How can the private sector be engaged?

Climate change is happening and, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, it is “extremely likely” (95% level of confidence) that it is man-made. The changes in global climate will affect the whole planet; however, it is the economically disadvantaged who will be disproportionally affected. Most communities in the least developed countries (LDCs) still depend on agriculture as their main source of income. Future changes in climate conditions will massively affect agricultural systems, especially in LDCs.

In order to reduce the vulnerability of those agricultural systems and the communities that rely on them, adaptation measures need to be taken. Climate change resilience and the adaptive capacity of the agricultural sector are determined by the diversity of genes, species, and ecosystems, among other factors. The successful implementation of adaptation strategies, including the fostering of agrobiodiversity, requires human, natural, technical, and financial resources. Private entities need to be involved and engaged to mobilize these financial resources and technical capacities. Private companies and corporations have incentives to prepare their businesses for climate change. One of the strongest incentives is the fact that, because of climate change, some of today’s agricultural or food business models may simply not survive in the future.Private actors may also be incentivised to act by the emergence of new business models, new product opportunities, and of differentiation opportunities in existing markets. Successfully attracting private sector entities to engage in agrobiodiversity-based climate change measures depends on success factors such as relevance, incentives, capacities, and perspectives.

Further, along with successful cultivation and functioning supply chains, market access is crucial. In addition, demand for neglected or underutilised species products has to be triggered through communication and the right branding. However, under all circumstances the utilisation of NUS has to comply with the principles of fair and equitable sharing of benefits.

You can also read the full paper about engaging the private sector through marketing neglected and underutilised species for biodiversity-based climate change adaptation here.