This impact story was originally published by CDP here.
Landscape and jurisdictional approaches (LA/JA)1 offer an integrated, and sustainable way to address complex environmental, governance and social issues.
LA/JA take into account the interconnectedness of ecosystems, stakeholders, policies and finance at the landscape or jurisdictional level. They consider the broader context in which socio-environmental issues occur, acknowledging that what happens in one area can impact neighbouring regions. Many environmental challenges, such as deforestation and habitat and biodiversity loss, are best addressed at the landscape level. LA/JA involves protecting and sustainably managing entire ecosystems and its biodiversity, rather than isolated patches. This helps ensure the long-term health and resilience of ecosystems, communities, and businesses. Further, LA/JA can help streamline governance and decision-making processes. They encourage cooperation and coordination among a wide range of stakeholders, such as governments, indigenous peoples, local communities, and businesses, reducing conflicts and improving the effectiveness of environmental management. Involving diverse perspectives and interests can lead to more equitable and inclusive environmental management practices that ultimately produce positive socio-economic outcomes.
LA/JA can facilitate compliance with emerging deforestation-free supply chain regulations.
Deforestation-free supply chain regulations are on the rise in the EU, UK, and the US. As a result, businesses are obliged to implement due diligence practices to ensure that their imported and/or exported agricultural commodities and derived products are not sourced from land that has been legally and/or illegally deforested. To facilitate compliance, producing regions can implement important measures including, but not limited to, halting deforestation, enforcing environmental laws, clarifying land rights, strengthening transparency of land use data and increasing the accessibility of traceability solutions for supply chain participants.
LA/JA can support producing regions in meeting the requirements of the emerging deforestation-free supply chain regulations2. First, LA/JA can strengthen the enforcement of national environmental laws, as they encourage collaboration to identify and tackle deforestation drivers. Second, LA/JA that are supported by public authorities and sourcing companies can clarify land rights. Third, LA/JA can facilitate collaboration between sourcing companies, farmers and intermediaries that will enhance accessibility of data and traceability solutions across supply chains.
Corporate recognition of LA/JA is increasing, but to continue seeing an increase in engagement policymakers must support the development and implementation of landscape and jurisdictional initiatives.
CDP data shows that corporate engagement in landscape and jurisdictional initiatives is expanding rapidly. In 2022, CDP saw a fourfold increase of corporate disclosures3. Initiatives are present on most continents but heavily concentrated in Brazil and Indonesia. In parallel, important nature frameworks are highlighting LA/JA as a viable tool to ensure sustainable business operations. When setting land targets under the Science Based Targets Network (SBTN), companies are now requested to engage in landscape and jurisdictional initiatives. In its recently published Guidance on engagement with IPLCs and affected stakeholders, the Taskforce for Nature-related Financial Disclosure (TNFD) describes LA as a central mechanism to facilitate multi-stakeholder collaboration4. Leadership by policymakers is critical to maintain and further strengthen this growing recognition of LA/JA in the corporate world.
The global policy environment is impairing the recognition of LA/JA.
CDPs Global LA/JA Policy Report shows that global environmental agreements insufficiently recognize the value of LA/JA. This translates ultimately into these initiatives being left out of national policies. On top of this, policies fall short in helping standardize LA/JA. Furthermore, policymakers appear to require more knowledge on the enabling environment/incentives for private sector engagement to facilitate public-private partnerships.
There are shortcomings in the design of landscape and jurisdictional initiatives, including stakeholder engagement, governance, progress frameworks, financing, and monitoring systems.
According to regional case studies from Brazil and Indonesia, initiatives can suffer from:
- Differences in decision-making power that hamper the equal participation of key stakeholders;
- Continuously changing governmental engagement that creates less clear and transparent operating procedures of the program;
- A lack of comprehensive data and outdated or frequently changing goals and timebound targets;
- A lack of monitoring and evaluation platforms, as well as insufficient data impairing the ability to assess performance improvements in the landscape; and
- Insufficient finance due to low visibility, lack of data, legal uncertainty, and an insufficient public financial support.
Public policymakers play a crucial role to help overcome these challenges, strengthening the recognition of LA/JA and accelerating the implementation of landscape and jurisdictional initiatives.
This can be done by considering the following four policy recommendations to accelerate the adoption of LA/JA:
1. Developing integrated policy frameworks that consider enshrining jurisdictional initiatives as laws to help ensure programs will remain in place in case of political changes. The development of this integrated policy framework should be driven by national and sub-national policymakers and based on the cooperation from all stakeholders.
2. Ensuring landscape and jurisdictional initiatives have a digital monitoring and evaluation platform in place. This brings transparency when highlighting principles, criteria, and indicators for assessing practices and impacts related to a transition to a sustainable development model on a given territory. It also keeps the government accountable for the collective goals established and provide investors, the private sector and other relevant stakeholder with up-to-date data for financial decision-making.
3. Facilitating access or making available sources of additional finance and connecting projects with economic and financial mechanisms. Economic and financial mechanisms can range from the adoption of an ecological tax to transfer more cash to municipalities with good environmental performance to the development of REDD+ programs or other payment for environmental services structured by law.
4. Putting special emphasis throughout the design and implementation of landscape and jurisdictional initiatives on strengthening the inclusion of less influential groups in the decision-making process. Sub-national governments have hereby an important responsibility to allow achieving the sustainable development indicators and macro-objectives of the jurisdictional initiative.
CDP’s data empowers policymakers to design landscape and jurisdictional initiatives in ways that enhance private sector engagement and connect initiatives with market interest in the development of a sustainable and resilient economy.
CDP’s disclosure mechanism provides a reporting platform for businesses, states, and regions to disclose on initiatives in a uniform and standardized way. The resulting data helps to track LA/JA global progress, trends, and enables policymakers and private sector stakeholders to gain a clearer picture of the driving factors and opportunities behind LA/JA. This will help unlock funding opportunities with the private sector through demonstrating leadership and harmonizing actions with companies. CDP also supports the pipeline of landscape and jurisdictional initiatives by encouraging capital markets to drive disclosure and incentivizing companies and sub-national governments to credibly engage in initiatives.
1. Note, this blog refers to landscape and jurisdictional ‘approaches’ as a strategy that a government and/or company may take to meet its nature commitments, while landscape and jurisdictional ‘initiatives’ comprise on-the-ground programs where implementation occurs.