Private Sector Engagement

Private actors—from subsistence farmers to global, multinational firms—have significant influence on the way land is used. The ISFL is working closely with the private sector to provide livelihood opportunities for communities in each jurisdiction and mobilize finance for critical investments. This engagement can take several forms, from collaborating on sustainability approaches, to blending finance in-country, to convening stakeholders to work toward complementary goals.  The ISFL’s BioCFplus Fund can provide funding directly to the IFC for advisory service projects in ISFL programs.

The ISFL partners with private sector actors through its programs and, more broadly, work alongside global forums of companies that have pledged to reduce their impact on tropical forests to help identify pathways to enact these commitments. The ISFL will explore opportunities to engage the private sector in the agriculture, energy, and finance sectors, among others, where that sector has a significant impact on landscapes within a jurisdiction.

Some recent examples of private sector engagment are:

In 2016, the ISFL secured a first-of-its-kind partnership with Nespresso and TechnoServe through the IFC. This partnership will provide $3 million in support to farmers to increase the uptake of sustainable coffee production practices. This landmark deal will be combined with a $3 million IFC loan to support smallholder coffee farmers and producer wet mill businesses in Ethiopia and Kenya. More important, this engagement has the dual benefits of reducing the pressure on forests for agricultural land and improving coffee quality and yields, which in turn improve farmers’ livelihoods. This innovative partnership is a critical piece of the ISFL’s engagement with the private sector on development and sustainability opportunities and the initiative hopes to replicate this model in the future in other ISFL countries .

In Colombia and Zambia, the ISFL has convened stakeholders to engage on sustainable development issues through workshops and roundtables focused on planning in each jurisdiction. The ISFL program in Colombia has supported workshops for civil society, the public and private sectors, and academia to discuss and explore a variety of approaches for sustainably developing the relatively undeveloped Orinoquía region.

In Zambia, the ISFL program interfaces with the Chipata Roundtable, a forum of civil society, private sector, and government representatives that discusses environmental threats to the Luangwa Valley ecosystem. In particular, the ISFL program is working with the COMPACI initiative—a commodity producer group comprised of Cargill, NWK Agribusiness, and Alliance— to explore opportunities for sustainable cotton production (and other commodities associated with deforestation) in the Eastern Province. These opportunities for engagement provide important input to program design by illuminating both the public and private sectors’ perspectives on opportunities and challenges in each jurisdiction.


Photo credit: Jessica Castillo Belmont, Colombia