Innovative Financing Solutions for Technical Support to Communities

Communities affected by agricultural, forestry, and other resource investments urgently need increased funding for legal and technical support. Such support can help communities with consultations, contract negotiations, grievances redress, and more. The private sector can help meet this financing gap by contributing to independently-administered basket funds for technical support. By receiving funds from various actors and then paying for community support, basket funds can help avoid rights violations and costly conflict.

See also: our blog for the Earth Institute: As Agribusiness Sustainability Initiatives Face Flak, Here’s How They Can Do Better (2020)

Innovative Financing Solutions for Community Support in the Context of Land Investments (2019)

This report presents a call to action to help communities secure the support they so crucially need. It explores options for tapping new funding sources for community support. These include: government marshaling of funding from companies and others; basket funds; market-based impact investments and social impact bonds; direct company funding; third party funding; and other solutions for increasing funding or reducing costs, including crowdfunding, generating profits from social enterprises, affordable user fees or in-kind services, contingency and uplift fees, and court-ordered fee shifting.

Download the report (38 pages)
Download the summary (4 pages)

See also our guest blog for The Elders: How can we support communities trying to protect their land and natural resources? (2019)

Submission regarding basket funds to Bonsucro Production Standard consultations (2020)

In July 2020, CCSI made a formal submission to Bonsucro, a certification scheme concerned with sustainable sugar cane production. CCSI’s submission focused on challenges associated with implementing, and auditing for compliance with, three aspects of Bonsucro’s draft standard: obtaining free, prior and informed consent (FPIC); implementing transparent and participatory impact assessment processes; and establishing accessible dispute resolution and grievance mechanisms. The submission proposed the establishment of a basket fund as a concrete solution to complement Bonsucro operators’ efforts to more effectively meet that Standard in practice.

See also: our blog for the Earth Institute: As Agribusiness Sustainability Initiatives Face Flak, Here’s How They Can Do Better (2020)

This work is part of a series of projects and activities, supported by UK aid from the UK government, looking at support gaps in the context of land investments.

CCSI is working to advance basket funds for community support in different contexts. Interested in participating? Contact us at ccsi@law.columbia.edu.