USAID Mission Analyses of Landscape Productivity Enhancement Approaches


Group of people on forested hillside having a discussion

Programming Sustainable Landscapes Funds 

Sustainable Landscapes Resource on Select Strategies

This Sustainable Landscapes Resource on Select Strategies to Reduce Land-Based Greenhouse Gas Emissions aims to assist USAID staff and implementing partners to strengthen Sustainable Landscapes / Natural Climate Solutions programs and their impacts by grounding them with theories of change -- a key requirement of USAID's program cycle (ADS Chapter 201). It aligns with a core principle of USAID's Climate Strategy: using data and evidence to develop strategies and programs to achieve sustainable impacts at scale. This resource includes: a global situation model that describes the dominant drivers of land-based GHG emissions and factors that influence land-based carbon sequestration; narratives and graphics detailing eight select strategic approaches (SAs) for achieving SL objectives, including a results chain, key assumptions, risks, and references for each; and an annex on Land and Resource Governance (LRG), which appears ubiquitously in the results chains for many of these approaches. Design teams using strategic approaches not specifically targeted in this resource will nevertheless find elements of the approaches developed in this guide valuable for their design work.

Sustainable Landscapes Opportunities Analyses (SLOA)

The ProLand project developed a series of Sustainable Landscape Opportunities Analyses (SLOAs) for national and regional USAID missions. The goal of these analyses is to help missions develop Sustainable Landscapes programing that maximizes emissions reductions and associated co-benefits. The approach of each SLOA is to (1) characterize the greenhouse gas emissions profile of each country or region, (2) identify land-based emissions mitigation opportunities, and (3) prioritize among those opportunities. The prioritization is based on four attributes for each potential mitigation opportunity:

  1. The magnitude of the biophysical potential for emissions reduction or sequestration enhancement;
  2. The feasibility of the opportunity and its likelihood of success;
  3. The cost per unit of emissions mitigation;
  4. Co-benefits of the activity to other sectors, such as biodiversity, livelihoods, or other aspects of human well-being
Please find the following individual SLOAs:

Prioritizing Investments in Land-Based Climate Mitigation in Brazil

Brazil is perhaps the world’s most-studied country with respect to land use and land cover change. As such, there is no shortage of high-quality data and analyses. However, there remain some knowledge gaps where additional analyses could contribute further to efforts to prioritize investments in land-based climate mitigation. Some of the gaps recognized in this assessment identify the need to further increase transparency into the beef supply chain, the potential for further study of the conditions that determine when land-titling interventions are most likely to have a positive impact on deforestation, and the need to increase understanding of how predictive modeling can be better integrated into efforts to improve fire prevention and suppression.

Prioritizing Investments in Land-based Climate Mitigation in Papua New Guinea

In Papua New Guinea, the agriculture, forestry, and other land use sectors are responsible for nearly three quarters of all national greenhouse gas emissions. The three most important processes that result in those land-based emissions are (1) degradation of tropical rainforest via logging; (2) conversion of tropical rainforest to agriculture; and (3) peat conversion and drainage for agriculture or infrastructure. Although the limited available data on emissions from peat loss and degradation prevent accurate estimations of overall impact, large peat stocks in areas of projected future road construction make it likely that peat will be an important future source of emissions if the status quo continues. The logging sector presents the largest single opportunity for climate mitigation in PNG. At present, timber harvest levels are higher than is sustainable. Improving practices in the national logging sector and ensuring that a larger share of its economic benefits stay within the country has potential both to reduce GHG emissions and to improve the well-being of the people of PNG.

Geospatial Companion: Prioritizing Investments in Land-based Climate Mitigation in Papua New Guinea

USAID produced a complementary Geospatial Companion that showcases geospatial data and analysis to assist USAID and partners in leveraging the Papua New Guinea SLOA findings for spatial planning. The maps can help visualize trade-offs and assist with the development of programs that combine emissions reductions with other priority outcomes such as biodiversity conservation or infrastructure development.

Prioritizing Investments in Land-Based Climate Mitigation in Ecuador: Biophysical Potential

Ecuador presents many opportunities for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the agriculture, land use, and forestry sectors. The country has committed to reducing its emissions from land use change by 1.7 million metric tons (Mt) of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) annually, unconditional on any donor investment, and by an additional 6.7 MtCO2e provided sufficient additional investment. An assessment of 16 potential land-based mitigation opportunities found that the total cost-effective potential in Ecuador was in fact about 33.6 MtCO2e annually. That estimate only includes activities that would not have negative impacts on biodiversity or on food and fiber supply. 

Prioritizing Investments in Land-Based Climate Mitigation in Madagascar

The goals of this report are to familiarize the reader with possible SL interventions in Madagascar; to evaluate the magnitude of the climate mitigation potential of each of those interventions; to gather spatially-explicit data showing what parts of the country could be prioritized for different interventions; and to identify gaps and limitations in the existing data.

Prioritizing Investments in Land-Based Climate Mitigation in the Philippines

In the Philippines, the largest biophysical potential for land-based climate mitigation is in the forest sector: forest protection represents more than 70% of the biophysical potential for mitigation. Forest protection, however, faces significant implementation challenges as a result of the complex underlying drivers of forest loss. Other activities such as reforestation, improved rice production technology, and improved management of livestock and livestock waste offer important opportunities for land-based climate mitigation while also generating additional benefits in other sectors.

Prioritizing Investments in Land-Based Climate Mitigation in Vietnam

In Vietnam, the largest land-based emissions sector is rice cultivation, both as a result of methane release from flooded paddies as well as from the use of nitrogen-based synthetic fertilizers. Forests are a net greenhouse gas sink – they sequester more carbon dioxide than they emit – as a result of large-scale reforestation efforts. The largest emissions abatement opportunities in Vietnam lie in further enhancing reforestation and forest restoration, in modifying rice cultivation techniques – particularly irrigation practices – and in improved management of manure from livestock. Each of these activities presents different opportunities and challenges for implementation and provides different types of co-benefits in addition to its climate benefits.

Sustainable Landscapes (SL) Opportunities Analysis for West Africa: Biophysical Potential

This West Africa assessment completes the first steps of a Sustainable Landscape Opportunities Analysis – identifying mitigation opportunities and assessing their biophysical potential – for 15 countries in West Africa: the 14 continental members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) plus Cameroon. In West Africa, the activities that have the greatest biophysical potential are (1) avoided forest conversion, (2) increasing tree coverage on agricultural lands, (3) reforestation, and (4) improving natural forest management. Together, those four types of activities represent more than 70% of the overall biophysical potential for land-based emissions reduction or sequestration enhancement. The countries Nigeria, Côte d'Ivoire, and Cameroon have the largest potential among the 15 countries studied and together represent more than half of the region’s overall potential. The West Africa SLOA maps and summarizes data related to the four activities described above in order to support sub-national spatial prioritization of SL programming in the region.

A Rapid Analysis of Greenhouse Gas Emission Mitigation Opportunities for Ethiopia: A Framework for Synthesis and Prioritization

In a rapidly changing environment and society, it is critical that novel and swift strategies are devised to help direct and prioritize potential greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation activities across the world. Ethiopia provides a unique opportunity to develop a framework to rapidly assess greenhouse gas emission and mitigation opportunities, and prioritize actions.

Here, we outline a novel framework to conduct a rapid analyses at the country level using Ethiopia as our focus. Our process involves multiple key components that include 1) a comprehensive literature review and synthesis, 2) a targeted country-wide survey of stakeholders, 3) a method for rapid analysis to identify relevant mitigation opportunities and associated potential, and 4) a country profile highlighting geographic, political, economic and social trends, and a decision support table that combines some key elements in providing a guide to prioritize where and what type of mitigation actions would be the most successful.

USAID Mission-Driven Assessments:

USAID Guatemala Analysis of Biodiversity and Sustainable Landscapes Sectors

The USAID Guatemala Analysis of Biodiversity and Sustainable Landscapes Sectors report identifies high impact opportunities for USG support to Guatemala towards achieving biodiversity, sustainable landscapes, and other objectives. The opportunities are complementary with regards to sector, geography, target beneficiaries, and actors. The results serve to inform a United States Agency for International Development (USAID)/Guatemala Environment Portfolio Theory of Change, communications surrounding existing investments, and decision making.

Assessment of the land-use, land-use change and forests (LULUCF) sector in Mexico as an important sink or source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 

This assessment analyzes the status of the land-use, land-use change and forests (LULUCF) sector in Mexico as a sink or source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to identify promising activities to assist the Government of Mexico (GOM) in meeting its short and medium-term climate change mitigation goals.

Climate change adaptation and resilience: best practices review and strategic audit of USAID/Tanzania activities

This report provides a strategic summary of USAID/Tanzania Mission activities regarding impact on climate change adaptation and resilience, and reviews M&E system and performance indicators to assess how Mission impacts on climate change adaptation were captured.

DRC Assessment of opportunities to minimize forest loss through agricultural intensification and forest conservation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

This assessment examines efforts to intensify agriculture in the DRC, concentrating on four systems: swidden farming, smallholder agriculture, intensive agriculture, and perennial crop cultivation. It describes efforts within each of these systems to mitigate the encroachment of agriculture on forest land. Options for forest conservation are also assessed, and the report recommends that development actors take advantage of recent regulations to pilot sustainable community forest management and community-based commercialization of forest products, such as charcoal, bushmeat and timber.

DRC Analytical review of conservation-based livelihoods and private sector engagement in the Central Africa Regional Program for the Environment (CARPE)

This review supports the USAID CARPE program by: (1) investigating approaches, models and systems that successfully provide sustainable livelihood and economic growth opportunities to rural communities in the DRC/Congo Basin, and that also protect the natural capital ; (2) identifying conditions that enable and constrain such practices and enterprises; and (3) building on the first two elements, identifying potential activities that would plausibly contribute to rural economic growth and conservation at meaningfully large scales in the CARPE landscapes, as well as private sector actors and potential public-private-partnerships that could offer promising opportunities for leverage and integration between economic growth and landscape conservation.

Tanzania Strengthening small-scale beekeeping in Tanzania

This assessment reviews options for USAID landscape partners to promote sustainable growth in Tanzania’s bee product industries. The report analyzes honey and beeswax value chains to identify constraints and opportunities to increase production, refine processing, streamline transportation and meet domestic and export market specifications and demand in ways that target conservation outcomes, and increased producer incomes. Recommendations focus on producer group institutional capacity, market information, financing, and market access.