Remaking a world in peril

Caux Dialogue on Environment and Security 2021

Salima Mahamoudou 21 July 2021 FDFA workshop CDES 2021

By Karina Cheah


The Caux Dialogue on Environment and Security (CDES) 2021 ran online from 20 July until 30 July, for the second consecutive year, comprising three open plenaries and seven workshops. This year’s discussions, in collaboration with the United Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP), the Africa Climate Change Fund of the African Development Bank, the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) and Triple Capital, centred on ‘Remaking a World in Peril: forging the collaboration for a secure and sustainable world’.

Almost 300 participants from each region of the world attended the 10 events, organized by the Initiatives for Land, Lives and Peace executive team. Discussions addressed climate change, plastic waste, oceans, conflict prevention, trustbuilding and land restoration, under the broader themes of sustainable living, environmental leadership and human security.

The open plenaries were carried out in partnership with the Summer Academy on Climate, Land and Security 2021 and co-organized with the GCSP and Triple Capital. (read the full report on the Summer Academy here)

One workshop, on 21 July, was held in French and organized in collaboration with the Peace and Human Rights Division of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA). (read the report here)

Speakers hailed from numerous organizations including the United Nations, the European Union, the Institute of Economics and Peace, the Bangladesh Institute of Peace and Security Studies, the World Resources Institute, the Rwanda Green Fund, Vlinder Climate, Beta Earth, the Rethink Plastic Alliance, the Global Evergreening Alliance and REGENERATE Forum.

The panelists drew many questions from a varied and engaged audience, generating exciting and thought-provoking conversations. CDES 2021 inspired hope for solutions and opened the door to possibilities for innovation from future leaders. New collaborations have been formed and the dialogues will continue to stimulate action and change.   




Plenary 1: Navigating Climate Peril: what kind of leadership will it take?



The message from this plenary, moderated by Anna Brach, was urgent: climate leadership is needed now. It will take a lot of work to achieve, as the discussion between our panelists established. Dr Martin Frick, Mukhtar Ogle and Major General Muniruzzaman (Retd.) highlighted that grassroots activists must be integrated into solutions and decision-making processes, and leadership in governments must be horizontally and vertically integrated for constant communication. Climate change is a complex problem and will require complex leadership structures and solutions. Rising young leaders are well equipped to meet the challenge.

When: Monday 26 July 2021

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



The spirit of Caux took centre stage in this plenary moderated by Alan Channer. It highlighted the strong need to empower individuals, create stories and build bridges between governments and communities for indigenous solutions to problems of peace and security.

Luc Gnacadja, Steve, Steve Killilea and Dr Antje Herrberg emphasized the importance of connecting environment and ‘positive peace’ with issues of migration, violence and food insecurity. Regenerating our societies to meet the sustainability challenges of the 21st century requires an understanding of the bigger systems they depend upon.

When: Tuesday, 27 July 2021

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



Moderator Louise Brown guided a discussion between Prof. Saleemul Huq, David Jackson and Teddy Mugabo, which highlighted a key missing piece in climate finance mechanisms, which are currently concentrated on central and global institutions.

There must be a means of getting resources to local levels which have the mandate, capacity and responsibility to address climate adaptation. There must also be mechanisms for holding all institutions accountable to climate adaptation, which will mark key changes in the way we live.

When: Wednesday 28 July 2021

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





Workshop 1: Plastics and Single-Use Consumption: inspiring systematic change through personal transformation



Three panelists shared their personal journeys in changing consumption practices and spoke about the importance of community values and education around waste management practices and sustainable development.

Key takeaways from the panel and breakout rooms included the importance of seeking accountability from polluters, the fact that every actor has a different drive for change and the need to have love and respect for everything surrounding us. The workshop was moderated by Sofia Sydorenko.

When: Tuesday 20 July 2021

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


Workshop 2: Synergies in Security: soldiers, climate warriors and peacemakers 



In this workshop, moderated by Peter Rundell, panelists spoke on the complex relations between land, community, conflict and climate change, particularly in West African countries.

Some key takeaways were the importance of building trust between the multitude of local actors, and the growing need to integrate climate concerns into security and land governance discussions. Participants committed to work together on these challenges in the coming months.

When: 21 July 2021

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


Workshop 3: Catalyzing Political and Community-based Solutions for Land Governance in West and Central Africa: a pathway to peace and prosperity



This interactive exchange, co-organized with the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affaires (FDFA), was 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.

Read the full report about this workshop here.


When: Wednesday 21 July 2021

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


Workshop 4: Harnessing Nature-based Solutions to Restore Land and Lives



‘[Conflicts are the] consequences, not causes of instability.’: The panelists of this workshop shared previous successes in implementing Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) and other nature-based regeneration in the Sahel region of Africa and how these successes can inspire future land restoration and conflict resolution. They stressed the importance of working with communities to transform indigenous knowledge into a vision of regeneration. The workshop was moderated by Patrick Worms.

When : Thursday 22 July 2021

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  


Workshop 5: Heads, Hearts and Habits  




Pinaki Dasgupta moderated a workshop on 3H (Heads, Hearts and Habits), whose overall philosophy  is to inspire and develop consciousness through a journey from inner self to outer space. Our thoughts and actions can be an anchor for peace and nature conservation.

The key message was the need to amplify peace from a personal practice to a global level, so as to enhance well-being and inspire nature conservation. Participants were exposed to the transformational leadership tool of the Life Balance Sheet and to creative, out-of-the-box thinking. Watch out for the full report coming up soon.

When: Thursday 22 July 2021

Moderator: Pinaki DASGUPTA

Facilitators: Dilip PATEL and Archana DUBEY


Workshop 6: Regeneration through Innovation: blending technology and decentralized business models



The question at the centre of this workshop was: ‘How do we develop solutions to include local communities and equip and empower them to be long-term environmental stewards?’ In a discussion moderated by Lauren Fletcher, the consensus response was that it is critical to take a needs-based approach. In understanding a community’s needs, it is easier and more efficient to work with local experts and discuss what technologies can be ‘married’ to the right solutions and the right environments.

When: Friday 23 July 2021

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


Workshop 7: REGENERATE: from soil to soul to economy

This workshop was dedicated to exploring the personal and collective transition toward a regenerative economy. Key takeaways included the importance of connecting business with the regenerative farming world and the need for a global effort to generate global impact. The final message was that our current system is not fit for purpose: instead of mending the old one, we should work together to create a new, regenerative one.

When: Tuesday 27 July 2021


Regenerative Pioneers: 


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



We would like to thank all participants and panelists for a wonderful and engaging conference, and we look forward to continuing these discussions throughout the year!


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