Forging Sustainable Natural Resource Management
DevWorks works at the nexus of environmental conservation and economic development. We engage stakeholders—national and local authorities, the private sector, and communities—to ensure sustainable management of natural resources, conservation of high priority areas, and equitable distribution of benefits from the natural environment.
Promoting forestry, conservation, and natural resources management by all, for all
Effective management of forests and other ecosystems is critical to sustaining livelihoods, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and ensuring conservation of essential natural habitats. DevWorks engages national and local authorities, private sector actors, and communities in this area. Our goal is to support low emission land use practices, biodiversity conservation, and improved livelihoods and resilience for vulnerable communities. To address the often-conflicting needs of local communities and fragile ecosystems, DevWorks supports good governance, markets, and planning from national to community level. DevWorks increases the capacity of local government authorities, civil society, community groups, and others engaged in natural resource management on best practices in conservation, management of ecosystem revenues, and strategies to advocate for environmental protection. We are also an intermediary between government regulatory agencies and private sector users of ecosystem services to establish fair, effective regulatory and distribution models.
Balancing needs and incentives in watershed management
DevWorks takes a holistic approach, balancing the needs and incentives of all stakeholders in effective watershed management to sustain livelihoods and conserve natural habitats. National and local authorities, private sector actors such as agribusinesses and hydropower, local water user groups, farmers and fishermen need to all be involved in planning upstream/downstream conflict resolution to protect water bodies and ecosystems. DevWorks’ approach emphasizes water resource protection. We help local leaders stay informed with easy-to-digest water data, such as quality and use data. We also build capacity and provide information at all levels to promote equitable dialogue and planning, mitigate disputes, and ensure all community members are involved in water resource allocation planning and decision making. Finally, we look for opportunities to address market externalities in the ecosystem and ensure equitable distribution of benefits from watershed services for all stakeholders.
Encouraging land use for sustainable development
DevWorks helps develop scalable, flexible frameworks for governments to factor greenhouse gas emissions into sector and land use plans. We help governments meet the dual goals of pro-poor economic development and sustainable planning for low-emissions land and forest use. DevWorks helps public agencies and companies tap into climate and carbon finance opportunities and stimulates private sector investment in sustainable land use. Smallholders are critical to reducing emissions, as they produce commodities that contribute to deforestation. DevWorks educates smallholders on environmental certification standards and sustainable production methods so they can remain in supply chains as companies increasingly work to reduce deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions.
Environment & NRM Projects
USAID | Nepal | 2016–2020
The USAID Paani Program (Paani) works to enhance Nepal’s ability to manage water resources for multiple uses and users through an integrated, whole-of-basin approach focused on climate change adaptation and the conservation of freshwater biodiversity. With a consortium led by DAI, through activities at the watershed, basin and national scales, Paani aims to reduce threats to freshwater biodiversity and strengthen the resilience of targeted communities in the Karnali, Mahakali and Rapti river basins to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change through improved water resource management.
Paani is playing a pivotal role in shaping Nepal’s management of critical water resources between now and 2020. The project is part of USAID’s on-going investment in strengthening natural resource management in the country. It is a sister project to the USAID-funded Nepal Hydropower Development Project (NHDP) and complementary projects funded by the U.S. Forest Service and the International Water Management Institute (IWMI). It builds upon USAID’s experience in community-based terrestrial conservation, reducing threats to key aquatic species and building resilience from Nepal’s high mountain slopes to the rich waterways of the southern plains.
USAID Green Annamites Project
USAID | Vietnam | 2018–2020
The overarching objective of the USAID Green Annamites Project is to assist Vietnam’s transition to climate-smart, low emission, and resilient development that protects people, landscapes, and biodiversity in Vietnam’s priority forested provinces. To achieve its objectives, the project combines the development of appropriate economic incentives, improved livelihoods, development of value chains, direct assistance to the vulnerable population farmers, and the development of alternative public and private resources, all under a gender and social inclusion framework
Under a consortium led by ECODIT, DevWorks has contributed to the USAID Green Annamites Project in Vietnam by providing capacity building and training for effective use of Payment for Ecosystem Services, implementing capacity building and communication activities on low emission land use practices for district and commune level governments, awareness raising and capacity building within governments and communities to respond to climate change, and training for Green Annamites Implementing Partners to improve their capacity in managing USAID contracts.
DevWorks also supported the Provincial REDD+ Action Plan. This activity supported Vietnam’s transition to climate-smart, low emission, and resilient development that protects people, landscapes, and biodiversity in Quang Nam and Thua Thien Hue provinces. In line with the National REDD+ Action Program, DevWorks applied bottom-up planning process and worked closely with representatives of forest dependent communities and DARD to develop the Provincial REDD+ Action Plan (PRAP) for Quang Nam following the guidelines stipulated under Decision No. 5414 of MARD dated December 25, 2015. The PRAP includes information on the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation, measures to address these drivers and associated budget, safeguards, improved forest monitoring system, as well as governance and environmental/social considerations, and viable and realistic financing options.
Lowering Emissions in Asia’s Forests (LEAF)
USAID | Vietnam | 2011–2015
The USAID Lowering Emissions in Asia’s Forests (USAID LEAF) project aimed to engage regional governments, forestry and climate mitigation specialists and universities to help improve forest and land management. The project’s goal was to strengthen the capacity of countries to achieve meaningful and sustained reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from the forestry-land use sector. As a partner on the consortium led by Winrock International, DevWorks focused on replicating and scaling-up innovation through regional partnerships, supporting policy and gender actions, and an integrated capacity building program for training national and provincial government staff. Key responsibilities for DevWorks included facilitating the transfer of regional best practice and innovative models, methodologies, tools and guidelines into USAID LEAF pilot sites for testing, adaptation and further replication; supporting and strengthening regional platforms and partnerships by contributing REDD+ technical developments, policy outcomes, lessons learned and success stories to these platforms from LEAF activities; conducting legal reviews, providing policy backstopping, and making recommendations to harmonize standard operating procedures for forest biomass assessment; and providing targeted technical training on REDD+ at the national, subnational and community levels; developing technically capable and institutionally strong organizations tasked with moving forward on the REDD+ agenda; and developing a cadre of trained professionals, both men and women, with the skills to work on REDD+ and sustainable land-use planning, within key academic institutions.
Vietnam Forests and Delta (VFD)
USAID | Vietnam | 2012–2017
The Vietnam Forests and Delta (VFD) project supported the acceleration of Vietnam’s transition to climate-resilient, low emission, sustainable development by improving land-use planning and forest and natural resource management and engaging communicates in development of action plans to address climate risks and vulnerabilities. As part of a consortium led by Winrock International, DevWorks supported the sustainable landscapes component of VFD, build on and complement work. DevWorks led the following components of the project:
- Support adoption of land-use practices that slow, stop and reverse emissions from deforestation and degradation of forests and other landscapes.
- Increase resilience of people, places, and livelihoods in delta areas (Red River and Mekong River Deltas) through assistance on adaptation and disaster risk management.