Climate change adaptation opportunities with the private sector

The private sector is a key piece for locally led adaptation



Institutions around the world already take part

Locally Led Adaptation (LLA) is key in increasing the resilience of communities while shifting power and decision making away from financiers and intermediaries.

The eight Principles for LLA, launched in January 2021, have since been endorsed by over 100 institutions, including governments, multilateral institutions, community-based organizations and civil society. Private sector endorsements have been fewer but hold great promise for the future.

Water Funds show us how to implement LLA

with the private sector

Water Funds are long-term, 60 plus year financial mechanisms that have led to proven environmental and social benefits in Latin America for the past 20 years. Through multi-actor governance spaces, local private sector, government and community actors ensure the protection of water sources. Strategies include conservation, restoration, sustainable use, education, outreach, impact monitoring, reporting, accountability and gender equality and social inclusion.

10 Water Funds in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru have aligned in an Andean Water Fund Platform to share experiences and lessons towards improving results. While they have great potential, they also face challenges, currently only reaching about 20% of their catchment areas due to limited funding. Exploring private sector linkages is key to scaling these successful and innovative models both deeper and wider.

Some collaboration opportunities we would like to explore with the private sector include: carbon footprint offsets, biodiversity loss offsets, water footprint offsets, green product development (sustainable livestock and milk, agroecological products, conservation coffee, etc. )

Potential collaboration opportunities:

Carbon offsets

Biodiversity offsets

Water footprint offsets

Development of green product

Green microfinance

Marked funds to invest in ecosystems identified by the private sector


Meet SDG targets with long-term, credible impacts

Technical assistance for companies to implement effective environmental management initiatives

Promote meeting ISO and other national and international standards


For local actors, emission of donation certificates with income tax benefits

Increase corporate social responsibility


Other opportunities

Power and decision making at the local level

The nexus between the private sector and climate change adaptation, in particular LLA, has its challenges and barriers, but is key in ensuring the resilience of climate vulnerable communities around the globe.

LLA Principles

 1. Devolving decision making to the lowest appropriate level:

Giving local institutions and communities more direct access to finance and decision-making power over how adaptation actions are defined, prioritized, designed, implemented; how progress is monitored; and how success is evaluated.

2. Addressing structural inequalities faced by women, youth, children, disabled, displaced, Indigenous Peoples and marginalised ethnic groups: 

Integrating gender-based, economic, and political inequalities that are root causes of vulnerability into the core of adaptation action and encouraging vulnerable and marginalized individuals to meaningfully participate in and lead adaptation decisions.

3. Providing patient and predictable funding that can be accessed more easily:

Supporting long-term development of local governance processes, capacity, and institutions through simpler access modalities and longer term and more predictable funding horizons, to ensure that communities can effectively implement adaptation actions.

4. Investing in local capabilities to leave an institutional legacy:

Improving the capabilities of local institutions to ensure they can understand climate risks and uncertainties, generate solutions, and facilitate and manage adaptation initiatives over the long term without being dependent on project based donor funding.

5. Building a robust understanding of climate risk and uncertainty: 

Informing adaptation decisions through a combination of local, traditional, Indigenous, generational and scientific knowledge that can enable resilience under a range of future climate scenarios.

6. Flexible programming and learning: 

Enabling adaptive management to address the inherent uncertainty in adaptation, especially through robust monitoring and learning systems, flexible finance, and flexible programming.

7. Ensuring transparency and accountability:

Making processes of financing, designing, and delivering programs more transparent and accountable downward to local stakeholders.

8. Collaborative action and investment:

Collaboration across sectors, initiatives and levels to ensure that different initiatives and different sources of funding (humanitarian assistance, development, disaster risk reduction, green recovery funds, etc.) support each other, and their activities avoid duplication, to enhance efficiencies and good practice.

about us


Fundación Futuro Latinoamericano (FFLA) is a non-profit organization created in 1994 after the historic Earth Summit, with the conviction that Latin America requires capacities, leadership and conditions to transition towards sustainable development.

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CDKN is a southern led global network, founded in 2010, to promote climate resilient development in the global south. The program is led by South South North (SSN) and implemented in association with Fundación Futuro Latinoamericano (FFLA), and ICLEI South Asia.

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The Andean Water Funds Platform strengthens the sustainability of 10 Water Funds to protect high Andean ecosystems that are water sources for more than 30 million inhabitants in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.

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Do you want to be involved?

Por favor contáctate si tienes interés en explorar oportunidades de inversión de impacto, responsabilidad corporativa social y ambiental y filantropía.