New synthesis report: Financing Strategies for Integrated Landscapes Investments

Global environmental and social trends like climate change, ecosystem degradation or unemployment and poverty in rural areas are affecting stakeholders at all levels. Farmers and foresters in developing countries often lack access to financial and other inputs while investors are deterred from the many risks that seem to accompany investments in rural areas. These risks cannot be mitigated by taking action on the farm-, business- or supply-chain-level alone. Rather, they have to be dealt with at the landscape level, thinking about agricultural areas, infrastructure, human settlements and ecosystems in an integrated way. Public and civic sectors face difficulties in promoting landscape-wide approaches as they operate in sectoral silos and with overlapping national, regional and local regulations. Against this backdrop, Integrated Landscapes Management (ILM) provides the opportunity to private and public financial institutions to minimize risks by spatially targeting and harmonizing investments. A draft paper on integrated landscapes approaches to finance was first presented during the 2013 Global Landscapes Forum in Warsaw by the lead authors of the study and discussed with finance, land use and development experts. Click here to view the presentation.

Research Findings:

Integrated Landscapes Management approaches provide a framework for private and public sector entities to scale up finance for land use activities by looking beyond sectoral boundaries. Following a cross-sectoral approach that looks at investments in relation to their potential impact across the landscape also minimizes risks. Both public and private sources of capital need to be considered. The paper’s findings are based on a review of roughly 250 financial institutions and mechanisms that support multi-objective investments within a landscape context as well as 29 integrated landscape initiatives. The authors examine successes of and challenges to landscapes finance in three case studies in Kenya, Brazil and South Africa. These investigations point to a number of factors that can help scale up investments into Integrated Landscapes Management.  

Key recommendations:

  • Public finance should be utilized to reduce private sector risk, for example through risk guarantees, seed capital and catalytic functions
  • Existing instruments and frameworks such as REDD+ can be utilized to enable investments following an integrated landscapes approach
  • Financial mechanisms that bridge assets across landscapes need to be developed. In other words: finance should not only be attracted to landscapes, but also be better coordinated spatially. Money should, for example, not only flow into profitable agricultural projects but also support the ecosystems that provide goods and benefits to the whole landscape.

Click here for the full Synthesis Report The report was written by Seth Shames, Gabrielle Kissinger, Margot Hill Clarvis

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