Remaking a world in peril: forging collaboration for a secure and sustainable future

20-30 July 2021


Working in collaboration with United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Caux Dialogue on Environment and Security has been bringing together policy-makers, farmers, NGOs, community leaders, businesses, young social entrepreneurs and investors, in one of the first international forums to spotlight the links between sustainable land management and peace.

This year’s forum will provide a unique opportunity for over 400 of the world’s leading thinkers and representatives to convene virtually and discuss the increasingly critical connections between peace, human security, and environmental degradation. Our goal is to foster trust building and forge collaboration that will inspire solutions through which we can together accelerate global action on environment restoration, climate change mitigation and peace.

The programme will consist of workshops on sustainable living, environmental leadership and human security, addressing the subjects of climate change, plastic, conflict prevention, land restoration and oceans.

It will also include formative plenaries shared with the Summer Academy on Climate, Land and Security (26-30 July 2021), complemented by informal workshops with a creative touch.


CDES women Leela Channer


Why do land and security solutions need to be forged together to respond to the threats posed by climate change and create a more peaceful world?


Land conflicts have been taking place since time immemorial. Land is associated with livelihood, living space, territory, even national identity. Nearly all of humanity’s food needs depend on one hand-span of soil - yet an estimated 34 million tonnes of topsoil are lost to erosion every year. Land degradation, climate change, population pressure, conflict and poor governance can all pile up, causing a direct negative impact on the health and livelihoods of 1.5 billion people.

On the other hand, there is growing evidence that integrating land and more broadly – environmental - restoration with community-based peacebuilding can create a virtuous cycle leading to both environmental and social recovery, and contributing to climate change adaptation and mitigation. A key constraint to this approach is weak cooperation between sectors and the subsequent need to build trust to enable effective governance of shared natural resources.


CDES man in main hall Leela Channer


Forum Objectives

  • Empowering environmental action and growing the next generation of sustainability leaders around the world.
  • Creating a deeper understanding of the main challenges at the interface of land restoration, climate change mitigation and adaptation, human security, migration and conflict;
  • Increased capacity to respond more effectively to climate, land and security challenges as policymakers and practitioners;
  • Creating an opportunity to discuss the importance of complementary issues and solutions such as circular economy, water resource management and regenerative agriculture.
  • Exchange views and build collaboration among peers and global experts and practitioners from the Summer Academy, the Caux Dialogue on Environment and Security and the Geneva Centre for Security Policy.

Who should attend

The Dialogue’s target audiences are environment and security professionals from the public, non-profit and private sectors:

  • civil servants
  • youth activists
  • community leaders
  • researchers
  • diplomats
  • military
  • private sector representatives
  • community leaders
  • NGOs
  • International organisations

to create the global cooperation that will be required to respond to the climate, land and security challenges of the 21st century!


Discover the report on a decade of Caux Dialogues: impact and recommendations!


CDE Massail Leela Channer


Plenary 1 (Open Panel): Navigating climate peril: what kind of leadership will it take?


When: Monday 26 July, 14:00 - 15:15 CEST

Chair: Ms Anna BRACH, Head of Human Security, Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP)


  • Dr Martin FRICK, Deputy to the Special Envoy for the UN Food Systems Summit 2021 at United Nations (video message)
  • Mr Mukhtar A. OGLE, Secretary, Strategic Initiatives Department of Cabinet Affairs Office in Executive Office of the President, Kenya
  • Major General MUNIRUZZAMAN (Retd), Chairman, Global Military Advisory Council on Climate Change (GMACCC) and President, Bangladesh Institute of Peace and Security Studies (BIPSS)


Plenary 2: From evidence to impact: advancing solutions for landscapes, livelihoods and peace


When: Tuesday, 27 July, 11:30 - 12:45 CEST

Chair: Dr Alan CHANNER, Initiatives for Land, Lives and Peace


  • Mr Steve KILLELEA, Founder & Executive Chairman, Institute of Economics and Peace
  • Dr Antje HERRBERG, Senior Mediation Advisor, European External Action Service
  • Mr Luc GNACADJA, Design 4 Sustainability, Past Executive Secretary of the UNCCD (2007-2013), Minister of Environment and Urban Development (Benin, 1999-2005)


Plenary 3: Empowering local solutions through climate finance


When: Wednesday 28 July, 14:00 - 15:15 CEST

Chair: Louise BROWN, Founding Director, Triple Capital, Namibia



CDE people laughing on stage Leela Channer


20 July - Workshop 1: Plastics & Single-use Consumption: Inspiring Systematic Change through Personal Transformation


For a long while single use and overconsumption have been seen as a completely normal way of living. As a result, we are now facing multiple environmental issues from a waste crisis and toxic  leakages into nature, to climate change. There is a solution to all of these issues and now is the time to implement it. We can start by reducing  overconsumption.

The main idea of this workshop is to rethink the concept of single use (of plastics in particular) through personal transformation. We will hear several stories about speakers’ own  path of tackling waste and about the search for systemic change. We will also present and discuss impactful solutions which can be implemented by all of us on a daily basis such as reusables, refillables, repairables, among others.

The workshop will have an artistic accompaniment and involve music and poetry, so be prepared to get inspired. Come and join us on a  journey to a bright and wasteless future!


Moderator: Sofia SYDORENKO, representative of Zero Waste Alliance Ukraine and Foundations for Freedom


  • Justine MAILLOT - Policy Coordinator at Rethink Plastic Alliance and Break Free From Plastic
  • Jack MCQUIBAN - Zero Waste Cities Programme Coordinator at Zero Waste Europe
  • Anna PONIKARCHUK - Co-Founder of the first zero waste shop in Ukraine, Ozero


When: Tuesday 20 July 2021 - 16:00 CEST (1.5 hours)




21 July - Workshop 2: Synergies in security: Soldiers, climate warriors and peacemakers

This workshop will bring together voices from the defence and security agencies in the global South with colleagues from NATO and other Northern bodies, academics and peacebuilding practitioners to explore ways in which positive dynamics in land restoration and community trust-building can provide a synergy with protective security.

They will bring to this their perspectives both on the opportunities which regeneration and trust-building bring, and the hazards that attend uncritical efforts to tackle one or other aspect of the challenge without bearing in mind its other dimensions. In this way we expect to generate lessons from each others’ experience, energy from each others’ enthusiasm, and hope from each others’ triumphs. 

“Hard” security is certainly hard to get right, and partnerships between defence agencies, peace activists and climate warriors may seem unlikely.  But this workshop is designed to explore our common objectives and the toolkits we can each bring to meet the challenge which climate change, violent conflict and environmental degradation pose – and the opportunities emerging from collaboration to reverse damaging spirals and create shared progress.

Moderator: Dr Peter RUNDELL, CBE FSS, Conflict and Strategy Advisor


  • Dr Camilla TOULMIN, Senior Fellow, IIED and author of several books including Climate Change in Africa
  • Dr Leena HOFFMANN, Chatham House, Senior Fellow at Evergreening Global Alliance
  • Dr Tobias IDE, Murdoch University, author of numerous articles including The Dark Side of Environmental Peacebuilding (2020)
  • Dr Olivia Lazard, Carnegie Europe


When: 21 July 2021, 11:30 -13:00 CEST




21 July - Workshop 3: Catalysing political and community-based solutions for land governance in West and Central Africa: a pathway to peace and prosperity


Organized in collaboration with the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA)

The nations of West and Central Africa face many inter-connected challenges: food insecurity, povery, environmental degradation, climate change, weak governance, violent extremism and armed conflict. These challenges affect both communities and states. 

Across a region where the vast majority of the population is dependent on rain-fed agriculture and pastoralism, one issue stands out: the governance of land and its link to security.

This interactive exchange was be based on concrete experiences of the cross-cutting dimensions of land governance in West and Central Africa. The intersection between land governance and food security, environmental degradation, climage resilience, transhumance, protected areas, natural resource extraction, resource competition, marginalisation and armed conflict, amongst others, was explored with the objective of stimulating fresh thinking, strengthening regional collaboration and contributing to generating policy shifts for a brighter future for the region.


Moderator: Luc GNACADJA, Founder and President of the think tank GPS-Dev (Governance & Policies for Sustainable Development); former Execytive Secretary of the UNCCD (2007 - 2013); former Minister of Environment and Urban Development (Benin, 1999-2005)

Co-organizers: Dr Alan CHANNER, Peacebuilding, Environment & Communications Specialist, and Carol MOTTET, Senior Advisor, Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA)


  • Boubacar BA, Director, Centre d'Analyse sur la Gouvernance et la Sécurité au Sahel/ONG Éveil - Mopti, Mali
  • Ousseyni KALILOU, Co-chair of the Forest Interest Group (FIG), Environmental Peacebuilding Association (EnPAX), Niger/USA
  • Salima MAHAMOUDOU (Niger), Research Associate, Global Restoration Initiative, World Resources Institute, Washington DC, US
  • Abdoulaye MOHAMADOU, Executive Secretary, Permanent Inter-State Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel - CILSS

When: Wednesday 21 July 2021, 14:00 - 16:00 CEST


You missed the event? Watch the replay in French here.





22 July - Workshop 4: Harnessing nature-based solutions to restore land and lives


The Sahel's harsh climate makes it prone to rapid degradation when new pressures, such as rapid population growth, deep poverty, uncertain land rights or conflicting customary and legal governance systems, start impacting the land and those who make their living from it - still most of the region’s population.

The perilous path these compounding pressures put the region on are well known: In addition to widespread food insecurity and rising outmigration, they have helped spread insurgencies in several countries that are drawing in outsiders’ armies.

And yet it is precisely because of these compounding pressures that a holistic approach to the region can make all the difference.

This workshop will explore how nature-based solutions such as agroforestry, grazing management and agroecology have transformed the fate of communities around Africa.

How do knowledge systems impact landscapes? What role does governance play? What can outsiders do to support the transformational processes? In short, what are the lessons the Sahel can glean from those experiences?


Moderator: Patrick WORMS, Senior Science Policy Advisor, CIFOR-ICRAF; Senior Fellow, Global Evergreening Alliance; President, European Agroforestry Federation


  • Natalie TOPA, Global Advisor for Regenerative Resilience and Circular Bioeconomy, Danish Refugee Council                                   
  • Sarah TOUMI, UNCCD GGW Accelerator                                 
  • Paul TAYLOR, Senior Fellow, Friends of Europe                    
  • Dennis GARRITY, Founder, Global Evergreening Alliance   


When : Thursday 22 July, 10:30 - 12:00 CEST




22 July - Workshop 5: Head, Hearts and Habits ( 3 hours in 2 parts)


We play different roles in life. There is a crowd within ourselves, sometimes constructive and otherwise. CDES invites you to learn about the technique of Life Balance Sheet and how best to utilise it for nurturing nature and fostering peace. The workshop's objective is to expand this concept within the theme of CDES 2021.
You can watch a two-minute video of the facilitator's defining success here.

Head, Hearts and Habits (3H) is a conscious effort to engage participants in realising their inner potential for addressing the triple planetary crisis through a hands-on experience structured process. The two-part workshop is a part of lifelong learning for amplifying good actions, knowing yourself, who is responsible for happiness and otherwise, what is your contribution towards ecological balance and a bit of self-counselling.
A video on creativity and sustainability organised last summer can be accessed here.
Moderator: Pinaki DASGUPTA
Facilitators: Dilip PATEL and Archana DUBEY
When: Thursday 22 July -  14:00 CEST (part I) and 17:00 CEST (part II)




23 July - Workshop 6: Regeneration through Innovation: blending technology and decentralised business models


How might we equip and empower local communities to become environmental stewards? Can we use technology and innovative financial instruments to enable global regeneration, while putting people at the centre? This panel will showcase innovative solutions that address the issues of climate change and ecosystem restoration.

With many solutions becoming available both in technology and finance sectors, it is crucially important that they empower people who are taking care of the world's soils, water and forests.

The speakers from impact investing, tech-driven start-ups and non-profit sectors will showcase their solutions that challenge conventional approaches to international development. The discussion will focus on people-centered design and how we can best create companies and organisations that benefit people and nature.

We welcome everyone's contribution and hope for active participation.  


Moderator: Dr. Lauren FLETCHER, co-founder Beta Earth Venture Studio,  Steering Group member of Initiatives of Land, Lives and Peace


Sonja BETSCHART, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of WeRoboticsa US/Swiss based non-profit organization
Sergei IVLIEV, Co-Founder of Vlinder, a blue carbon blockchain-driven company
Habiba ALI, CEO of Sosai Renewable Energies in Nigeria
When: Friday 23 July 2021 - 15:00 CEST (1.5 hours)




 27 July - Workshop 7: REGENERATE – From Soil to Soul to Economy


More than ever, it is obvious that our economy needs to be reimagined, reinvented, reborn – in a word: regenerated. REGENERATE starts with the soil. It borrows from the natural principles of regenerative farming to inspire decision-makers on how to move their organizations to a regenerative stage in tune with our living ecosystem.

REGENERATE connects courageous "imaginative" decision-makers and leaders with regenerative pioneers to dream and learn together. We believe that you are one of them. This is why we want to invite you to embark on a personal and collective workshop journey of exploring, living and experiencing the transition towards a regenerative economy. During this afternoon, we will invite you to listen to the stories of regenerative pioneers and to dialogue with peers.  During this afternoon, we will guide you through a curated and interactive workshop. We invite you to listen to regenerative pioneers that share their story and we will harvest the wisdom and learning from the collective experiences of all participants.




Regenerative Pioneers: 



  • Oswald KÖNIG, Social Innovator, Facilitator & Weaver
  • Theo FISCHER, Facilitator of Radical Change & regenerative wine-maker


When: Tuesday 27 July 2021 - 16:00 CEST (2 hours)




Photos: Leela Channer

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