In the real world
Key points for companies
Government entities have lead authority over land use planning, yet companies play an important role (see Annex 2 in the PDF version of this Guidance for further details). They may catalyze the public process if plans are absent or need updating, and they may participate in a process that the government has already initiated. Specifically, companies can:
External conditions that improve likelihood of success
- Stakeholders in the L/JI are willing to engage in the land use planning process based on shared interests in improving conservation while meeting economic needs.
- Government actors with land use authority demonstrate both commitment and capacity to use the resulting plan as the basis for regulation and enforcement.
- Land use experts are available who can identify and map priority conservation areas, and then integrate economic, environmental, and community perspectives into the plan.
- Local communities and smallholders have enough time and organizational capacity to participate through trusted leaders and chosen representatives.
- Land tenure had been clearly defined, and there is either an absence of, or a pathway for addressing, any conflicting land use rights.
- There is participation, or at least buy-in, by a critical mass of companies whose operations have significant impacts on land, ensuring accurate information and adequate support for the land use priorities and plan that emerges.
The business case for this intervention
- By working with relevant stakeholders to generate a land use plan, a company reduces risk of conflict over misaligned objectives, avoids potential duplication of activities and investments, and clarifies the government’s expectations of what companies can do to ensure their actions comply with the law.
- By aligning with the government and local stakeholders on permitted land uses, a company reduces risk that (in)action by others will undermine its own sustainability goals and targets.
- By embedding methodologies like the High Carbon Stock Approach or High Conservation Value assessments into landscape/jurisdiction-level land use plans, a company:
- Avoids the need to undertake conservation planning whenever it wishes to expand production or sourcing within the landscape/jurisdiction.
- Helps address deforestation on community-controlled forests both inside and outside the boundaries of its own managed farms or those from which it sources.