Stakeholder identification and engagement strategy

Most LPs arise through the leadership of a few ‘champions’ of landscape stewardship from different sectors. LPs develop over time to recruit other champions and build a network and ‘shared leadership’ that involves allies from multiple sectors and organizations whose inputs are needed to sustainably manage the landscape. LPs can include local stakeholders as well as stakeholders who are physically distant but have legitimate interests in the landscape (e.g. investors, or multinational companies that source from the landscape). The roles of the different stakeholders will depend on the activities of the LP and the assets, capacities and motivations of its members.

Stakeholder mapping and analysis helps to identify the relevant players in the landscape who might be affected by, or affect the LP’s objectives. Based on this analysis, the LP can develop a strategy of consultation and awareness-raising to help secure their engagement. The engagement process involves primarily listening to the concerns and interests of prospective partners, initially individually or in small groups, to understand what factors would attract them to join a partnership and what would keep them from joining. The process also involves sharing relevant, objective, culturally appropriate and easily accessible information about the challenges that are inspiring collaborative landscape action. Part of the strategy development is determining who would be most effective in approaching specific stakeholders to explore and spark their interest. For businesses to engage, the LP needs to present a clear ‘business case’ for doing so.

Periodically updating the stakeholder analysis and strategy can ensure that important stakeholders continue to be included in dialogue and decision making.