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The session on Land Rights and Access for Climate Change highlighted the importance of effective land management in addressing climate change, setting the tone for the 2024 World Bank Land Conference. Speakers pointed to financial innovation, digital revolution, global action and changing behaviors as encouraging signs that managing the climate crisis is possible. They provided examples from around the world, such as Bogota's efforts to develop greener transportation and manage water resources while expanding housing for its growing population, and the Solomon Islands' initiatives to support customary land rights and build climate resilience while helping communities increase food security. They also emphasized the role of protecting Indigenous Peoples' land rights in conserving biodiversity and mitigating climate change, showcasing ongoing efforts to create sustainable cities, communities, and economies.

Follow the event on Twitter #Land4Climate and #LandConf2024

[Femi Oke] Our welcome remarks come from Juergen Voegele, World Bank Vice President for Sustainable Development. Juergen, welcome. Let's get this conference started. [Applause]

[Juergen Voegele] Well, thank you, Femi, and thank you for the applause. This way, right? Yeah. [Applause]

[Juergen Voegele] Again, a very, very warm welcome to Washington, DC. I understand we have about a thousand people in the building, many in here and then in the overflow rooms. We have, usually, typically several thousand people in World Bank Live, so this is a huge audience. Thank you for coming. Thank you to the 21 ministers for joining us with their delegations. Very much appreciate your excellencies. Very happy to have you and host you during the course of this week. We have 81 country delegations here, which is incredible. Everybody is ready for a show. There will be a lot of events over the course of this week. It lasts until Friday. I believe we have about 20 global events, we have about 32 thematic events, and we have about 15, if I get the numbers right, regional events. There's representation from everywhere in the world and ability to connect among all of you. Please, use this week to connect with each other. Like… [Video cut off] [Juergen Voegele] […] is learning, listening, understanding what works in a country under a given political economy that you may think doesn't work in your country until you hear how they managed to get the trick done. This is one of… [Video cut off] [Juergen Voegele] […] that absorbs carbon, that reduces emissions, and that deals with this issue differently. A huge part of that is the land rights. Those custodians, those stewards of the land and the forest and the food systems, the land where the food is produced, need to have rights to their land if you expect them to do the right thing. I think globally, we're still very far away from this. One of the messages, hopefully, that will permeate the conversations this week is how do we get closer to a world where people get rewarded for doing the right thing with their land. We're not there yet. About a third of the most pristine landscapes on Earth, mostly natural forests, etcetera, basically are cared for by indigenous peoples, and they do not have the land rights that they should have. This is an issue that we all need to come to grips with. [Video cut off] [Juergen Voegele] There is a lot of demand going forward in all its dimensions, whether it's on the digital side, on the cadaster side, on the registration side, on the legislation side. You go through the whole gamut of things. It's a complex issue, but it really matters, and it matters for the rural areas as well as for the urban areas. If you want resilient cities, and we have City Mayor here as well from Bogotá who will speak later, just facing a very, very unexpected crisis, water shortage. I'm sure you will go into this. Everyone is affected right now by climate, and everybody needs to deal with the land use rights in their own context. Water resources, I will mention this as well, everything is changing around us in a very, very rapid way. Coastal areas change, dry land areas change, wet areas are getting wetter and more flooded. All of this has implications for land values and for the way you actually manage those landscapes. Areas in a country that were not really important in terms of water management, for instance, in the past, will become hugely important going forward. Again, all of these things are connected. This is one reason why we chose the word “nexus,” because it's not just about land, and the cadaster, and the law, it's about how it connects with everything else. The food, the water, the climate issue, you name it, the urbanization issue, the resilience building that you have, all of these are connected. I think we need to see the big picture. When you invest, you will have to make priorities. To get priorities right, you need data. You need information and data, and you need analytics behind it because there's so much to do and never enough money as we know. We know that very well in the World Bank. We get pushed to do everything, but we don't have enough money for it. We're going through this exercise right now. What is most material? What has the most impact? What is the most meaningful thing to do when you have limited resources? I'm sure all the ministers in the room deal with this every day. This is an area where, hopefully, you can connect, you can work together and learn from each other. We will, as I said, at the Bank, continue to support you. With that, let me introduce our keynote speaker, who knows a thing or two about both land, and climate, a former President of the World Resources Institute, a former Director General of the DFID in the UK, a long-term World Bank Director based in Vietnam and in Indonesia, and who is now the CEO and President of the Bezos Earth Fund. Please, join me in welcoming Dr. Andrew Steer. [Applause]

[Andrew Steer] Thank you, Juergen. Thank you, Femi. My goodness me. Monday morning. What could be more important or exciting than land administration? I mean, this is incredible who's here. Our job today is not only to share experience with each other, not only to… [Video cut off] [Andrew Steer] […] but it's also to accelerate a movement. Land administration, land tenure, the role of land needs to become absolutely irresistible and unstoppable because if it does not, we will fail on the Sustainable Development Goals and we'll fail on climate, too. Mark Twain said, “Invest in land, they're not making any more of it.” I'm not suggesting you buy land, but we really need to invest in it. I commend the World Bank for all you're doing. It's so exciting. You've got a 5-billion-dollar portfolio now in land at administration and land tenure, and of course, many more billions in issues that are related. In this room are leaders from all around the world who have forgotten more about land tenure than I will ever know. But what I will do is give you a quick overview of why I think there are grounds for us to accelerate the movement. Look, we're halfway through. I'm not sure this works. There we are. We're halfway through the Sustainable Development Goals. We're way off track, as you know very well. My sense is that we are less excited about the Sustainable Development Goals at this stage than we were in the Millennium Development Goals, quite frankly. When I was a Country Director for the World Bank in Indonesia, halfway through the Millennial Development Goals in 2007, a group of five ambassadors from Jakarta came to see me and they said, “Do you know the most failing Millennial Development Goal?” I said, “Yes, it's maternal mortality.” They said, “You're the World Bank Country Director. You chair the consultative group. You're doing nothing on maternal mortality. Can you please get to work?” I don't think that's happening today, but it ought to be; but let's be clear, if we are going to address the Sustainable Development Goals, land needs to be more important. Now, land is not new for the World Bank. When I was a young professional here, 100 years ago, my first job was in Ondo State in Nigeria, working on integrated agricultural projects. It was all about land. It was all about cadastral surveys. That was a long time ago, maybe 40 years ago. My next job, I moved to Indonesia for three years, and there I was working on the Kampung Improvement Program. It was all about land tenure for poor people. We didn't do a very good job then. We do a much better job now. I believe that actually there are some very, very encouraging signs, and I want to give you some of these encouraging signs. The first thing is we have a broader definition of access, and that's what this program is all about. My title was “Land for Projects, People, and Planet.” Why would you put projects first? Aren't people more important? Well, it's actually history. When the World Bank started and the development endeavor started, we were much more interested in access for development to land. We spent a lot of time finding land for ports and roads and airports and power plants. Only much later did we start realizing in the 1970s and 80s that actually people really matter, and we invested very heavily on that. Now, the idea of land also for planet is something, as Juergen was saying, that is much, much newer. Let's just remind ourselves of where we are in terms of climate because one of the goals of this conference is to help us understand why land management is central to solving the climate problem. Look, this is the temperature of the world, and you see it's just up and up and up. In 2024, you see on the right-hand side, various estimates. All of them suggest that actually this year will be even hotter than last year. So, too, if we look at this, for example, global warming by month, these are… The top black is the months of the year for last year. You go all the way down back into the 1920s, '50s, '70s, '90s, you see where we are, and you notice we are at that 1.5 degree level, which illustrates just how serious things are. What does land have to do with this? Well, it actually has quite a lot to do with this. And by the way, it's not just climate, it is also nature. This measures the footprint of the world, of people on nature, so to speak and this shows, I won't go into detail, just how full the world now is. If you think about since 1970, the population of humans has doubled, the population of all other vertebrates in the world has halved. Think about that. We've doubled, all the rest have halved. The footprint of us on nature is colossal. Now, it's not just that we need rural areas to address climate change in nature, we also need space to make the investments. I've really enjoyed reading some of the background material for this conference because as of today, we are doing a very poor job finding enough land for the investments that will be required in renewable energy of new type of cities and so on. It's extremely important that we make progress on this. If you are an investor in the United States today and you want to move forward with renewable energy, it will probably take you nearly a decade before you can get all the permitting, before you can get access to the grid, and we simply don't have that much time. That's true in many, many other countries. The second reason for hope, this is turning itself on with no help from me at the moment, the second reason for hope is a new economics. In the old days, economists tended, including those of the World Bank, and I was one of them, tended to look at economics top down. We focused on the nation, we focused on a sector. As a result, we would say things like, “Let's liberalize trade, because it's good for the country as a whole.” Well, it was good for the country as a whole, but it actually made certain parts of the country worse off. That's one of the reasons why today we have convergence at the international level and we have divergence and increased inequality at the national level. Increasingly, we now see a new economics, a new economics based on place, recognizing that people care about their homes, thinking about local institutions. In this room, there are world leaders working on exactly like that. If you approach the economy from a place-based approach, you will find that you may have different recommendations. By the way, here's an example, this is something many people hear working on city areas, an economist has not traditionally been able to understand why the mayor of Paris wants a 15-minute city, for example. All around the world, Bogotá, many other places, you're doing innovative things which traditional economics doesn't understand. But actually, happier, better-organized work, play, live communities are good for your economy, too. That's the second reason for hope. The third reason for hope, if I can persuade this, this is a richer understanding of tenure systems. This is a thrilling development, you all agree, I hope, that Elinor Ostrom was right. Ostrom was right after all. It was way back in 1833 that a man called William Forster Lloyd concluded that actually, if people act in their own self-interest in an open access world, they will deplete resources and everybody will be worse off. But then it took, of course, until 1968, when Garrett Hardin, of course, in his science magazine, Science Journal, brought out the tragedy of the commons. This is what people like myself were brought up on, and probably some of you that are older, a whole generation of economists believe you need land tenure. It needs to be individuals, corporations, governments. Don't trust communities. It's probably not a coincidence that it was a woman that actually said, “Actually, it's not clear that's right.” Interesting also that Elinor Ostrom, who, of course, was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize in economics, was not admitted to a PhD program in economics because she wasn't mathematical enough. Actually, had she been more mathematical, she would have done an economics PhD, and the models that she would have run would have said, it's impossible actually for communities to make it work. Instead, her PhD on politics was looking at water negotiation in the western part of the United States, and she said, “Actually, it turns out that groups working together can solve the problem.” Then, of course, her “Governing of the Commons” in 1991 looked across a whole range of issues from fisheries to land management, irrigation systems, management of mountain villages, a whole range of issues, using examples from both the rich world and the developing world to show that actually there are eight criteria that can be applied. The implications for environmental management are huge. Environmental movement has not traditionally owned this space at all. Early environmentalists believe that governments should regulate things, that's how you solve problems. Now there's an entire revolution going on, and in this building as well, it is thrilling to see what's happening. Out there in the audience and in digital land, those that are listening, it is remarkable what is happening. When I was Director of the Environment Department of the World Bank, we gradually started understanding this issue. We worked with Elinor Ostrom, we worked with her team, and then we realized that we were a bunch of environmentalists, and actually we didn't understand social fabric. So, we actually created the first ever Social Division, it was in the Environment Department of the World Bank. Then later, of course, it got spun off, and now is a very, very important Department itself. It's wonderful to see this intellectual journey, and nowhere is it more important, of course, than the role of indigenous people. I'm sure you've seen this based on Global Forest Watch, which shows year by year, month by month, deforestation happening. That's the red. If you go in this state of Rondonia, and if you look here, this starts in 2007, 2010, keeps going on. See, it's getting redder and redder. That's as deforestation takes place, development takes place. Then you look, there are a couple of areas where it's not happening. If you keep going… This is a practical joke you've given me. This doesn't work. There we go. There we are. That is, those are the indigenous areas where they have legal title and they have the ability to protect that legal title and look at the impact. Now, there's a huge literature now that's growing on this, which is really extremely impressive and very, very important. That's why we're seeing within the climate movement, a willingness to bypass traditional environmental organizations, put money directly in the hands of indigenous people. At COP26 in Glasgow, we put together a coalition of philanthropists, the committee, 1.5 billion dollars to go directly to indigenous people. What we found is what you found, no doubt, is that actually indigenous people often get bypassed. For example, in carbon markets, we discovered that in Brazil, in the Amazon, carbon markets were going… The money was going to local governments, were going to developers, not a penny was going to the people that actually were protecting the land. We're now providing legal help, technical help to make sure that indigenous people have a place at the table. Let me go to the fourth reason for hope. There we are. Carbon matters. Most of you working on land, when you look at land, you tend not to think of carbon, but you should because land is made up of carbon. Somebody asked me recently in an interview, “What of all the things that are going on in climate change, all the buzzwords, what annoys you?” I said, “The thing that really annoys me the most is the phrase zero carbon because it implies carbon's bad.” Carbon is wonderful stuff. If it weren't for carbon, we would have no food. Actually, we would have no trees. We would have no oxygen to breathe. Carbon is absolutely essential. I want to show you the most beautiful thing you've ever seen. Do you know what that is? Exactly. This is the most important equation for perhaps human life on Earth, almost. This is the equation... We don't have another one of these, do we, by any chance? There it is. This is the photosynthesis equation. Essentially, you take six molecules of carbon dioxide, six molecules of water, and through the magic of photosynthesis, you create a beautiful sugar molecule, and you create six atoms of oxygen that we can breathe. I mean, how cool is that? And think about this, up there in the atmosphere, carbon dioxide is causing havoc. It's literally killing people. It is threatening our future. Bring it down to Earth through the magic of photosynthesis, and it creates trees and bushes and crops and soils that instead of bringing death, bring life and vitality and resilience and food security, increased incomes, and so on. This is part of the message in order to make land the truly sexy subject that it needs to be. If you're interested in reading a book, this is a great book that actually captures the magic of photosynthesis called “Light to Life” by a good friend of ours, Raffael Jovine, and I recommend that you read it. For us at the Bezos Earth Fund, and perhaps I should say one word about that, Jeff Bezos very generously put 10 billion dollars to be provided as grants this decade for climate and nature with a human and a justice lens. For us, this whole idea of photosynthesis and land is absolutely central. When we went to COP26, we said, “I tell you what, we're going to put 3 billion dollars of grants on the table. 1 billion dollars to protect what we still have, 1 billion dollars to restore the land that we've lost, and 1 billion dollars to transform food and agricultural systems without which the first two won't work.” Let me say a word about soil because we are a land conference. Soil is one of the most misunderstood commodities. The Smithsonian said, “We know more about the dark side of Mars than we know what is beneath your feet.” One of the little-known facts about soil is the large fungal networks that exist right under your feet. Sometimes they are several square kilometers. They are highways, and they work as deal makers with plant's roots. They will give water and nutrients to the plant, and the plant will give carbohydrates and will give carbon, essentially, to the fungal networks. The fungal networks then spread those out. They can travel as much as a couple of meters a day, even, believe it or not. What happens is most of them are within 30 to 50 centimeters below your feet. You know what happens? The way we run agriculture cuts them all up and destroys them. That's why, even although we have incredible absorption of carbon in vegetation, it puts it into the soil, but it doesn't stay there very long. Part of land management has to be thinking about what happens. You know, globally, there are 13 gigatons of carbon that's handed off to these networks. That's one-third of the entire emissions of carbon dioxide in the world. So, these are very, very important, but the way we run our agriculture and food policy today, it is destroying precisely what we need the most. And by the way, I'm talking about rural areas. Oh, let me just make this point about Africa 100. I mean, this is something that we support, that World Bank is engaged, many of the countries here are probably part of this. Let's restore 100 million hectares of Africa that is already somewhat degraded because, as you know, between 30% and 50% of all the carbon in the soil has been lost since the industrial era, and about half of all the soil in the world is degraded already. Let's restore it by 2030. Now, in the old days, we tried, we failed. We now know how to do it right. It's a really thrilling thing, and this should be part of our movement, a restoration generation. I've been talking about rural areas, but look, this is the kind of landscape that looks ordinary to many people, but it is actually rich in absorbing carbon. It's raising income, it's raising yields, and so on. By the way, let me just say, most of what we're talking about is rural, but in cities as well, photosynthesis is incredibly important. In this room, there are people leading some of the most exciting greening cities programs in the world. We, at the Bezos Earth Fund, have a 400-million-dollar program called “Greening America's Cities,” and we want to expand that internationally. Essentially, what it does for disadvantaged areas in cities where often the summer temperatures are 10 degrees higher than the leafy suburbs, we try to bring greenery, parks, food gardens, trees, bushes, and so on, because it turns out your kids do better in school if they have trees around them. It turns out they breathe better air as well. There are so many psychological and health reasons to do this, as well as environmental reasons. I'm nearly through now, you'll be glad to know. The fifth reason for hope that Juergen mentioned, the digital revolution. The job that many people in this room have running land administration agencies is very, very hard. Everybody knows that. It's hard to figure out what, paper records and so on. This is going to help. It's not going to make it so easy, but now within the forest, you have people we work with, for example, the Jane Goodall Institute. She's now able to use data that we support that will enable to know where the encroachment takes place. That's happening in 150 countries around the world right now. So, too, you'll see that we are able to measure exactly what's happening in indigenous land. This is what carbon storage exists. This is something called “Landmark,” which shows that you can quantify the threats. You can actually see a deforestation take place in real-time so you know exactly where to do things. We now have the ability, and this shows precisely that right now. The important thing here is that we now have the ability to see land use change, and increasingly from satellites, we know how much carbon is embedded in that land use change. This is a game changer, potentially, for all kinds of financing agreements, for carbon markets, and so on. But of course, also, digital is profoundly important in terms of registering land and so on. What India has done, for example, is quite remarkable, the digital India land records modernization. It's happening in other countries in Southeast Asia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and increasingly around the world. This will make a big difference, and increasingly, AI will transform our jobs altogether, and we're just scratching the surface. It's true in rural areas, it's true in city areas. In the United States, for example, we support a project with an organization called “Block Power.” There are 125 million buildings in the United States. Every single one of them can be categorized. We know when they were built, we know what they're made of, we know what their roof is, we know what their energy efficiency is, we know the source of energy. You can know lots of things which helps you actually think through what a strategy should be for a city, for a state, and so on. We've just launched a major program called “AI for Climate and Nature.” We're calling for proposals, a grand challenge. Basically, let's take the naughtiest problems that we have in climate and nature, and let's see if we can find a way for AI to address it. Financial innovation. I only have seven, by the way. You'll be glad to know. This is the next reason for hope. It was so great to see the World Bank is proposing a new trust fund called the “Global Program for Land Tenure Security and Land Access for Climate Goals.” I think you could work on your titles, actually. It's a rather long one, but it's a very, very good idea. The World Bank wants to invest billions in this, and people in this room from governments also need to be able to do it; but we need project preparation, we need all the software, the hardware, we need all the support services, the design work, the capacity building, and that's what is going to happen. But also, I'm really pleased to see so many references to issues such as land value capture, what we used to call betterment taxes. Without innovations in fiscal policy, we will not be able to finance what is happening. Many people here are working on transport-orientated development. We will not be able to finance that unless we find a way of capturing that value for the public purse so that we can plow the money back. But I did just want to say a word about carbon markets because Juergen mentioned it. Carbon markets, most of you, I'm sure, are not thinking of the role of carbon markets to advance the land agenda. I think it's going to change. The last 15 years for carbon markets have been bad. The reason for that is we had great hopes all the way back at the COP on Climate in Bali in 2007, where we thought “Red Plus” was going to be saving the world. The problem was the quality of projects was so low, the monitoring was so weak, the leakage was bad, and so rightly, companies and countries were accused of greenwashing. We now are in a very different stage, and we believe that there will be a new generation. Let me just introduce you to some alphabet soup here, which you may or may not be interested in, but it's actually quite relevant. Carbon market money will, in the short term, come from corporations. There are billions of dollars in corporations today that corporations would be willing to invest in carbon markets if they were allowed, for example, half of their Scope 3s to offset. Just to let you know, because it's actually quite important to understand the history of this. The greenhouse gas protocol, if you're a company, that's how you measure greenhouse gasses. CDP, that's how you report your emissions. SBTI, that's Science-Based Targets Initiative, that's how you set targets as a company. Then two more, very important that are more recent since COP26 in Glasgow, one called the ICVCM, that's the Integrity Council for the Voluntary Carbon Market, that sets controls on the supply side. Then VCMI, Voluntary Carbon Market Integrity Council, that looks on the demand side. That may be quicker than you want, but the point is, these two at the bottom are now setting rules, they have world-class people working on them. It's the best people in the world, and they are now coming out with really detailed rules, and we now have the ability potentially to monitor through satellites and all kinds of other ways. Watch this space because it should be... Land should be a very legitimate area for carbon markets. Finally, signs of hope. Global collective action. International collective action is not doing so well these days. We're not as cooperative as we used to be, but don't give up on it. When we agreed the Paris Agreement, land wasn't particularly central. It was there, but not in a big way. It's changed remarkably over the last eight years, where land and the recognition that one-third of all the problem of climate change comes from land issues, that is now central. It's climate and nature are now integrated in a way that never was before. This is really very encouraging. Increasingly, we're seeing the NDCs, that's the country target, incorporating land. Not enough, but they are starting to do that, and that then enables us to hold each other accountable. And so, of course, that enables, for example, the Land Gap Report, which many of you have read, to say, actually, how much land are you going to need for your targets to absorb more carbon, and also for all of the investments in renewable energy and solar, which actually are going to take a lot of carbon. So, don't give up on this. The Biodiversity Convention also has been extremely important. Two years ago, the Biodiversity Convention agreed something called “30 by 30.” It became unanimous. No one thought it could be. 30% of land and sea to be protected by 2030. All the countries in the world are now committed to that, including the United States, even though the United States is not a member of the Biodiversity Convention, interestingly, and about 40 countries are real leaders in this, and they're willing to be held accountable. This is really quite encouraging. We are very heavily involved in advocating for this and in supporting it. Finally, I said there were seven, there actually were eight. This is the most important one of all. What gives me hope is all these other seven, plus a deep, deep recognition that the issues we're struggling with are all about power, they're all about governance, they're about politics, they're about people. Working on these issues is very, very hard, but it is very, very necessary. I'm thrilled as I read about what's going on in the world today. When I first, as a young economist, lived in Indonesia with the World Bank for three years, we were not allowed to utter or write the word “corruption.” Can you believe that? Unbelievable. This was under Suharto’s rule in Indonesia. Then, it was actually the President of the World Bank, Jim Wolfensohn, at the Annual Meeting in 1997 in Hong Kong, he said, “I'm going to talk about corruption.” Everybody said, “You can't do that, that would be so disrespectful.” He said, “I'm going to do it.” The second time I lived in Indonesia as Country Director, we had an Anticorruption Committee that was actually incredibly exciting. We worked with the government, wanted a set up an Anticorruption Commission. We worked with them on that. We found all kinds of corruption in World Bank projects, of course. Instead of feeling, “Oh, my goodness, this is terrible,” we said, “We've got to be honest.” Light is a great disinfectant, and countries want to work on that. We need to understand this. Look, so eight reasons for hope, a richer definition of access, better economics, Elinor Ostrom was right, carbon really matters, digital revolution, financial innovation, global collective action, power, accountability, and governance. You have a much more difficult task than anyone that's working on renewable energy who can see their cost curves coming down or electric vehicles, the hydrogen economy. They're able to measure technological breakthroughs. It's harder for you. Honoring the right of individuals to own land, honoring the right of governments to make sure that investments are in place, and honoring the right of nature to play the role it needs to play requires incredible skill. Let me just end with a story here. This is a communally run land with the help of the government, the Maasai Mara and the Serengeti, I think you know, five million wildebeest every year roam. I was there with my family not so long ago, and we watched them crossing the Mara River. There, that's them. They go down this very steep cliff. If you look on the left there, you see one of them rolling over upside down. Can you see that? Bottom left-hand corner, children getting lost, very happy crocodiles waiting, doing very well. My daughter Charlotte, who's here today, actually sitting there, she was then about 12, and she said, “Why do they do this? Why do they run down and break their legs like this? Didn't we an hour ago see them just a mile down the river walking across perfectly normally? Didn't we see this?” And I said, “Yeah.” They said, “Well, why don't they all go down there and do that? Why would they do this?” I said, “I don't know.” So, I There are experts, actually, that should know this. And all the experts said, “We actually don't know why they do it, but we have a hypothesis. Our hypothesis is, they break their legs like this, they go down these incredible cliffs because they've always done it. That's what they've always done. It's in their DNA. They actually can't change.” The other ones have different DNA, obviously. This got me thinking about how we live our lives and we run our economy and we run the development process. Let's not be trapped by doing things the way we've always done it. Land, by two years from today, should be the most exciting subject because if it's not, we will fail. From our standpoint, we would love to work with you to make that happen. Thank you very much indeed. [Applause] [Andrew Steer] Oh, okay.

[Femi Oke] Sit in this, chair. Thank you. I love the dad story at the end, and I love the honesty of saying, “I don't know, but I will find out.” President and CEO, the microphone is on, of the Bezos Earth Fund. Have you found in your current role, your group of friends has doubled enormously? It's live.

[Andrew Steer] I've always been your friend, Femi, so the important friends are the same. But yes, we need to recognize that it's a real privilege to be entrusted with these very valuable resources. We need to recognize that those people we give resources to actually are really expert, they're really committed. The worst thing you want to do if you're a philanthropist is to imply somehow, you're superior. We try to keep a professional but a humble disposition.

[Femi Oke] The theme that ran through your talk was about hope. I counted so many areas where you talked about hope. Is that because now you're a philanthropist?

[Andrew Steer] No, I think we all need to live between two seemingly cognitive dissidences. One is we are failing in the SDGs right now. We are failing to deliver on our climate goals, and we got to be honest with that. At the same time, we are seeing progress that is beyond amazing. Are those two things inconsistent? You can meet two world-class experts on climate change, and you say to one of them, “How is it going?” And they'll say, “It's hopeless. I mean, it's lemmings running over a cliff.” Then you meet someone else and they say, “It's incredible.” Did you know that the cost of renewable energy today is 99.8% cheaper than when President Jimmy Carter put solar panels on the roof in 1979? In the last decade alone, battery storage has fallen by 90%. Did you know that digitalization will enable land management to be improved hugely? We've got to hold those two. We mustn't be glib and say, “Oh, it's all hunky dory” because it's not. But on climate, just one data point. Eight years ago, we were on track for a 5 degrees Celsius world under current policies. We're now on track for a 2.5 degrees Celsius world. That is still a disaster. We're still failing, but it's at least a start, and we now need to see that through. People here, Juergen over there is the Vice President overseeing all of this, the World Bank and other multilateral development banks and countries, academics, companies. We've got to think about the way we organize ourselves at the Bezos Earth Fund. How do you allocate money? We look at 50 transitions that are required this decade and next. They include things like, getting rid of the internal combustion engine, halving food loss and waste, allocating land tenure rights to private people as well as communities as well as government. There are about 50 of those. What we do for each of them, we monitor them with the World Resource Institute, something called the System Change Lab. What we do is we say, “How close are you to a positive tipping point? What would stop you getting to a positive tipping point?” Then are there ways we can inject our resources, our convening power, our influence, together with partners, we do nothing on our own, so that we can accelerate so that change becomes irresistible and unstoppable? Which is a good description of you, Femi, actually. Irresistible and unstoppable.

[Femi Oke] We are moving on to the nexus between land and climate. Andrew Steer, President and CEO of the Bezos Earth Fund. Thank you so much for joining us today. Thank you.

[Andrew Steer] Thank you. Thank you all.

[Femi Oke] We are about to start our panel session, but before I do that, I happen to know that in the overflow room, some of you are using land very efficiently and sitting on the floor. That is not necessary, but we thank you for your eagerness. We do have overflow rooms in MC2 for English, MC2 in Spanish, and then MC4 for French. If you go to anybody who looks like they are organizing this conference, they might look a little bit worried or tired, that's how you know that. They're organizing the conference. Ask them where those overflow rooms are if you're beginning to get a cramp on the floor. People watching on Cvent and also World Bank Live, I know you're perfectly comfortable. We will continue with our panel conversation. Let me introduce you to the panelists who will come on stage one by one. We have Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, Executive Director of Tebtebba, an indigenous’ rights NGO in the Philippines. Victoria, please come and sit on the very end seat there. The audience won't let you do it quietly, so go ahead and do it. See what happens. [Applause] [Femi Oke] Carlos Fernando Galan is the Mayor of Bogotá in Colombia. Carlos, so good to have you. Please, sit in the next seat. [Applause] [Femi Oke] Then Mary Tegavota, thank you, Mary, for coming. National Recorder of Customary Land at the Ministry of Lands, Housing, and Survey of the Solomon Islands. [Applause] [Femi Oke] All right. Instant reaction panel. Do not think, just say the first thing that comes into your head. When I say, “nexus between land and climate,” Carlos, what do you think? First thought.

[Carlos Fernando Galan Pachón] Nexus between land and climate. First, thank you very much for the invitation. [Femi Oke] You're so welcome. [Carlos Fernando Galan Pachón] I mean, thank you very much to the World Bank for the invitation. Well, we are facing a huge crisis in Bogotá right now. We have to ration water at this moment, even though we have the biggest production areas of water in Colombia, “Páramos”, [national park] which are called these areas. I think we have to make a discussion and to realize that we have to connect how we protect environmental assets, like the water production areas, in how we guarantee, for example, housing in a city like Bogotá. Colombia is a country, a developing country. Bogotá is a city of eight million people. It has the same population as London, around that with the municipalities around it. But we have four times smaller area. So, it's a very dense city. We have to consider that into how we guarantee housing and we grow as a city, protecting areas like the water production areas.

[Femi Oke] Okay, Victoria, first thing that comes into mind, nexus, land, climate, you think what?

[Victoria Tauli-Corpuz] Well, as an indigenous person, that is something that is very well understood by us, because if our rights to our lands, territories, and resources are respected, then the possibility of us being able to mitigate climate change as well as to adapt to climate change, will be higher. In this, I'd like to thank Andrew Steer for his keynote speech, because he has already cited the proof that indeed, when indigenous people's land rights are recognized, then their contribution to biodiversity conservation as well as to climate change, degradation and emissions is really going to matter a lot. That nexus is very well established as far as we are concerned; but the reality is that many countries still do not recognize the rights of indigenous peoples to their lands and territories; and therefore, the capacity to be able to contribute more significantly is being undermined. Displacements, as well as the adverse impacts of climate change, whether this is happening for indigenous peoples, because we live in the most fragile ecosystems in high mountain areas, low-lying coastal areas, the Arctic, and those impacts are very much felt by the people who are living in those areas, and it causes them to either leave their territories, and they are not receiving the necessary disaster relief that they should be receiving as a sector.

[Femi Oke] Mary, from your perspective in the Solomon Islands and the work you do, that connection between land and climate, what did you immediately think about?

[Mary Tegavota] The first thought that came to my mind was connection. The other second thought that came to my mind was reconnection. I particularly liked the example given by Mr. Steer with regards to the photosynthesis. So, it is already in existence there. We just need to reconnect. And as a person working in the land administration sector in the Solomon Islands, dealing with a lot of customary land groups with very diverse customs and cultures related to land, reconnecting is reconnecting back with indigenous ways of how land is conserved and how we can as the climate change action from a traditional point of view.

[Femi Oke] I'd like the panel first, first of all, to look at land rights and how they might either help or hinder climate strategies. Carlos, I think you're in an interesting position because as a mayor of an urban area, what is your land strategy?

[Carlos Fernando Galan Pachón] Well, Bogotá is a city that is a particular city. We have, as I was mentioning, 8 million people in the city. We have 75% of the city is rural areas and 25% is urban. We have in that area, in the 75%, which is rural, we have, as I was mentioning, the Páramo, which is a national park, a protected area. In the 25% of the city, which is urban, we have a very dense, very dense area. In some areas, it's some of the densest areas in the world, maybe, with some cities in India, for example, countries that have like that. We have a challenge because we were unable until a few years ago to discuss how to protect land and guarantee housing with the municipalities around the city. Now we're starting to talk and to discuss together how to protect areas, how to guarantee housing. Bogotá has received more than a million people in the last six years, seven years from Venezuela, which is a huge challenge because even though we have a population that is aging, we received migrants in a very short period of time, and we need to guarantee housing for those people and for other people. So, this is basically how the city is laid out and the challenges we have.

[Femi Oke] Victoria, you were nodding. There's something that Carlos was saying that resonated with you. Can you articulate your nod? Why were you nodding?

[Victoria Tauli-Corpuz] Well, yes, indeed. Some of the migration that's happening in many cities is precisely because of the impacts of climate change in many areas which are very highly vulnerable. That is something that can connect directly with the issue we're talking about; but I also wanted to respond to what Mary has said, because I used to be the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of Indigenous Peoples, and I visited many indigenous territories all over the world. One of the sources of hope that I've seen is really the fact that many indigenous communities have asserted the right to govern, to continue to self-govern their territories, to use their customary laws in terms of land management and land ownership, as well as their governance systems. In these cities, in these places which I went to, I have seen that that is where they have the bigger capacity to adapt as well as to become more resilient to climate change. I think that Andrew still mentioned about all the different tenure systems. Really, the tenure systems, the customary tenure systems of indigenous peoples, and the continuing practice of this has resulted in the fact that 80% of the world's biodiversity are still in indigenous territories, as we have seen in the maps. Therefore, it stands to reason that many states, governments, should really put in policies and laws that respect these rights; but corporations, as well as other actors, should also ensure that when they bring so-called “projects” into their territory, so-called “development projects”, that the free prior informed consent of indigenous peoples be obtained, because otherwise this problem will magnify and multiply, and we will not solve the problem of climate change.

[Femi Oke] Victoria was the UN Special Envoy for indigenous people, so she has a lot of examples and stories to share. Can you share? What do you want to do? Positive or negative? Up to you.

[Victoria Tauli-Corpuz] Well, positive. I want to…

[Femi Oke] Let's do positive. All right. Positive story of how indigenous people, although they don't have access to their land all the time or formal access to the land, how they can benefit from some of the climate strategies that are going on right now. What story would you tell us?

[Victoria Tauli-Corpuz] Well, I'd like to tell the story of what I've seen, for instance, in Mexico. I went to Mexico. I talked with the indigenous people from Chontal, and they told me how they have asserted, self-asserted, that they will manage and govern their lands, mainly because of the encroachment of drug cartels in their forest and causing a lot of deforestation. They protested against that. They stopped the tracks of the lagging corporations, by the drug corporations. Then they went to drive away the officials that are corrupt in their municipality and put the people they trust in power. As a result of that, they can show the results in which their well-being is better, security is better, and their forests are better protected. When I asked the government if it's indeed true, that that's happened, because the government sued them, actually, and they filed a case against the government saying that our law recognizes the rights of indigenous peoples to self-govern, and they won the case in the Supreme Court. When I met with the government and told them about this story, and I said, “Is it true?” They said, “Yes, actually, it's true.” That's a very good example for me that it's not just a matter of the government should recognize that, but if the indigenous peoples themselves assert and they can show the evidence that they are in a much better shape. Then, that is what we need in a world that's heavily beset by these kinds of crises.

[Femi Oke] Mary, I want to ask you about the customary communities and how they have access to their land and marine rights. What is the government in the Solomon Islands doing to help that? That's an area that you are hyper-focused on.

[Mary Tegavota] Well, in Solomon Islands, the government is doing a lot to assist with the customer land owners, secure their land and marine rights. The conservation, there's different types of climate action initiatives in relation to both the land and the sea. You have marine protected areas, marine conservation areas, marine parks, land conservation sites. These conservation efforts, they vary a lot in terms of the nature and the extent to which one has access to these conservation sites. Also, the government is also assisting and has launched two very important policy documents. This one is the “Climate Change Policy”, and the “Planned Relocation Guidelines Policy,” both were very important documents that were launched in 2023 last year. The policy intentions behind both these documents are to address the effects of climate change on development, whilst at the same time, looking at sustainable economic growth, and creating a climate resilience community for Solomon Islands. I was listening to Victoria speak and Carlos speak about urbanization, and it gives me the thinking that back home in the Solomon Islands, where most land is customarily owned, and you have this nexus between land and climate change in terms of urbanization. This is where you have migration into the city, relating to climate-related issues like food security, land loss, lack of land, and all that. This just places pressure on urban services, for example, water. It's going to be very interesting to see how the government and its stakeholders will pursue urbanization in the future to come.

[Femi Oke] Carlos, before he was a politician, was a journalist, which gives me hope. One day, I could be important. I know when you're a journalist, even if you're a former journalist, you always have questions. Carlos, what would you like to ask your co-panelists?

[Carlos Fernando Galan Pachón] Well, yes, I have many questions. One that I want to take this opportunity is, I've learned about all the work you've done and how you work to guarantee that you protected areas and communities in the Philippines. We have a discussion in our city right now in Bogotá because we don't have enough energy, we won't have enough energy, electrical power in the next two years due to the failure to build transmission lines to the city. This is because we have discussions with communities, with the municipalities in the areas, but we have the challenge. We are in an energy transition right now. We, for example, have the biggest fleet of busses outside of China and Santiago de Chile, electric busses in the world. We have 1,500 busses. We need more electrical energy. We don't have that because of that discussion. If we don't, we're not able to guarantee that we can build the lines, we won't have energy in two years enough to satisfy the demand. How can we learn from your experience and discussions with communities? We have to guarantee transition and electrical power, for example, for a city like Bogotá?

[Victoria Tauli-Corpuz] Well, I think that it's commendable the work that you are doing. I think that really for me, the main principle is really an inclusion and participation of those communities who have questions and who have doubts. We cannot just disregard these kinds of views, but if we have discussions with them and show the bigger contributions of such kinds of transmission lines in bringing about a more climate-friendly low-carbon economy, which is part of the just transition, then I'm sure they will understand. But it's really... Sometimes people say that we do understand that, but we are not even included in the discussions, and our views are not solicited for us to be able to contribute, as well as to also co-manage some of these, whether these are protected areas or even these kinds of renewable energy projects. But the other big problem that I've seen is that there was a recent conference held on just transition in indigenous peoples, and it was cited that more than 50% of the minerals and metals used for renewable energy are in indigenous territories. If that participation, obtaining free prior informed consent, respect for the rights of those indigenous people who come from these territories are not ensured, then again, there will be big problems in terms of how to go towards a transition that the world badly needs. But I think that those are really the points that we should always keep in mind. People will agree as long as they feel that they are part of the processes that we are being decided on.

[Femi Oke] I'm going to bring in some of the questions that you have submitted, either doing it right now or you've submitted in PollEv or World Bank Live. Let me put this one to you, panelists, because I think it's a really interesting idea. Why can't we avoid good fertile lands being used for infrastructure being built up? Just because they are near to cities. Why can't we use arid lands for infrastructure projects rather than fertile lands for infrastructure projects? I think the answer is in the question, i.e., the fertile lands are near to the cities. But I think that's just such an interesting way of maybe rethinking development. Is that realistic? Mary, is that realistic?

[Mary Tegavota] Yes, it is realistic if you look at it in the sense that it seeks for two different types of land. So, one is arid and one is fertile. Of course, it is realistic in the sense when you have an innovation. Instead of building on the fertile land itself, you could build on top of the fertile land. So that is in itself an innovation. So, seeing it that way, I think it is realistic.

[Carlos Fernando Galan Pachón] I think it's a huge discussion we have also at the time in Bogotá because we have some areas around the city which are very fertile. The areas around Bogotá are very fertile. But at the same time, we have a huge pressure for guaranteeing housing for other people. This is a city, Bogotá, which was built in more than 50% in an informal way without guaranteeing water provision, without guaranteeing transportation, without guaranteeing education services. We have that discussion on how to guarantee that in the areas around the city without building infrastructure or housing in fertile areas that we have around the city.

[Femi Oke] Who wins that discussion?

[Carlos Fernando Galan Pachón] Well, I think we have to view everything we do on land as an integral way, as an overview, understanding all the matters that affect because when we say “We don't want to build a formal city around this area,” people are going to need housing in other areas. So, we need to discuss that because in that case, we could have informal construction affecting other areas. I think it says we have to change the way we discuss and we decide this. We take these decisions, and we should include, I think, innovative ways of debating these things. Democracy has shortages. We need to discuss how to participate. Everybody should participate, should have real influence in decisions, and not only in a representative way of a democracy.

[Femi Oke] Vicky, do you have a perspective on this?

[Victoria Tauli-Corpuz] Well, I think that's one of the reasons why we have something called the Ecosystem-Based Management or the integrated management of land, water, and other resources, because we cannot think of land use just as one land use. We know very well that land has multiple uses. There are multiple users of this land, as well as the water that is there. Therefore, that looking at it in an integral way is really the best way to do it. Of course, the inclusion and participation of the people who will be directly affected. If we think of land in the multiple ways in which they are being used, and as well as the diverse customary land systems that, for instance, indigenous peoples have used, this is a result of thousands of years of relating with the land. And the fact that they are able to relate in harmony with nature and the land tells us that they know; but this knowledge somehow gets undermined when you think of land only in terms of agricultural production, in terms of infrastructure building, and not thinking about it in the multiple facets that it presents.

[Femi Oke] Panel, I'm going to focus on innovation, solutions, promising results for the final part of our discussion. I'm going to start with a question that's come from online. Thank you for this. How do you get lasting climate solutions to people who don't have land ownership?

[Mary Tegavota] To answer that question, my reply would be, with the land and climate, you cannot divorce this from each other. Whether you own land or whether you don't have rights to land, it doesn't matter. Climate change affects everybody. To have a lasting solution, my recommendation would be to... And this is from experience working. Always you would have an authorizing environment, and then you would have people's wishes, values, and dreams, and then you would have what is doable. These are three circles in which I exist in one form or another. With the coming of these three circles, we can be able to build a space or create a space where different concerns, different voices are heard in order for us to collaborate and develop partnership whereby we can have a lasting solution for climate change.

[Femi Oke] Vicky, what are you thinking?

[Victoria Tauli-Corpuz] Well, I think that those who don't own land, as Mary has said, are also affected by climate change, and they can contribute significantly to the climate change problem in relation to, of course, changes in lifestyle. The fact that food waste is so much, that that is actually one source of climate emissions is unacceptable. How can we continue to live? People, even those who don't own land, can just waste that food and cause this problem. I think it's lifestyle changes are really basic for all of us, whether we own lands or not. Of course, the use of innovations and knowledge to understand exactly what is it that's needed for people to understand the problems that they are facing as far as climate change is concerned and think deeply, what are the solutions? The point that was raised by Andrew on global collective action is It's crucial. It's something that cannot be solved just by us, for instance, by indigenous peoples. It has to be done by society as a whole. That is the more difficult part, actually, because we have all different interests, and these kinds of vested interests will be obstacles that we face. But if we think in a higher level that this problem is going to affect all of us, and if we don't contribute to it, we will all suffer anyway, then maybe that is what will really push us to do things in different way, think in very innovative solutions, and of course, use the technologies that are available for us to be able to address.

[Femi Oke] So, Vicky, people talk about innovative solutions, and then they keep moving, and they don't share an innovative solution. Can I pause you? Yeah. And then what is your innovative solution that you're going to share for our audience today?

[Victoria Tauli-Corpuz] Well, innovative solutions will, of course, include closer monitoring of the changes that are happening in your territory. And this can happen with the use of new technologies, with the GPS with satellite. We will be able to understand where are the areas which are at high risks and how do we address these. Where are the possible areas, if ever there is a disaster, where are the possible areas where we can bring people to be in a more secure and stable situation. Those are the kinds of solutions that are needed. But we need people who know, who have the knowledge and are willing to share the knowledge without necessarily asking for a lot of money because that was also part of the problem.

[Femi Oke] Open source, open source knowledge that everybody can benefit from. Yeah, absolutely. Bogotá Master Plan in 2019, focused on urban and rural development. Carlos, how is it going?

[Carlos Fernando Galan Pachón] Well, it actually was approved in 2021, so we had three years. It's a challenge because we've had the discussion that I've already mentioned here of how to guarantee housing in the city. There are two views. One is saying we have to work with the areas around the city, with all of the municipalities. And the other view is we have to grow within the city in higher buildings, so like a pyramid style of the city. As I was saying, Bogotá is already a very dense city, so we have that discussion. And this master plan has focused on basically how to increase the density in some areas around transportation systems, for example. We've had challenges until now due to the fact that it's very difficult to guarantee renovation of areas. It's not easy. Procedures are difficult to guarantee that the financial part works so that constructors are interested in building these areas. We had difficulty at the time. In the last two years, we've had a reduction of new building permits of more than 50%. We're working on how to change regulations to guarantee that there's incentives to promote these buildings around transportation systems. We had this challenge at this time.

[Femi Oke] Right. I can tell from your face that you're wanting to be positive, but it's a struggle, right? Your face is wrestling with your brain right now. Okay, so how's it going? It's like, it's hot. What would you say to other mayors?

[Carlos Fernando Galan Pachón] Well, I think one recommendation is that we always have to take into account the context in which decisions are taken. Because sometimes we have cities which are informal, as I was saying, we're built in an informal way, most of them. So, sometimes you have regulation that is created in a way of thinking that maybe takes into account other types of legal frameworks, of historical frameworks, of community discussions. You have to take into consideration all with the context in which you take decisions to guarantee that the decisions are the correct ones and you can deliver and you can implement them. If not, you might have a very good framework. You might have an excellent idea, a very good ambition, but it's impossible to make it happen. So, in discussing how to build cities, how to guarantee housing, how to guarantee transportation, you have to always take into account the historic part, the community part, the legal framework, and the context of how the city was created.

[Femi Oke] Mary, I'm thinking about innovative ideas, the carbon credit agreements in the Solomon Islands, the land agreements in the Solomon Islands. Can you tell us how they're working? Are they innovative? Are they solutions?

[Mary Tegavota] Yes, it is innovative, and they are solutions. Innovative in the sense that, as we all know, Solomon is a developing country, and getting land on to be innovative when you have carbon trading or you have payment for ecosystem services, you also have blue carbon. These ideas for an indigenous person are something totally new. So, for that particular investment or climate action to be innovative, it depends on the indigenous person's understanding of what it is, why they are required to, or what are the advantages, what are the disadvantages. That is in terms of what is happening now. In terms of being innovative, I remember mentioning the policy about climate change policy and also the plan relocation policy. These policies exist to address the effects of climate change, but then at the same time, address less sustainable economic growth as well. This is reflected in the way that conservation is done in the country. You have certain areas which are totally no-go zones. You cannot extract resources from it. These are the conservation areas. Then you would have, for example, a marine managed park. These are areas where customary landowners can go and access fishing in accordance with their customer rights. So, this is in itself, I think, from my perspective, is innovative in that it addresses climate action in terms of conservation, but then also at the same time it addresses the indigenous communities’ food security.

[Femi Oke] Mary, your face looks a lot more positive than Carlos's face. Are you doing better in the Solomon Islands than he's doing in Bogotá?

[Mary Tegavota] Well, really, I would say doing better, but then it's not really doing better because we still have capacity and institutional strength issues that we have to deal with. I'm always saying, no system is bulletproof. You always have to revise and then collect all the stakeholders and see, okay, what's this?

[Carlos Fernando Galan Pachón] But Femi, I have to mention, we're struggling in some areas, but we are doing very well in other areas. Bogotá is a city that's been able to solve problems. We have the BRT system, which has been built in the last 25 years. And today, we have some lines of this system that are able to move more than 45,000 passengers per hour in one direction. We are building the first metro line right now. And in my government, in the next four years, we're going to finish the first line and start to build the second line for the metro system. We have maybe the biggest bicycle routes in Latin America, maybe. We have more than 650 kilometers. So, we're doing innovation also in how to deal with these problems, how to guarantee lower emissions, promote massive transportation to guarantee that we reduce our footprint. I didn't want to give the idea that everything's going with difficulty now. We have many, many things that are going well, and we will hope to have a huge improvement in transportation the next four years also in Bogotá.

[Femi Oke] At the World Bank, there is an annual conference called “Transforming Transportation,” which I'm sure many of you know, and Bogotá is right up there in terms of what is happening with transport, sustainability, and the climate. I was just picking up on your inner struggle for some aspects. But thank you for making it a 360 view. When we're talking about positive impact and innovation, I have two words for you, Vicky, indigenous women. A walking solution in themselves. Where do they fit in with our looking at land and climate nexus? What indigenous women are doing? What you have seen? What are you doing yourself? There's so much in there that we can unpack. What would you like to share?

[Victoria Tauli-Corpuz] Well, I think that indigenous women are really the ones who transmit the indigenous knowledge to the younger generations, and they play that role very well because they are the ones who bring up the kids or are staying with the children and who accompany them. I think that's one of the important roles that they play. These indigenous knowledge systems, which include, of course, knowledge in terms of agriculture, in terms of forest management, the customary laws that they have to obey, to follow, so that they will be able to conserve the forest that they have, as well as the practices, the collective action that they need to take when there's a forest fire that's happening, everybody has to be mobilized to stop the fire, etc. This is what indigenous women do. But the other is also, they are the ones, at least in my experience, usually it's the indigenous women who caution the men. I would like to say that there were several projects, for instance, in the Philippines, which we protested against, and some of these are funded by the World Bank in the past. The women were the ones who led the protest. They said, “The men, you stay in the back because when you come, there will be fights.” Because, of course, we are warriors traditionally, and you will be that violence is going to occur because of the actions that you usually take. So, the women said, “For us to resolve this in a more peaceful manner, you just stay behind, and we will be the ones who will negotiate with the government as well as the military authorities.” And so, indigenous women have a very important role to play. Therefore, their equal participation in making I think these decisions should really be supported strongly. But they also have, of course, the innovation that they have in terms of developing crops that can withstand floods or that can continue to survive in spite of the droughts. They are the ones who do that. In my community, they can show me these are the crops that we use when there are constant floods, and these are the ones that we use when the droughts happen. In that innovation, is something that is invisible, and yet it's very crucial for food security as well as to ensure that the crops, the healthy food that they are raising, continue to be there.

[Femi Oke] Victoria, Carlos, Mary, thank you for helping us explore the nexus between land and climate. We really appreciate you in the opening session of the World Bank Land Conference 2024. Your panel. [Applause]

[Femi Oke] Thank you, panel. If you make your way back to the front row, we will continue our opening session with a sponsor champion, and that is the United Kingdom. Joining us via video, the Right Honorable Andrew Mitchell. He's the Deputy Foreign Secretary and Minister of State, Development in Africa in the United Kingdom. Please, take a look at the screen.

[Andrew Mitchell] I am pleased to speak to you today, and I'm sorry I can't be with you in person. In a world grappling with conflict, poverty, and climate change, acting to clarify and protect land rights has never been more urgent. Weak land governance breeds insecurity and is a massive drain on many economies. Not only does it undermine women's empowerment, it also weakens food security and harms nature. As demands on land for food, clean energy, and cities grow, effectively collective land management becomes crucial for meeting social, economic, and environmental goals. That is why I'm delighted that Britain is co-sponsoring this rebooted conference. Preserving forests and biodiversity involves recognizing and protecting the rights of those who live on them. I was pleased that the UK helped mobilize a global pledge worth 1.7 billion dollars on forest tenure rights at COP26. We are also backing this agenda in the UK's new aid strategy. Today, it gives me great pleasure to launch the Land Facility Program. This new UK initiative will support partners to plan and implement sustained reforms to their land administration systems. Of course, good land governance depends on the actions of governments around the world. That is why I'm delighted that this conference is hosting the first Global Land Policy and Governance Forum. It's a chance to hear from partners about their reforms and to discuss how we can help others do the same. Good luck with your discussion questions this week. I am confident that your contributions will inspire global action to improve land governance. Thank you very much. [Applause]

[Femi Oke] Thank you, Andrew. How do we wrap up the opening session of the World Bank Land Conference, the first one since 2019, the one you've been waiting for. Who has those amazing words to wrap us up? Who is going to send us off to our next session, engaged and excited and infused? The World Bank Vice President for Infrastructure, Guang [Guangzhe] Chen. Welcome. [Applause]

[Guangzhe Chen] Good morning. I think, Femi, you make this my remark much more exciting than I intended to be, but really, it's an honor to be here to say a few words in your opening session for this very important Land Conference. As we heard from the panelists, secure land tenure and some land managements are the foundation for climate change mitigation and adaptation. Financing a scale for land tenure reform and land management is becoming increasingly more important, particularly if we want to close the infrastructure gap, which is where I make a few comments, and I think this is the area that you're familiar with. We're talking about overall, worldwide, we still have 685 million people [who] have no access to electricity. Over 2 billion people live more than 2 kilometers away from over a road. Something like 2 billion people without safely managed drinking water access, not to mention many other access goals and food security requirements. And all these require land, require access to land, require management of land, and to be able to provide such services. And all this numbers I quoted is basic access. And as country grows, develop, people's demand for infrastructure services will continue to expand, and again, that will place a lot of expanded demand on land. We've seen how outdated and incomplete land records and absence of clear rules for land access can lead to long delays and cost overrun for infrastructure investment and negative social outcomes such as displacement. Thus, I cannot emphasize enough that while facilitating land access for climate-resilient infrastructure will be critical, this should not come at the expenses of the rights of the existing landholders. This is why the World Bank will be expanding our land security investment, including the secure the land right for indigenous people and land local community through our global program on land tenure security and land access to climate goals. Scaling up investment in tenure security is critical to secure to ensure that we achieve a just transition. This including just energy transition and many other transitions we're talking about here, while existing landholder participating and benefiting from climate investments. Throughout this program, the World Bank will also invest more in supporting our clients to improve their land, administrative systems, land management, and land use plannings. Again, these are critical for many of the infrastructure investment we are supporting. Our aim is to double investment in the land sector, from currently about 5 billion to 10 billion dollars over the next five years. We expect this program will represent a significant contribution to land sector investment needed to fully achieve the global climate growth. Specifically, we set some very ambitious targets, including 100 million people with improved tenure security, including 40 million women over the next five years. Another 500 new urban areas with a climate-sensitive land use plan, and over 20 countries with improved land administration and land access for climate actions. I want to take this opportunity to express our sincere thanks to the panelists for sharing their perspective and how we can maximize the land sector's contribution to climate actions. Together with the civil society and our development partners we put together incredible, valuable agenda for the rest of the week for this land conference, including sessions on ensuring that green economy is just for landholders. Another session called managing access to land for infrastructure and brownfield to green energy. All these sessions will delve into the issue that highlights operational solutions to ensure that country can access land needed to develop green infrastructure, and that the process of greening our economy is also just for the landholders. I really look forward to engaging with all of you in the coming week and beyond. Together, I think we can effectively leverage the global and sector investment to achieve our global climate growth. We look forward to our engagement in the coming week and, of course, many other opportunities. Thank you for this opportunity. [Applause]

[Femi Oke] To the thousands who've been watching online at Cvent and World Bank Live, we thank you for your participation. There will be other opportunities during this week. To the many people who found a seat in the Preston and at the World Bank, thank you so much for being part of this session. This session is now closed. Thank you. [Applause]

00:00 Opening remarks by Juergen Voegele, Vice President, Sustainable Development, World Bank

06:30 Presentation by Andrew Steer, President and CEO, Bezos Earth Fund

40:37 Conversation with Andrew Steer, President and CEO, Bezos Earth Fund

47:01 Panel discussion: The nexus between land and climate
- Carlos Fernando Galan, Mayor of Bogota
- Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, Indigenous leader, Philippines
- Mary Tegavota, National Recorder of Customary Land at the Ministry of Lands, Housing, and Survey of Solomon Islands

1:24:15 Remarks by Andrew Mitchell, Minister of State (Development and Africa), United Kingdom

1:27:24 Closing remarks by Guangzhe Chen, Vice President, Infrastructure, World Bank

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