How can community-based adaptation measures contribute to a climate-resilient future? During the 13th international conference on Community-Based Adaptation to Climate Change, IUCN NL facilitated a session on developing business cases and investment pitches around community-based climate adaptation. Participants learned how to create a business plan and how to deliver a convincing pitch to investors.

Header photo: Shea trees and Mognore community on fringes of Mole National Park © A Rocha Ghana

According to research from IIED, only 1 out of every 10 dollars in climate finance reaches the community level. ‘To ensure more dollars hit the ground where their impact is felt most, we do not only need to continue to push for a stronger policy environment,’ says Romie Goedicke, Senior Expert Green Economy at IUCN NL. ‘We also need to create a pipeline of projects in which can be invested.’

That’s why IUCN NL facilitated a session for over 100 practitioners, grassroots representatives, policymakers and donors to engage in interactive discussions on how to turn a climate adaptation idea into a business case. Daryl Bosu, Deputy Executive Director at A Rocha Ghana, was one of the participants. ‘This is the first time that I have learned what investors find important to know in a pitch presentation,’ Bosu states. ‘I have also learned that there is a high demand from communities to know how to make their projects bankable in order to achieve the adaptation scale needed.’

Business case for climate adaptation projects

Participants worked together to develop climate adaptation business cases and investment ‘pitches’ for funding. In a final competition-style session, ten business cases were pitched to a jury consisting of experts with international investment experience. Robert Senkungu, a delegate from our partner organization ECOTRUST in Uganda, pitched a project on enhancing resilience through producing and selling of carbon neutral organic coffee. ‘I will use the knowledge gained to develop business cases and use them to reach out to potential sources of funding, partnerships and networks,’ says Senkungu. ‘I learned to stress that my project promotes biodiversity, increases local incomes and contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals  1, 3, 13 & 17.‘

‘We often see that CSOs are excellent in describing the problem, but they often lack the ability to create a business plan that provides a return on investment or fail to make their experience show,’ says Romie Goedicke. ‘This session has given participants a new skill set which they need to start applying over the course of the next year. I hope to this will allow them to secure funding for their projects towards a climate-resilient future.’

IUCN NL has over 20 years’ experience of working with local civil society organisations. In the past 5 year, IUCN NL has managed to mobilize over 7 million of funding for nature-based solutions on a 1 million investment in projects that reach a local return. The work of IUCN NL at CBA13 builds upon the collaboration with IIED and WWF Netherlands to ensure the delivery of local climate adaptation with international climate finance.

Maxime Eiselin
Senior Expert Nature-based Solutions