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Earth Institute Research Projects

Innovative Financing Solutions for Legal and Technical Support Communities

Lead PI:

Unit Affiliation: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI)

Unknown start date - Ongoing
Active
Project Type:

DESCRIPTION: Communities affected by agricultural, forestry, and other resource investments urgently need increased funding for legal and technical support. Without support, communities risk losing access to critical land and resources, suffering human rights violations, or missing opportunities to benefit from investments. A lack of community support can also lead to conflict and challenges that are damaging for companies and host governments.

OUTCOMES: Donors and support providers have found ways to finance support for communities, but such efforts can only extend so far. Promising new opportunities exist for filling the financing gap, yet they will require sustained efforts by a range of actors. CCSI’s first report presents an overview of different options for tapping new funding sources for community support; it is a call to action to help communities secure the support they so crucially need.

The overview report explores the following financing solutions:

Government marshaling of funding from companies and others, through taxes, fees, and penalties
Basket funds, operated by independent, trusted entities and funded by contributions from multiple actors
Market-based impact investments and social impact bonds
Direct company funding
Third party funding
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.
The overview report also presents overarching considerations for developing a new financing initiative. These include: the initiative’s likely cost, efficiency and financial sustainability, political complexity and obstacles, political economy implications, the importance of strong governance mechanisms, and the logistics required to link funding, communities and support providers.

EXTERNAL COLLABORATORS:

UK Department for International Development

KEYWORDS

financing agriculture funding forestry legal support marshaling human rights

THEMES

Sustainable living