January 23, 2015

“Shallow” private-sector engagement a major concern for integrated landscape initiatives

Daisy Ouya, World Agroforestry Centre

Editor’s note: This post originally appeared on the World Agroforestry Centre’s Agroforestry World Blog. It discusses one key emerging finding of the Landscapes for People, Food and Nature Initiative’s Continental Review series of studies regarding how involved, or not involved, businesses are in integrated landscape initiatives. The Initiative has also worked to illuminate the key reasons why businesses should be involved in these initiatives. We encourage you to explore that work as well as the full findings of the Continental Reviews, on this site.

Integrated landscape initiatives in Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa are investing heavily in institutional planning and coordination, but they have had mixed results engaging different stakeholder groups, especially the private sector. This key stakeholder group was almost always missing from a selection of landscape initiatives surveyed recently.

“Incomplete” or “shallow” stakeholder engagement was the most frequently reported challenge by the nearly two hundred landscape initiatives from 54 countries (33 African and 21 from LAC region) that participated in the study. African initiatives were the most affected.

According the respondents, private-sector stakeholder groups representing agribusinesses and extractive industries (e.g. timber, oil and gas) rarely participated in their initiatives; they were involved in less than 10% of the initiatives in Africa and around 22% in the Latin America and Caribbean region.

Women and landless people

On the other hand, local farmer groups or producer associations were the most active stakeholder group in the landscape initiatives, participating in over 80% of the surveyed initiatives. Local government entities, extension agents, and local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) were equally active, and were involved in more than 70% of the initiatives.

Among the Latin America and Caribbean initiatives, women and landless people were another weakly engaged stakeholder group: “They were often involved in implementation but rarely in the design of initiatives.”

The chapter with these findings is part of a new World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) publication, Climate-Smart Landscapes: Multifunctionality in Practice. The volume brings together, for the first time, original research and syntheses on landscape approaches to climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Collaborators in the survey’s design were EcoAgriculture Partners, World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), Rainforest Alliance, Bioversity International,Conservation International, Cornell University, and the Landscapes for People Food and Nature Initiative.

“Landscape initiatives have proliferated in recent years, as a result of converging demands for landscape multifunctionality, and climate change,” says Abigail Hart, the article’s lead author and project manager of research with Cornell University’s Ecoagriculture Working Group. “However, there has been no systematic, empirical characterization of landscape initiatives to learn about their objectives, activities and outcomes.”

Heterogeneous humid tropical landscape of Sumatra, Indonesia.

Heterogeneous humid tropical landscape of Sumatra, Indonesia. Photo By Degi Harja Asmara/World Agroforestry Centre

Continue reading on the Agroforestry World Blog.

Read More

Integrated landscape management for agriculture, rural livelihoods, and ecosystem conservation: An assessment of experience from Latin America and the Caribbean

Integrated Landscape Initiatives for African Agriculture, Development, and Conservation: A Region-Wide Assessment


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