains benefits from the actual target.” – Susan Chomba, Director of Vital Landscapes for Africa, World Resources Institute (WRI)

“There are many social benefits of trees. When you lose a forest, you lose a whole network of people.” – Houria Djoudi, Senior Scientist, CIFOR-ICRAF

“We need to have a shift that sees restoration as a journey and not an event.” – Mark Kebo Akparibo, Founder and Executive Secretary, Tele Bere

On food

“Nature, agriculture, and climate are intrinsically connected. We all need to think about how we consume, travel, eat, buy.” – Stig Traavik, Director of Climate and Environment, Norad

“I don’t want to live in a world where five giant companies control our food and health.” – Dr. Vandana Shiva, food sovereignty advocate

“Diet is very individualistic. Change has to come from within you.” – Diyana Rahim, Vegan advocate and blogger

“We have let ourselves be led by a little tiny mark [on] food that says ‘expiration date today, throw it away’ – that culture needs to change.” – Yolanda Kakabadse Navarro, Former Minister of Environment for Ecuador

“You can’t teach food systems revolutions or reforms to someone with a hungry stomach. Whether it’s in a rural agriculture community or in the depths of urban food deserts, climate action – and more importantly, climate justice and food system justice and equality – needs to be accessible and equitable for all to have real, lasting reform, especially for those in the most vulnerable communities.” – Louise Mabulo, Founder, The Cacao Project, chef, farmer, entrepreneur

“Although climate change is happening – and happening fast – the effects are felt disproportionally [between] men and women, because women are the ones who stay in their homes preparing all the food. Nobody bothers if the stream they fetch their water from has dried up tomorrow due to effects of climate change.” – Betty Osei Bonsu, environmentalist, Green Africa Youth Organization (GAYO)

“It’s critical to adapt our agriculture to face these new threats: extreme heat, drought, pests and diseases. These are terrible challenges to livelihoods and wellbeing. But by harnessing crop diversity conserved in gene banks, we can work together with farmers, scientists and leaders to develop more resilient varieties.” – Stefan Schmitz, executive director, Crop Trust

“Food systems are at the core of what we need to change. Indigenous peoples will be at the core of the solutions, and we all need to think about how we consume, travel, eat, buy.” – Stig Traavik, Director of Climate and Environment, NORAD

On finance

“The climate crisis is anti-poor – it is making the poor poorer.” – Marinel Ubaldo, Philippine Country Coordinator, UN COY16 Glasgow

“When people say that we need to be less bad – reduce carbon emissions, get to more sustainable farming…Less bad isn’t good anymore when you are overshooting the planetary boundaries. I was murdering 10 people, now I am murdering 5. Am I a better murderer?” – Paul Polman, business leader, campaigner, co-author of Net Positive: How Courageous Companies Thrive by Giving More Than They Take

“There is only one nature out there. There is only one planet out there, and if we do not save it, it’s not the planet that’s going to disappear, it’s human kind.” – Pierre Gramegna, Minister of Finance, Luxembourg

“Financing green and greening finance are not two sides of the same coin. They have a natural sequence: you can’t finance green without greening finance.” – Simon Zadek, Chair, Finance for Biodiversity Initiative

“If we don’t have the Amazon, if we don’t succeed in biodiversity in Brazil, we won’t succeed in the Paris Agreement as well.” – Marina Grossi, President, CEBDS

On making change

“We need to learn from the past to understand what we are going through right now and in that way guide our path forward.” – Glenn Galloway, Directer, Master of Sustainable Development Practice program, University of Florida

“The climate crisis knows no borders.” – John Kamara, Founder, Sierra Leone Environment Matters

“Because we are part of the community, we thrive with the community. We rise and fall together as a community.” – His Majesty Ngwenyama Inkosi Ya Makhosi Gomani V, King of the Maseko Nguni/Ngoni

“We cannot wait any longer. We cannot say ‘Oh, by 2050 we’re gonna reduce emissions’. No, no, no, no. This has to happen now. But the good thing about this is that it’s not only the world leaders who can enact change. You and I can be the masters of change.” – Rodrigo A. Medellin, Senior Professor, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

“It’s not that we have to change the climate. We have to change the system.” – Josephine Becker, activist, blogger, Treesnpeace, YIKES

“We cannot stop the climate crisis today, biodiversity loss tomorrow, and degradation the day after. We need to tackle all issues together.” – Ibrahim Thiaw, Executive Secretary, United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)



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