Last week’s UN climate change report issued a “code red for humanity.” We are very proud to be working on the climate crisis in partnership with 1000 Landscapes for 1 Billion People, a coalition of major environmental NGOs and UNDP. We see a major opportunity to focus on a neglected part of the climate response puzzle: supporting local leaders at the district/county/state/province levels (aka landscapes) with knowledge, tools and funding. Read on to hear about our Terraso project, with this update from Derek Caelin, who is Tech Matters’ Product Manager for Terraso.

Welcome to Terraso

written by Derek Caelin | April 12, 2021

Transitioning to a green, sustainable world is the challenge of our times. It is a challenge that requires bringing together representatives from smallholder farms, local governments, indigenous landholders, civil society, and businesses large and small. Local landscape leaders need tools to help them conserve and develop their land in a way that protects the environment and improves the quality of life of the people who depend on it. That’s why we’re building Terraso, a collection of open source applications and services to help landscapes get the knowledge, tools, and funding they need to regenerate the world they want.

Today we launched terraso.org to share our progress as we develop Terraso. You can look forward to periodic updates on the design, to posts by our partners across the technology, conservation, and development sectors, and to explanations of the things we’re learning as we work with our co-design landscapes. Once Terraso goes live, you’ll be able to create an account and get all the benefits the platform has to offer. (Check out our vision for Terraso to learn more about why and how we want to build the tool.)

As I write this post, we’re building our product roadmap so that everyone — our team, our partners, and our users — can see what we’re working on and what we expect to accomplish. We’ve developed a list of products we think address the challenges landscapes have described, and we’re prioritizing these products based on the needs expressed by our partners and our ability to deliver value through our own work and that of our technology partners.

We encourage you to read more about the details of our design process, but here’s the short version: we’re merging the challenges landscapes face — such as lack of access to high-resolution maps, lack of tools for field-based data collection and sharing, and lack of funding for converting to ecologically sustainable practices — with a deep library of tools, both technological and non-technological. We’re part of the 1000 Landscapes for 1 Billion People (1000L) initiative, so we work with a broad array of conservation actors to ground our methods in modern practices. This means that underpinning all of our work is the 1000L Integrated Landscape Management (ILM) framework which guides people living in an ecosystem to join together, agree upon a common vision, and work towards it, learning from their work and each other as they go.

We don’t want to reinvent existing products with Terraso; we expect to support and link together existing open source and public projects working towards the same goal, benefiting developers and conservation creators and making something greater than the sum of its parts.
Whether you are a landscape leader looking for resources, a supporter of landscapes seeking to better aid the landscape you care about, or a technology creator looking to collaborate, subscribe to get Terraso email updates and join us on this journey!

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