The world’s natural capital—such as water, land, forests, soil, wildlife, and fisheries—safeguards and underpins the health and well-being of billions of people. At the same time, natural resources are facing unprecedented threats in the form of pollution, habitat loss, and extinction. Together, these threats can impact long-term economic growth, livelihood opportunities, and the ecosystem services that support human well-being.
USAID’s Environmental and Natural Resource Management (ENRM) Framework supports efforts to ensure that its investments have environmental considerations at the forefront. The ENRM Framework identifies two priority areas for USAID investment across sectors. These priority areas, natural resources management for self-reliance, and urban systems for a cleaner environment and enhanced human well-being, support the Journey to Self-Reliance by promoting the integration of environmental and natural resource management with economic growth, food security, health, and other development sectors.
Climate risk management for natural resource management can help to mitigate the effects of climate change on natural resources and to build local capacity for resilience. Securing rights to land and resources can foster stewardship and provide individuals and communities with the incentives to conserve the natural capital that supports health, livelihoods, and nutrition.
During the month of April, Climatelinks focused on climate change and natural resource management. A selection of ongoing activities, as well as blogs, resources, and tools, are listed below.
Ecosystem-based Adaptation: A Nature-Based Approach to Help People Adapt to Extreme Weather and Climate Change highlights a series of evidence summaries and case studies produced by USAID’s E3 Office of Forestry and Biodiversity and Office of Global Climate Change. A series synthesis provides an introduction to Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA), while the case studies and evidence summaries take detailed looks at extreme weather events, food and water security, coastal resilience, and smart investments.
What’s in a Game? Helping Improve Livelihoods – and an Ecosystem – with a Game explores a novel approach to approaching threats to Ghanaian cocoa––a game! Eco Game: Northern Ghana, developed through USAID's Agriculture and Natural Resource Management (AgNRM) project, offers a fun and low-stakes method to share the concepts of ecosystem services and land use planning to Ghanaian communities. This approach was so successful that another game called Ghana Deforestation-Free Cocoa is under development. To learn more about cocoa cultivation in Ghana, read the “Land and Natural Resource Governance and Tenure for Enabling Sustainable Cocoa Cultivation” report.
Mangrove Restoration for Climate Resilient Communities in the Sherbo River Estuary, Sierra Leone details the work of USAID's West Africa Biodiversity and Climate Change (WA BiCC) activity in Sierra Leone. Through mangrove restoration, WA BiCC builds capacity and coastal resilience while simultaneously promoting livelihoods and community engagement.
Managing Fisheries in the Face of Climate Risk covers USAID's Fish Right project in the Philippines. Fish Right seeks to improve both the productivity and resilience of fisheries and fishing communities by promoting more sustainable coastal and marine resource management. The blog also highlights the use of the climate risk screening and management tool during the activity design phase.
Integrating Climate Change Adaptation into Biodiversity and Forestry Programming explains how USAID is assisting countries in adapting to climate change through forest and biodiversity conservation. The brief, which includes an assessment of the vulnerability of biodiversity to climate change, is a product of USAID's now-completed African and Latin American Resilience to Climate Change (ARCC) program.
Integrating Biodiversity and Sustainable Landscapes in USAID Programming details the ways in which integration of biodiversity and sustainable landscapes objectives can increase the sustainability of USAID programming, amplify results, and save costs. Integrating biodiversity and sustainable landscapes offers an opportunity to jointly address threats and drivers of biodiversity, forest loss, and land degradation. This document explores both the benefits and potential challenges of integration to help USAID staff make informed choices about whether and how to integrate these two distinct funding streams.
The USAID Ecosystem-based Adaptation Series Synthesis draws from a series of evidence summaries and case studies that were generated by USAID to provide an introduction to ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) and summarize evidence of how it applies to food and water security, coastal populations, and extreme events. The full series including case studies, is available on the Biodiversity Conservation Gateway. A related ATLAS Adaptation Community Meeting covers key messages from the EbA series.
Better Biodiversity Integration through Geospatial Analysis describes the use of geospatial analysis for integrating with other development sectors at USAID. It covers the when, why, and how of using geospatial analysis, including the rationale for the use of geospatial data and analysis, enabling conditions, best practices, and an example from USAID programming.
ProLand helps USAID Missions improve land use management through a systems approach that integrates ecological, economic, and governance aspects. Through primary and secondary research, ProLand develops evidence-based guidance with the goal of achieving integrated impacts leading to reduced biodiversity loss, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, increased food production, and more resilient and inclusive economic growth.
SERVIR is a joint initiative of NASA and USAID that works with leading regional organizations around the world to help developing countries use Earth observation and geospatial technologies to manage climate risks and land use. Through its Service Planning Toolkit and approach, SERVIR is able to ensure that its services are effectively designed and applied on a country-by-country basis.
Tropical Forest Alliance 2020 (TFA2020) is a global public-private partnership where partners take voluntary actions for achieving the goal of deforestation-free commodities. By fostering collaboration and sharing expertise across sectors and regions, TFA 2020 promotes better understanding of the barriers and opportunities linked to deforestation-free supply chains.
Stephan Hardeman is the Site and Community Manager for Climatelinks. He draws on more than five years of experience in communications for international environmental trust funds to support Climatelinks through USAID’s Sharing Environment and Energy Knowledge (SEEK) initiative by engaging the Climatelinks community and featuring its work. Stephan has MAs in International Affairs (American University) and Natural Resources and Sustainable Development (United Nations University for Peace) and BAs in English and Anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin.