Making landscape finance more inclusive

June 7, 2018

A dwelling sits in the middle of an oil palm plantation in East Kalimantan, Indonesia. Photo by N. Sujana/CIFOR

A new initiative aims to share issues and best practice for increasing inclusive, responsible finance that promotes sustainable landscape restoration and management. 

To this end, the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA), along with two of its strategic partner institutions, Tropenbos International (TBI) and the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), are launching a new article series and online platform on inclusive finance.

Forests and farmland, land use and landscapes are the basis of much of the global economy. And they are even more important to those who live in them and live off them. But ever-increasing levels of external investment are making huge impacts — positive and negative.

So to shift the balance in favor of beneficial outcomes, global attention is now focusing on sustainable business models that include more responsible finance, and that is inclusive of men, women and youth in local communities and indigenous peoples.

This complex topic needs to be addressed urgently, and strategically. Different actors and sectors hold pieces of the puzzle, but many are not automatically connected to each other or to wider networks. The overriding question is “How can investing in sustainable land use and land management be made more inclusive of smallholder and community needs while remaining attractive to investors?”

Whether public or private – governments, corporates, banks, smallholders, communities, NGOs – all see the need for common understanding and collaboration, and there are many valuable and innovative experiences and insights that others would do well to learn from.

But broad debate appears constrained by a lack of mutually respected platforms for presenting and discussing key issues leading to shared strategies and sustainable solutions at the scales needed, available to all.

The past few years have seen a number of high-level discussion forums, and the relevant players are learning from international to grassroots levels. A new online initiative on foreststreesagroforestry.org and tropenbos.org will contribute to sharing innovative thinking and joint learning, facilitating and strengthening networks and bridge-building between actors beyond the usual sectoral boundaries.

Beginning in June 2018, it will comprise a six-month series of interviews with thought-leaders in different sectors. Along with parallel reviews and studies, these interviews will guide the development of a global online consultation on inclusive landscape finance in early 2019.

Key individuals will be invited to contribute to the article series, but the platform is also open to receiving contributions from those involved in inclusive finance, in one of the four main sectors: public, finance, corporate and community. For more information, download the flyer for this initiative.

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