Working at scale

Each ISFL program focuses on an entire jurisdiction (state, province, or region) within a country, thereby enabling it to engage with multiple sectors affecting land use and have an impact on a relatively large area. The ISFL utilizes a landscape approach in each jurisdiction, which requires stakeholders to consider the trade-offs and synergies between different sectors that may compete in a jurisdiction for land use—such as forests, agriculture, energy, mining, and infrastructure. In doing so, solutions that serve multiple objectives and influence a variety of sectors can be identified. The goal of the landscape approach is to implement a development strategy that pursues environmental, social, and economic impacts at scale.

Leveraging Partnerships

In order to reduce GHG emissions from land use across an entire jurisdiction while simultaneously creating livelihood opportunities, the ISFL will partner with other public sector initiatives and private sector actors. Public-private partnerships (PPPs) are essential to mobilize capital and align objectives to create sustainable and scalable models for long-term improved land use.

Incentivizing results

By taking on the immense challenges of convening public and private actors and creating an enabling environment for sustainable development, countries can expect to generate results, including a reduction in GHG emissions. To incentivize countries to do so, the ISFL will provide significant results-based financing (RBF) over a 10–15 year period by purchasing Verified Emission Reductions (VERs).

This RBF is intended to create a positive feedback loop for successful interventions for sustainable land use in each ISFL program country. If effective, each jurisdiction can continue to generate results, sell VERs, and reinvest in successful interventions. Eventually, this model for sustainable development could be scaled up beyond each jurisdiction.

Building on experience 

The ISFL reflects the demand for progression from relatively small-scale pilot projects to a program aimed at promoting sustainable land use at scale. To work at scale effectively, the ISFL builds on the experiences and lessons learned through the BioCarbon Fund’s initial work piloting land use projects, REDD+ initiatives, and other sustainable forest and land use programs.

More specifically, the ISFL relies on the national REDD+ readiness work of the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) and the United Nations REDD Programme (UN-REDD), which have created essential institutional infrastructure for large-scale land use programs, including:

  • Accountable and transparent program management arrangements
  • Clear operating mandates
  • Multisector coordination mechanisms and cross-sector collaboration
  • Technical supervision capacity
  • Funds management capacity
  • Mechanisms for feedback and grievance redress.

This streamlined approach allows the ISFL to concentrate its efforts and activities at the jurisdictional level, adding value to existing platforms rather than duplicating existing processes.