What are Integrated Landscape Investments?

Seth Shames
Seth Shames
Seth is a co-creator of the LIFTkit and Director of Policy & Market Innovations at EcoAgriculture Partners.

The specific investments needed to achieve sustainable landscapes will differ depending on a given landscape’s agro-ecological and socio-economic characteristics. The investment strategies will change depending on the extent of degradation, the ecosystem type (grasslands, wetlands, mangroves, etc.), the level of dependency of people on their natural resources and the market opportunities available.

Sustainable land use usually refers to action at the scale of a particular land management unit or stakeholder group—farms, production forests, protected areas. Integrated landscape management, by contrast, require sustainable strategies to be implemented in diverse land management units in a coordinated way to achieve a  diverse set of landscape goals. In the context of investment and finance this distinction can be significant as it calls for actors to evaluate, implement and monitor investments in a different way. Characteristics of landscape investments that explicitly consider interactions and inter-dependencies among land management units and investments, “integrated landscape investments,” are defined in the list below.

  • Contributes to multiple elements of landscape sustainability (production, ecosystems, biodiversity, social), as well as financial returns, and regularly monitors and reports on these;
  • Takes into account socio-ecological processes, spatial interactions and off-site impacts in the landscape in financial decisions and investment design;
  • Conforms with public land use and resource sustainability laws and rules;
  • Aligns with other investments in the landscape to realize ecosystem-wide benefits; and
  • Aligns with a Landscape Action Plan vision and strategy developed through multi-stakeholder dialogue and negotiation processes (where this exists).

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