A team of national park staff participates in birdwatching training.

Natural Climate Solutions

The land use sector—including deforestation and the degradation of forest—accounts for one-quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions. Agriculture is the major driver of deforestation, resulting in direct emissions from on-farm practices, as well as indirect emissions from land use conversion.  Human well-being and sustainable development are underpinned by well-managed lands and natural resources. Thus, natural climate solutions programs focus on places where forest carbon storage is high and where risk of deforestation may be great. Indeed, guiding the evolution of broad landscape mosaics is integral to a country’s holistic low emissions development.
USAID supports activities that reduce land-based emissions—from mangroves, to savannas, to agricultural fields. Partnering with governments, USAID is assisting in planning and implementing policies to address drivers of land-based emissions. By building capacity for rigorous, transparent monitoring of forest and carbon stocks, USAID supports REDD+ project development. Other activities work to identify better practices and on-the-ground opportunities for low-emissions agriculture.



ProLand supports USAID Missions to improve land use management using a systems approach to resilient development that integrates ecological, economic, and governance aspects.

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SilvaCarbon draws on scientific capacity from a number of U.S. federal agencies to help host government counterparts and other local organizations to improve their capacity to monitor and manage tropical forests and other carbon-rich areas. 

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Low-Emissions Opportunities in Agriculture

USAID and the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security are partnering with country experts to identify low-emission opportunities in agriculture that also contribute to food security, with a focus on smallholder farming.

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According to the recently released Amazon Vision 2020 Report, USAID and its global partners improved the management and conditions of key landscapes in the Amazon, working on more than 48 million hectares.
Climate mitigation is essential for helping communities prepare for the impacts of climate change and prevent worst-case climate scenarios. USAID helps countries achieve more ambitious climate targets under the Paris Agreement and provides the foundations for sustainable growth through renewable energy and natural climate solutions.
In Indonesia’s Papua Province, a province on the eastern edge of the Indonesian archipelago that shares an island with the nation of Papua New Guinea, reducing deforestation is the most effective way to decrease greenhouse gas emissions.