The Catalyzing and Learning through Private Sector Engagement for Biodiversity Conservation (CAL-PSE) is a unique, new partnership approach between USAID and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) (now part of the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT). The approach has been envisioned and funded by USAID/Brazil as part of their Private Sector Engagement (PSE) strategy under their 10-year (2014-2024) biodiversity conservation program with the Government of Brazil, the Partnerships for the Conservation of Amazon Biodiversity (PCAB).
CAL-PSE is being implemented through a co-creation and co-investing approach by CIAT along with a network of local partners and private sector actors in Brazil. By mobilizing private sector companies’ active participation in the implementation of sustainable development activities and financing, the program’s goal is to transform the way we approach conservation in the Brazilian Amazon, while improving the wellbeing of indigenous people and local communities. To that end, CAL-PSE is helping facilitate the Partnership Platform for the Amazon, a private sector-led platform, and other innovative PSE partnerships that are promoting and co-investing in sustainable business models, as well as economic opportunities that strengthen the sustainable production and commercialization of local products, hence, giving economic value to activities that conserve healthy forests, habitats, and natural resources. Likewise, CAL-PSE specifically supports monitoring, evaluation and learning tools, products and services that help USAID, CIAT, and our shared PSE networks be accountable, make informed decisions, manage adaptively, communicate learning and impact, which in turn mobilize investments and commitments.
By mobilizing private sector companies’ active participation in the implementation of sustainable development activities and financing, the program’s goal is to transform the way we approach conservation in the Brazilian Amazon, while improving the well-being of local communities. Through CAL-PSE, CIAT and USAID jointly facilitate the Partnership Platform for the Amazon (PPA), a private sector-led platform, and other innovative PSE partnerships that are promoting and co-investing in sustainable business models, as well as economic opportunities that strengthen the sustainable production and commercialization of local products, hence giving economic value to activities that conserve healthy forests, habitats, and natural resources. Over time, legally and financially viable sustainable livelihoods and products are expected to displace illegal and unsustainable ones that cause deforestation and biodiversity loss.
Partnership Platform for the Amazon (PPA): The PPA is an organic, rapidly growing collective action platform led by private sector companies whose aim is to develop and identify innovative solutions for sustainable development and conservation of the Amazon’s biodiversity, forests, and natural resources. The Platform aims to leverage investments, share experiences and best practices, foster partnerships, and support other private sector partners in developing innovative solutions. Over 30 national and international companies from diverse sectors are PPA members, with new members joining frequently. It functions as the umbrella for several other co-creation, co-investment PSE initiatives that USAID/Brazil co-invests in. Currently, the PPA has four thematic working groups, called Grupos Temáticos (GTs) in Portuguese:
Programa Territorios Sustentaveis (PTS) (Sustainable Territories Program): Its objective is to develop a regional strategy for sustainable development in collaboration with the public and private sectors, civil society, and communities, to improve the economy and environmental management, contributing to the conservation of biodiversity and social welfare, while providing a model of public-private partnerships to reduce dependence on the mining region.
“Our Forest, Our Home” (OFOH) Project: The project aims to strengthen the capacity of nine (9) indigenous territories of the Brazilian Amazon to develop productive initiatives that align forest conservation efforts and the strengthening of culture. The project supports socio-biodiversity value chains using sustainable forest management with non-timber forest products combined with capacity building and governance structures under three components of applicability:
Guaraná de Maués Alliance (AGM): In the second phase, AGM aims to promote sustainability in the productive sector of Guaraná and its role in land planning for the municipality of Maués “Maués dos sonhos“. This municipality, located in the Brazilian Amazon, is known nationally and worldwide for its culture of production and marketing of guarana. AGM develops concrete actions in the integrated governance of the territory and environmental actions in the municipality through working groups in the fields of education, sustainable production, tourism, and socio-culture, with an impact on 200 riverside communities and 40 indigenous communities.
Althelia Biodiversity Fund (ABF): ABF Brazil is a Brazilian impact investment fund (Fundo de Investimento em Participações – FIP), with Mirova Natural Capital as the investment advisor operating under its brand name, Althelia Funds, and Vox Capital as the fund administrator. The fund intends to address inherent financial challenges by providing flexible, long-term, patient capital for sustainable businesses that seek transformational, positive impact on Amazonian biodiversity and communities.
The systematic application of a Monitoring and Evaluation for Learning agenda is being developed through the design and application of targeted multidisciplinary research tools and methodologies. These are meant to monitor and assess the process of private sector engagement as a strategy for achieving biodiversity conservation and sustainable development, while also measuring the potential impacts that the distinct and combined initiatives may have on the communities involved, the territories affected, the value chains targeted, and the overall local and regional socioeconomic factors. Through CAL-PSE’s learning component, CIAT is supporting USAID in the longitudinal evaluation of the mission’s PSE portfolio, expected to be implemented over a 10-year period with annual and periodic learning products, and medium-term questions built in. To achieve this objective, CAL-PSE is currently looking to apply five monitoring and evaluation tools that will work synergistically to obtain integrated learning products.
Community Wellbeing Evaluation Component: This component will monitor and measure the impact of CAL-PSE’s private sector led programs and projects on community wellbeing and the environment. To achieve this, the Social Progress Index (SPI), which is a three-dimensional evaluation tool used to estimate concrete aspects of human well-being. In the Brazilian Amazon, the index is being applied to monitor the impacts of the Sustainable Territories Program (STP) on local communities. Through the STP, local communicates will receive compensation for mining activities in the territory they inhabit, and SPI will monitor the consequences of collective investment decisions by the communities and general public policies. The information collected will also serve in guiding and planning territorial management and governance for the next 15 years. In addition to SPI, supplemental methodologies will be used to collect additional information from the local network built, and secondary data on external factors (economic, social, environment and political).
Social Network and Relationship Impact Analysis (SNA): The overarching objective of the SNA component is to monitor and evaluate the relationship among actors of PPA, providing insight that could be used in replicating or scaling up the approach. The SNA tool adopts a methodological approach combining quantitative (SNA) and qualitative analysis (analysis of context, attitudes, and narratives) to contextualize SNA in the context of PPA, organized in a yearly data collection and analysis protocol.
TerraBio: The main objective is to develop a monitoring methodology to assess the ecological impact of private sector investments on biodiversity conservation using a combination of Earth observables and in situ data. TerraBio will provide information on the impact of three co-investment interventions on forest habitat, and their impact on biodiversity. Landscape-level habitat characteristics of interest include forest cover spatial extent, condition, and configuration, including connectivity and fragmentation.
Geospatial Data Management and Context Analysis: Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are designed to work with spatially referenced data (data containing geographic coordinates), and multiple databases that can be integrated, analyzed, and visualized to inform decision making. With this in mind, this component plans and conducts geospatial analysis using primary and/or secondary data to provide insight on socioeconomic and biophysical context when interpreting and measuring project impacts as well as additional MEL results.
Economic Evaluation: As the different PSE initiatives are looking to promote sustainable forest-based and agricultural practices, among others, an economic approach can be implemented to evaluate micro- and/or macro-economic impacts of supporting these products, communities, and value chains. From valuing the resulting non-monetary benefits to the environment and marginalized communities to the potential impact on gross local/regional domestic products, the program identifies current knowledge gaps and opportunities for screening ways to collect economic information for monitoring the program development and impacts.