Different land users in a region often rely on the same land, water and forest resources. Decisions made to increase production in a single sector without effective coordination with other users are likely to have negative impacts on the overall availability of resources. With a growing pressure on natural resources, there is a real danger of depletion and deforestation. In order to mitigate this risk, IDH has developed its Production, Protection & Inclusion approach to invest in sustainable landscape management.
Production: doing more with less
The growth of commodity production in developing economies is mainly focused on expansion of productive area, rather than increasing the productivity on existing land. In order to break this cycle of expanding agriculture into forests and other valuable nature, investments need to be orchestrated in land use intensification to protect the forest and peat land of high conservation value and high carbon stocks.
Training farmers in better land use through more productive techniques and supplying them with better inputs (fertilizer and other agrochemicals) will increase production on existing land and will improve the yields and thus incomes of the (often smallholder) farmers. Read more about Service Delivery Models.
For example in our palm oil program we provide orchestrated services to smallholder farmers in Indonesia and Malaysia in order to (e.g.) intensify land use.
Protection and Inclusion: Public Private Partnerships
However, experiences with land use intensification show that it often leads to increased deforestation because better incomes attract newcomers to a region.
Therefore intensified land use needs to go hand in hand with building coalitions of businesses and smallholders in a specific region together with local authorities, communities and NGOs in effective and balanced public-private partnerships. A basic level of public governance is needed to provide control for nature protection, land and customary rights, spatial planning, and equitable benefit sharing. In order for such a public private partnership to be effective, there must be an interest (or business case) for both civil society, communities, farmers, supply chain companies and government to manage competing land-use interests and create a shared and balanced landscape governance. For example in our landscape program in the Mato Grosso, we are building such a coalition, jointly with the Mato Grosso Governors office.
Independent and transparent monitoring of the Production, Protection and Inclusion performance in the landscape is crucial for credibility on environmental, social and economic key performance indicators. And it allows for changing and improving the approach if monitoring shows the PPI does not stop depletion and/or deforestation.
Leveraging private interests
Land use intensification, monitoring and controlling, measuring impact and bringing together public private partnerships need large scale investments. International businesses that have made zero deforestation commitments have a vested interest in ensuring their supply of palm oil, cocoa, tea, beef, timber or soy does not go to the expensive of forests. Consumer Goods Forum companies have made firm commitments to that end. They are likely to invest in sustainable landscape management to conserve the area they are sourcing from.
IDH can add public funding, but that will still be not enough to roll a Production, Protection and Inclusion strategy out on a large scale. And interventions dependent on public funding are not very sustainable in the long run. More investments need to be attracted through derisking investments of financial institutions. Read more about Innovative Finance.
Once a region is sustainably managed through a PPI approach with new business models that protect forests/peat land and water resources, buyers and market players can recognize sustainable commodity produce through verified sourcing systems, enabling them to live up to corporate commitments on zero net deforestation. Our palm oil, timber and soy programs, aim to boost responsible demand from verified sourcing areas in Brazil, Liberia and Indonesia.
IDH’s roles in a PPI approach are:
There are two kinds of companies: those that sell sustainable products... and those that will...