Our pathway to change is grounded in the premise that the low-emission rural development path will prevail when broadly inclusive development discussions are furnished with clear, reliable, information-rich scenarios of the principle options and their implications for key stakeholders. Our strategy has four main approaches: consensus-building; developing local governance conditions; conducting research and analysis driven by the environmental and socioeconomic challenges faced by tropical jurisdictions; and aligning policy, markets, and finance in support of low-emission rural development.
Alliances and consensus building are fundamental to how we work. Currently, actors instrumental to changing the dominant model of rural development—governments, financial institutions, large- and small-scale farmers, indigenous peoples and traditional communities, and civil society—typically hold different and conflicting interests and have little or no tradition of collaboration. We seek to create alignment around a shared agenda for an alternative development model in which agricultural production grows, while the destruction of native ecosystems upon which communities depend is slowed, stopped, and then reversed.
A central element of our strategy involves developing local governance conditions that discourage destructive, opportunistic exploitation of forests and fisheries and encourage sustainable land use and resource management. At the local level, we work to strengthen community capacity to develop and monitor regulations. At municipal and regional scales, we work with government agencies, producers, and civil socity to develop policies for sustainable land and resource use. At the global scale, we work with formal networks to disseminate knowledge and foster mutual support.
We believe that policy making for progressive social and environmental change is rooted in rigorously established evidence. To that end, we conduct research and analysis driven by the environmental and socioeconomic challenges tropical nations face. Because we know that not all decision-makers have access to important evidence even when it exists, we also work to build awareness and understanding of available information among all actor groups to facilitate better decision-making at all levels.
We seize opportunities to align policies, market forces, and finance to achieve the sustainable management of natural resources before they are depleted. One of the biggest opportunities to achieve this alignment is to work at the scale of entire jurisdictions – counties, states, or the entire nation – so that public and private approaches to sustainable development can work in synergy to foster sustainable development.