SECO’s Engagement in Sustainable Landscape Approaches: Beyond a Single Crop Focus
This position paper aims to build a common understanding of the sustainable landscape approach as it pertains to the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and its partners. Recognising the evolving nature of the approach, the living document starts with a broad definition of the sustainable landscape approach, unpacking building blocks that include joint agreements by relevant stakeholders in the landscape.
The paper went on to discuss key elements for success in implementing landscape approaches, including jurisdictional buy in and support by the local authorities, cross-company collaboration and buy in to invest in the medium to long term beyond their supply chains, and multiple sources of financing from public and private sources. Other success factors are credible measurement evaluation and learning frameworks, multi-commodity focus, and effective transparent governance systems among other elements.
As a public donor, SECO sees its role as a facilitator with support focused on establishing the necessary processes, structures, and inclusion of stakeholders within the landscape initiative. Typical areas for SECO financing include the strengthening of the local governance system or the establishment of monitoring, evaluation and learning frameworks, which are often less attractive for the private sector to support.
A number of notable opportunities and risks are flagged briefly in the position paper, which also provides links to more information on SECO’s current engagement in the sustainable landscape approach such as the Swiss Platform for Sustainable Cocoa SWISSCO and the Colombia+Competitiva. SECO has also announced in February 2023 that it will support 10 districts in Indonesia under four landscape initiatives.