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Financial System for ILM graphic

Scaling Up Investment & Finance for Integrated Landscape Management: Challenges & Innovations

A White Paper from the Landscapes for People, Food and Nature Initiative

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Date

December 3, 2015

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Short Summary

To achieve the SDGs, new models of investment and finance are needed that not only incentivize the scaling up of investment in sustainable agriculture and land management, but do so in strategic ways that contribute to the inter-related goals and effectively manage the competition and interdependencies for natural resources and ecosystem services among the Goals and among land users. This paper analyzes a number of those new models, and proposes actions that can be taken to improve the financial picture for sustainable development.

Financial System for ILM graphic

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Integrated Landscape Management and the SDGs | Landscapes for People, Food, and Nature

The United Nations’ adoption of Transforming Our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which includes 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) with 169 targets, presents a monumental opportunity to the global community to improve human well-being and equality while also conserving Earth’s natural resources and the vital ecological functions on which we all depend. But agreement on the goals is just the first step.

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Summary

To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) additional investment in water and watershed management, soil health, sustainable sources of energy and ecosystem restoration will be required. New models of investment and finance are needed that not only incentivize the scaling up of investment in sustainable agriculture and land management, but do so in strategic ways that contribute to the inter-related SDGs and effectively manage the competition and interdependencies for natural resources and ecosystem services among the Goals and among land users. These resource management approaches are called integrated landscape management (ILM).

Social and Financial Motivations for Integrated Investment

Climate change, drought, and increasing demand for food and natural resources are making access to energy and raw materials more costly for land-based enterprises, from small farmers to large agribusiness. At the same time, improved global transparency and hyperconnectivity are increasing the risks for investors who are perceived as ignoring environmental and social sustainability. In many cases, these risks cannot be mitigated solely through on-farm management or supply chain programs (the current focus of most efforts), and must be dealt with at the landscape scale. This
means that a single private sector investor cannot mitigate those risks alone.

Key challenges for financing integrated landscape investments

  • Incorporating landscape criteria into investment decision-making.
  • Investment risks that are unique to ILM compared to traditional land-based investments.
  • Investors and financiers’ effective engagement with landscape partnerships.
  • Strategically linking financial flows within landscapes.
  • Monitoring multiple outcomes at a landscape scale.

Recommendations to advance investment and finance for ILM

  1. Design standards and monitoring systems for integrated landscape investments.
  2. Establish landscape investment incubators.
  3. Establish brokerage services for integrated landscape deals.
  4. Incorporate integrated landscape principles into public financing.
  5. Create frameworks for financing ILM within national SDG and green growth strategies.

Towards a Strategy for Financing Integrated Landscape Investment

Financial System for ILM graphic

This figure illustrates how a strategy for financing integrated landscape investment might look. It includes the roles of financiers, a landscape investment facilitator, a multistakeholder platform, a landscape investment fund as well as potential asset and enabling investments.

Related Links

Discussion Paper on ‘Sustainable financing for Forest and Landscape Restoration: opportunities, challenges, and the way forward’ | Global Mechanism

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