Landscape Action Plan (short-term)

Based on the long-term Landscape Strategy (3.2), the LP members can develop a short-term (typically 2-5 years) Landscape Action Plan to begin implementing the strategy. This process commonly includes an initial stock-taking and spatial mapping of projects, businesses and programs already underway in the landscape that are aligned with the Landscape Vision and Strategy. The Action Plan may involve expanding or linking these. There will usually also be proposals for new activities and investments that are unfamiliar locally, that need to be studied, perhaps through visits to see them in operation outside the landscape or inviting others to share their experiences with the LP.

Activities to consider in an Action Plan may be very diverse, reflecting the involvement of diverse actors. An illustrative set might include: engaging with cooperatives to develop a sustainable smallholder support programme, conducting cross sectoral capacity building activities, investment by agribusinesses to reduce water pollutants, setting up a crop certification program, instituting a local government small grant program for innovators, doing market research for new sustainably grown products, setting up a food safety net program for the poor, modifying the route or construction materials for a new road, and organizing an annual arts festival around the Landscape Vision to mobilize greater citizen support.

Thoughtful evaluation is needed to determine the potential costs and benefits (for different stakeholders) of the proposed activities, synergies and tradeoffs among them, and their alignment with the Strategy. A collaborative priority-setting exercise may be useful. Working collaboratively to develop the Action Plan involves practical discussions and negotiations on how to align, coordinate or integrate the proposed actions within stakeholders’ own existing mandates, work programs and business plans. The LP may need to consider how to mobilize inputs and support from farmers and community groups within the landscape, and from state and national government authorities or corporations whose engagement (or at least acquiescence) is needed for successful implementation of the Plan. Typically, LPs will invite or set up Working Groups to work out the details.

The agreed Landscape Action Plan may be fairly high-level or quite detailed, and may be shared in the form of a written report, table, calendar, map or video. In whatever form, it should clearly communicate the activities, who will be responsible for implementing those activities, and the timeline for action. These can then be regularly tracked, as described in 4.1. The location of proposed activities can be shown on the LP’s landscape map, to provide a visual representation and highlight synergies. As landscape initiatives face continually changing conditions, it can be useful to adjust action plans regularly, perhaps every 6-12 months, and revise the full Action Plan every 2-5 years.