Collaborative landscape initiatives have demonstrated enormous potential to mobilize stakeholders across sectors, supporting them to work together toward shared objectives of landscape regeneration. This meets a wide range of human needs, economic goals and ecosystem objectives. However, implementing these partnerships is challenging. Perspectives, values and ways of working differ greatly among partners; in many cases there is a legacy of misunderstanding and distrust. Explicit strategies and tools are needed to overcome the resulting tendency for stalemate and conflict.
Tropenbos International works in landscapes around the world to support civil society organizations, including local communities, in their lobbying and advocacy efforts for effective governance and management of tropical forest resources. Within these landscapes, increased awareness and understanding of financing actors, investment flows, and their purposes and impacts in the landscape will assist CSOs and local communities to better understand change processes in the landscape and identify strategies to influence these processes. It also helps stakeholders identify and secure financial resources to support strategic projects and activities that are critical to sustainable landscape management.
EcoAgriculture Partners leads global coalitions to advance the study and practice of integrated landscape management, and has worked with more than 50 multi-stakeholder landscape partnerships around the world. Even when these partnerships succeeded in developing platforms for collaboration and effective landscape action plans, they had difficulty in obtaining the investments needed. Their Landscape Investment and Finance Toolkit (LIFT), developed together with the Dutch National Committee of IUCN (IUCN NL), helps partnerships address some critical elements of this gap: translate their action plan into a set of investable business models, and acquire the financial acumen needed to pitch successfully to investors.
Tropenbos International collaborated with IUCN NL and EcoAgriculture to test LIFT during its development. To further advance this work, Tropenbos International and EcoAgriculture partnered to develop the Landscape Assessment of Financial Flows (LAFF) methodology. This practical two-phase approach helps stakeholders identify local sources of finance for new investment ideas, find the current financial flows that are most in need of transformation, and better understand the elements of a landscape’s financial context that require support. During 2019 this tool will be piloted with the support of the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food and the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA).