Responsible management of natural resources is an integral part of development cooperation and is key to mitigating climate change and ensuring sustainable livelihoods. We work to ensure that natural resources are managed responsibly, both as a means to end poverty and to provide sustainable livelihoods for local people. Our experience spans more than 100 countries in 5 continents with a wide range of clients. Our experts are skilled technicians, planners, coordinators, evaluators, trainers and facilitators.
We have extensive experience of leading natural resource developments, taking an integrated view across agriculture, environmental issues, forests, land management, water and wildlife.
We partner with local, regional and national stakeholders to deliver locally appropriate solutions that protect scarce resources, strengthen institutions and empower communities. Our experience shows that when governments translate existing natural resource management strategies and legislation into tangible action that promotes local ownership, it can deliver impressive results in reducing poverty, particularly in rural areas.
Building Better Livelihoods
In many countries where we work, agriculture is the biggest source of productivity, employment and family incomes. Increasing agricultural productivity is a key aim of development and growth strategies in rural economies, both to reduce poverty and gender inequality, and to narrow the rural–urban divide.
We have many years’ experience of implementing hands-on rural development programmes. We also have a strong understanding of how markets function. Together, this expertise enables us to support the design and implementation of market-driven interventions to integrate smallholder farmers and other actors in agricultural value chains. Our knowledge base means we are able to support all aspects of agricultural development, from climate-smart agriculture, delivering sustainable increases in food security, policy development to market systems, food safety, and agro-processing.
What we do
- We provide technical support to smallholder farmers to increase agricultural production and productivity.
- We build the capacity of communities and other stakeholders (public or private) through training, mentoring, production of manuals and guidance, and organising discussion forums.
- We analyse value chains and build relationships between actors and support provision of services to increase production, trading, processing, service provision, retailing and marketing. We help develop joint strategies and plans that can increase profitability for all actors along the value chain.
- We support the organisations that represent smallholder farmers to promote their interests across the value chain. This includes strengthening democratic processes so that organisations are fully representative, deliver affordable services, and become effective service providers and advocates for their members and for future generations of smallholders.
- We work with ministries and other sector-specific stakeholders to formulate plans, policies, strategies and regulatory frameworks to promote and strengthen the agricultural sector. We coordinate with other key stakeholders from government, civil society and the private sector to avoid duplication and promote synergies.
- We support organisations to plan or implement large-scale agricultural development programmes, focusing on financial management, procurement and planning, and regular monitoring and evaluation to maximise impact and shared learning.
Environment and Climate Change
Supporting a resilient environment
Climate change is the defining human development challenge of the 21st century. It has devastating impacts on the poorest and most marginalised communities – even though they may have contributed least to the problem – as they try to eke out livelihoods in a context of increasingly scarce land and other resources. Failure to respond to this challenge will stall and even reverse international efforts to reduce poverty.
Our approach to addressing the complex environment and climate challenges is based on our long multi-sectoral experience of integrating adaptive land use and water resources management with a strong focus on socioeconomic and environmental sustainability. Adequate understanding of the local context, including the institutional and legal framework, is fundamental to devising effective strategies to address these challenges.
What we do
- We identify and analyse the main actors and factors related to causes and effects of environment and climate challenges as a first step to finding solutions, focusing on the needs of the most vulnerable groups.
- We take an integrated approach to assessing the institutional and legal frameworks and their adequacy in addressing the challenges faced by governments, the private sector and communities to develop and implement strategies to increase resilience and enable adaptation.
- We focus on strengthening institutional capacity in technical, economic and social areas.
- We promote awareness-raising, empowerment and participatory approaches to address environment and climate challenges at different levels and from different perspectives.
Sustainable forest management for the future
As well as providing livelihoods for people and habitats for animals, forests also prevent soil erosion, protect water and water flows, sustain biodiversity, increase resilience, and mitigate climate change through carbon capture. Sustainable management of forest resources is necessary to address deforestation and forest degradation, and is a key investment for the future.
We have more than 40 years’ experience in working with different types of forestry programmes, including plantations and natural forests. Our expertise enables us to provide thorough analyses of local contexts and livelihoods, from constraints and challenges to opportunities and potential synergies.
What we do
- We work with a wide range of partners and stakeholders to improve forest-based incomes, livelihoods and environmental benefits while at the same time reducing deforestation.
- We help to strengthen forest-based value chains and promote responsible private sector involvement in community and government forests.
- We work with partners and communities to improve capacities at all levels, to strengthen planning, monitoring and management of public forests.
- We provide technical support to reform and strengthen legal and policy frameworks that affect forest management.
- We promote an integrated landscape approach to natural resources management in which forestry plays a key role.
Realising the full potential of land administration systems
Land is key to livelihoods, economic growth, incomes and food security. Increasing pressure on land due to population growth and climate change has fuelled tension and conflict in many parts of the world. Strengthening land administration systems, helping communities to claim their entitlements, and promoting transparent and participatory decision-making can help reduce inequality, promote gender equality and strengthen social cohesion.
In working to understand and improve land tenure systems and institutions, whether through reforming existing ones or building new ones, we engage public and private sector actors, customary authorities and governmental agencies on all levels – from the local to the national.
What we do
- We support local, district, regional and national-level land administration agencies and authorities to deliver modern and efficient land administration and information systems. This includes the review and construction of technical components such as GIS systems and other data software architecture for mapping and documentation. It also includes participatory needs assessment and on-the-job training to enable relevant and sustainable knowledge transfer.
- We work with communities to help them secure land tenure and promote their inclusion in land adjudication, registration and certification processes. We strengthen local capacity by organising community awareness programmes and setting up and training land adjudication committees.
- We support government officials in developing new land policy and regulations or reforming existing legislation and policies.
- We work with partners throughout the project cycle, to identify challenges, assess needs and formulate proposals, following through to review and evaluate impacts.
- We support local educational and vocational institutions involved in land administration to invest in the next generation of land administrators and policy-makers.
Water Sector Services
An integrated approach to water sector management
Water is a key driver of economic and social development. Decision-makers in government or the private sector have to make difficult decisions on water allocation in a context of diminishing supplies and increasing demand. Demographic and climatic changes add to the pressures on sustainable management of water resources. Our approach to water sector management focuses on increasing access to water supply, sanitation and hygiene but also prioritises resource regeneration, conservation, transparency, accountability and community involvement.
What we do
- We support governments and other partners to reduce poverty and promote environmental sustainability by strengthening relevant institutions, policies and systems to deliver joint, integrated and sustainable management of water resources.
- We endorse decentralisation and devolution processes and provide business planning to water utilities, including water services tariffs and revenue collection.
- We work with communities, particularly disadvantaged groups, to help them construct and maintain affordable and safe water supplies and sanitation facilities.
- We provide technical assistance to water sector institutions to help them develop action planning, budgeting, information systems and follow-up, as well as governance and quality assurance mechanisms.
- We help promote an enabling environment for the water sector based on effective and equitable delivery of water services and integrated management of water resources.