FAQ - LandScale


Get answers below to some of our most frequently asked questions.

In general, the optimal area for applying LandScale ranges from hundreds to thousands of square kilometers. This size is generally appropriate to provide meaningful insights into landscape sustainability performance and facilitate actions to improve it. If the landscape is too small, it may not sufficiently capture the breadth of land uses that influence, or are impacted by, sustainability within the landscape. If the landscape is too large, assessment results might not provide useful information for driving action to make improvements.

There are several components to the cost of conducting a LandScale assessment:

  • LandScale fees: Fees to use the LandScale platform and, if desirable, for LandScale validation of the assessment results, which is a prerequisite for publication on the platform. Please see our offers and pricing.
  • Assessment team time: Staff or consultant time to conduct the LandScale assessment, the daily cost of which will vary. Pilot experience suggests that between 75 and 150 person-days are needed to conduct a baseline assessment. This time will likely decrease substantially for repeat assessments because identifying and evaluating suitable data-sources is often the most time-consuming part of the process.
  • Data procurement: There may be a fee associated with accessing some relevant datasets, so it is advisable to include a budget for this. It may also be necessary for the assessment team to travel and/or hold meetings with stakeholders as part of the data procurement process.
  • Stipends for local reviewers: Engaging two local reviewers per LandScale indicator (the same local reviewer may be able to review several indicators), is a prerequisite for publication of the assessment on the platform. It may be necessary to provide some local reviewers with a stipend.

No. The LandScale assessment guidelines are integrated into the interfaces of the platform. The platform provides a guided workflow for assessment teams to collaborate on building their landscape’s assessment and report. The platform also provides the interface through which the local review and LandScale validation of the assessment will take place.

Any LandScale user can create custom pillars, goals, indicators, and metrics in the LandScale platform and include them as part of their assessment. Where logical, custom indicators and metrics should be linked to existing LandScale goals and/or indicators in the assessment report. Custom indicators and metrics are not included within the scope of LandScale validation or claims.

The guidelines are intended to answer most questions that assessment teams will encounter. If additional support is needed, users can access:

  • Training: Pre-recorded training materials covering the entire LandScale assessment process are available on the platform. Live, interactive training for individual teams is also available for a fee.
  • Community of Practice: A google group managed by the LandScale team where you can pose questions to other LandScale users or review questions and answers posted previously.
  • Help desk: If you have technical issues operating the platform or questions regarding the LandScale guidelines that can’t be answered by the above means you can request support via the platform. You will receive responses directly from the LandScale team.

Step 1 of the LandScale assessment guidelines outlines the qualifications required to conduct a LandScale assessment. If the organization(s) leading the assessment do not have staff with the necessary expertise, then we have created a template Terms of Reference which can help you to recruit external support. This is available on request. NGOs, universities, and environmental and social impact consultancies with knowledge of the landscape being assessed will likely have staff with the required expertise.

You can publish the results of your LandScale assessment once one of the assessment milestones — Pillar, Holistic, or Holistic+ — is achieved and validated. Publication on the LandScale platform is optional. If you wish to use the LandScale name, logo, or platform URL in public or private communications of the results via other channels, including your own website or reports, then you must do so in accordance with LandScale’s Communication and Claims Policy.

LandScale validation enables users of LandScale results to place a high degree of trust in the quality of LandScale assessments. Validation is required to publish assessment results on the LandScale platform and to make claims. The validation process checks that the assessment was carried out in accordance with the guidelines and the quality of the data supports the production of credible results. The LandScale team conducts validation of each of the five steps of the assessment process. This is supplemented by a local review of the results, which adds perspectives from people knowledgeable about the sustainability topics being assessed in the context of the subject landscape.

LandScale recommends updating the assessments at least once every three years to maintain an up-to-date landscape performance profile and detect critical trends. Claims must always reference the most recent LandScale assessment for any given landscape.

The LandScale logo may only be used in accordance with our Communication and Claims Policy unless an exception has been granted in writing by the LandScale team.

There are several different ways in which LandScale results can be used to catalyze market, policy, or financial incentives for improvement at a landscape scale. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Unlocking opportunities for performance-based financing, such as green bonds or sustainability-linked loans
  • Attracting repeated and longer-term financing for landscape-scale interventions by reporting the return on investment in terms of improved sustainability to donors or investors
  • Differentiating credits from commercial carbon sequestration or reforestation projects in the market by providing evidence of broader benefits beyond the boundary of the project
  • Differentiating a commodity producer or trader in the market by providing landscape-level information of relevance to supply chain resilience and reputational risk

We recognise that data is a valuable and sensitive commodity. Transparency regarding how data you provide to us is used and protected is therefore of utmost importance to LandScale. Details regarding how information entered into or uploaded to the LandScale will be governed, used, and protected are provided in Section 4 of the LandScale Platform Terms of Use.

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