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What if the solutions to keeping our planet healthy were already out there?

Panorama goes live

Story by GRID-Arendal October 5th, 2016

Sometimes it’s easy to get the impression that the world is full of problems for which there are no solutions. Climate change, polluted oceans, species loss and other issues seem large and impossible to tackle.

What can individuals or communities do?

But there is a place where you can go to find successful solutions that can inpire and inform conservation and development action. It’s called the panorama platform and it’s online now. The platform was launched at a recent event at the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Hawaii opened by the new head of UN Environment, Erik Solheim.

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Panorama allows practitioners to share their stories, be recognized for successful work, and learn how others have tackled problems across the globe, by encouraging reflection on and learning from proven approaches.

“It’s about connecting people and good ideas,” says GRID-Arendal’s Christian Neumann, who is part of the Blue Solutions project, one of the platform’s founding initiatives. “Local people are familiar with problems in their regions and they’re good at developing solutions. Our job is to tie them together and let others learn from their experience.”

Currently, there are two portals, on Marine and Coastal Solutions, hosted by Blue Solutions (GIZ, GRID-Arendal, IUCN, UNEP) and on Protected Area Solutions, hosted by the IUCN Global Protected Areas programme. Between them they contain more than 200 solutions developed by NGOs, government institutions, academics, international organizations, foundations and the private sector. The platform develops as new partners share solutions to meet new challenges.

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Examples of solutions include a project led by women to restore degraded mangroves of the Equatorial African Rainforest in Kribi, Cameroon. There, new technology for smoking fish is reducing the cutting of mangroves for smoking fish, reducing the time women use for wood gathering and reducing the frequency of respiratory illness.

Fin Fighters is a citizen science project that investigates shark fishing and consumption and gathers data on the distribution and health of shark and ray populations around the world. In Morocco, it works with volunteers and researchers to collect data from fishing ports and markets. The information is used in studies on population and genetic health of the fish.

Solutions are specific, applied examples of successful processes or approaches that respond to challenges to sustainable development and human wellbeing. They also contribute to maintaining or improving the health of biodiversity and ecosystems, help to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals agreed to last year at the United Nations.

If you’re looking for inspired, concrete lessons your peers have learned, have helpful contacts and resources, or if you have a successful solution yourself that you think others should know about, please join the community.

For further information, contact Christian Neumann or the managing partners of the initiative Janina Korting for GIZ and Marie Fischborn at IUCN.

Footnote: Photo & Grachics Credits: GRID-Arendal.
Hawaii, United States