LDN Fund and TAF lessons on maximizing impacts while minimizing risks on post-investment projects
Landscape approaches are often needed to help create stronger farmer and community links, develop clear and agreed-upon land-use plans (following FPIC/participatory approaches), and identify opportunities to maximize impact, especially concerning restoration and conservation of land. Most projects exhibited some degree of landscape- type approach when selecting planting areas.
All projects have a strong inclusion component, partnering with landowners (smallholders, communities etc.) in mutually beneficial relationships, following stakeholder engagement and buy-in procedures from day one. For example, Komaza partners with smallholder farmers throughout Kenya who receive inputs and training to plant and manage trees and receive a fair price at harvest. In another example, farmers in the Café Selva Norte project in Peru, that are members of the cooperatives invested in, are supported to transition to coffee-based agroforestry systems on their land providing income diversification benefits.
Tracking impact and using data plays a key role in reducing risks, driving business ambitions, and maximizing positive impacts. For example, all LDN Fund investees will be tracking their contribution to LDN, allowing them to not only report on progress and comply with environmental and social action plans, but it also enables them to practice adaptive management, and, where possible, optimize positive environmental, social, and financial returns resulting from restoring land.
Carbon markets as a form of payment for ecosystem services are picking up, as are a range of tools and approaches to demonstrate social and biodiversity co-benefits (e.g., Climate Community and Biodiversity certification and the IUCN standard for Nature-based Solutions). This presents new revenue options and can stabilize the cash-flow of agriculture/forestry enterprises. This trend is demonstrated by many LDN Fund projects now looking at how to value their carbon benefits and share those benefits with farmers and local communities.