10 June 2015. London. SciDev. Science Could Spur Growth in Sustainable Industry. Investment bankers and fund managers met with agriculture and forestry researchers, representatives from advocacy groups and government agencies at the Global Landscapes Forum: The Investment Case.
Expert Clusters 1 – Removing roadblocks (6 parallel sessions)
Expert Clusters 2 – Scaling up solutions (4 parallel sessions)
Closing Plenary – Towards a roadmap for integrated landscape investments
CIFOR organised the event with partners including the World Bank, US charity The Nature Conservancy and investment bank Credit Suisse. The organisers now aim to draw up a five- to ten-year road map for creating global funds for sustainable spending on landscapes that bring financial, social and environmental returns.
This is due to be presented at the next Global Landscapes Forum alongside the UN’s COP 21 climate conference in Paris, France, in December 2015.
Advocates of a “landscapes” approach are looking for ways to integrate historically disparate expert communities, particularly forestry and agriculture. By orienting strategies and programs around the landscape as a whole — rather than around certain individual features such as forests, farms or carbon sinks — practitioners hope they can arrive at some clearer descriptions and indicators for what “sustainable development” looks like at a larger scale.
“By bridging these boundaries and opening up the conversation you will also find new solutions that you wouldn’t find in the separate, more isolated situation,” Peter Holmgren, director general of the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR)
CIFOR, which has convened the first two editions of the Global Landscapes Forum, sees the platform as an opportunity to find common ground that establishes a cohesive community of participants from environment, development and finance backgrounds.
CIFOR is in the process of assembling a new “Landscapes Fund,” which would aggregate a variety of small loans to farm and forestry projects that meet some common land-use improvement criteria and allow private investors to purchase — and, in theory, profit from — bonds that support those projects.
“Our private sector clients — even our public sector clients — very often find that engagement with communities, with smallholders, is the most difficult part of developing a bankable project,” Rahill said at the forum. “That whole social dimension is incredibly important as we look at expanding investments in landscapes.” Bilal Rahill, World Bank’s director of the environment and natural resources global practice
money to those who need it most.
“It may be romantic to see a half-fed ox pulling a 50cm piece of wood in the countryside: that’s a poverty story that won’t go away if we don’t make it go away. The farmer has no capability, no access to finance, no collateral, no education or health benefits to make that change. I keep meeting financiers who tell me they do not know where to put their capital. “I don’t get it. The projects are there. We shouldn’t even be sitting here talking about it. The amount of projects that are credible, bankable projects, sitting in the area that I’m in!”
Bernard Giraud, a former senior sustainability advisor for the food company Danone (now head of Livelihoods Venture, an organisation that manages investment funds on behalf of corporations intent on making their supply chains more sustainable – all the way to the farm level) gave the example of a sustainable dairy farm project financed by the Livelihoods Fund for Family Farming, set up with food company Mars in February. The project involves about 30,000 farmers in Kenya who produce milk whilst trying to keep the impact on the land to a minimum. The milk is then processed locally to make products for Danone.
In his keynote address to the Global Landscape Forum on investment in London, James Cameron, Chairman of the Overseas Development Institute and an investor in sustainable farming in Tanzania himself, said the facts – “reason” – were not enough to achieve transformative change in land use. Language that resonates with all stakholders – “love” – and ways to make it heard – “power” – are just as important, he says.
This presentation by SUCAFINA and Kahawatu was given at a session titled “Sustainable Coffee in Burundi- What can private and private resources achieve together?” at the Global Landscapes Forum: The Investment Case on June 10, 2015.