Development challenges are interrelated. That’s why Chemonics applies a “development first” approach to our work in environment and natural resources management. We focus on strengthening markets, safeguarding natural capital, and empowering marginalized groups. Our development-centered approach can be seen in action across a broad array of landscapes, from rainforest communities to coastal cities. Our experience spans more than 200 projects in natural resource management, biodiversity conservation, land tenure and property rights, environmental management, and climate change adaptation and mitigation.
Environment and Natural Resources.
The Story Behind Honey Production in Northern Colombia
In Northern Antioquia, Colombia, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID/Colombia) is implementing an ambitious honey production program to improve the livelihoods of more than 300 families in five mining municipalities.
Annatto (Achiote): An Economic Alternative to Mining in Chocó
Annatto (Achiote), a spice and coloring agent extracted from the seeds of the evergreen, is growing as an economic alternative to mining in Chocó (Colombian Pacific Coast).
Colombia’s Sonic Forest
For almost a decade USAID has worked with Afro-Colombian and indigenous communities to protect their way of life. Learn how the pacific forest communities in Colombia are safeguarding the most biodiverse rainforests in the world.
SERVIR: Connecting Space to Village
Learn how the SERVIR program is harnessing the power of science and technology for development in this two minute video narrated by Astronaut Mae Jemison.
Improving Climate Change Development Programs
Development programs worldwide are designed to protect vulnerable people, places, and livelihoods from climate change, but with smarter methods, these programs could be even more effective.
Connecting Space to Village
Science, satellites, and information technology are transforming how countries manage critical development challenges such as climate resilience and environmental management.
Re-Energizing the Power Sector in Sri Lanka
USAID’s Sri Lanka Energy Program partners with power sector stakeholders to help Sri Lanka’s electricity sector transition to a more secure, reliable, and sustainable system.
Building Climate Finance Capacity in Nepal
Strengthening Nepali local governments’ ability to manage green funds can spur investment in and accelerate climate action.
Transforming Jordan’s Recycling Industry
Waste recycling services in Jordan constitute a viable commercial opportunity for Jordan’s private and public sectors to increase the competitiveness of recycling and invigorate the circular economy.
Mitigating Climate Change in Colombia
With progressive policies and private sector and community engagement, Colombia is turning its international greenhouse gas emissions reduction commitments into action.
Conserving Guatemala’s Ecosystems with Good Governance
Guatemala’s rich – yet fragile – ecosystems must be safeguarded through strong environmental governance to improve livelihoods.
Natural Resource Management and Water Security in Southern Africa
Improved natural resource management and increased access to safe drinking water and sanitation are essential to addressing human and ecosystem challenges in southern Africa.
Combatting Wildlife Crime in Southern Africa
The decimation of wildlife through illegal poaching and trade threaten economic development and livelihood security in southern Africa.
Promoting Tourism in Timor-Leste
As Timor-Leste invests in an inclusive and sustainable national tourism strategy, the country is emerging as an “off-the-beaten-path” destination for adventure travelers and eco-tourists.
Restoring Forests in Northern Haiti
In Northern Haiti, deforestation and mangrove loss are putting communities, conservation efforts, and environmental governance at risk.
Sustainable Energy Solutions for Haiti
Approximately 90 percent of Haitian household energy needs are met by firewood and charcoal, a dependence that is detrimental to the environment and people’s health.
Helping To Conserve the Peruvian Amazon
With deforestation threatening the Peruvian Amazon and communities that rely on forest-based employment, forest management must be improved.
Clean Water and Resource Conservation in Angola, Botswana, and Namibia
In southern Africa, where many people live with little access to clean water and sanitation services, new resource management and conservation efforts made a big difference.
A Roadmap for Conservation in Colombia
With its peace accord underway, the government of Colombia is pursuing conservation and sustainable rural development goals that will help achieve stability and lasting peace.
Helping Indonesian Coastal Communities Adapt to Climate Change
In Indonesia, coastal communities must adapt to climate change and remediate destructive fishing practices to protect millions of jobs and the country’s economy.
Smart Innovations to Protect the Environment in Colombia
In Colombia, the government, local communities, and the private sector have collaborated to mitigate climate change and conserve biodiversity.
Steps Toward Better Water Management in the Limpopo Basin
Water is essential to economic development, conservation, and population health, but managing water resources to balance these demands is challenging, particularly when multiple countries regulate, compete for, and depend on the same water supply.
Developing South Africa’s Green Economy
Although climate change goals have been well articulated at the national level in South Africa, communication and collaboration between municipal, provincial, and national actors remains challenging.
Building Climate Change Resilience in Mali
Climate change is severely affecting vulnerable populations in Mali that need greater access to meteorological information and guidance on how to use it to create effective agricultural activities and plans.
Saving Biodiversity in the Philippines
With sustainable financing, enhanced-forest and protected-area management have turned the tide in the Philippines by promoting biodiversity and forest conservation.
Protecting Marine and Terrestrial Biodiversity in Indonesia
With Indonesia’s incredible marine and terrestrial biodiversity at risk, the need to manage conservation areas and protect vulnerable ecosystems more effectively is acute.
Namibian Farmers Fight Effects of Climate Change with Conservation Agriculture
Climate change is devastating crops and livelihoods in Namibia's Kavango region. Conservation agriculture offers farmers hope and the ability to mitigate the impact of an uncertain, changing environment.
Beekeeping: A Sweet Solution for Rural Colombia
In rural Colombia, some communities are leaving unregulated gold mining for beekeeping and honey production to improve their health, livelihoods, and local ecosystems.
Low Emissions for High Results
In South Africa, a new technology is helping schools prepare meals for students faster and more sustainably — with far-reaching benefits for the local economy and the environment.
Three Million Trees in Haiti
On Earth Day, the Feed the Future Haiti Chanje Lavi Plantè project kicked off a tree-planting campaign to protect hillsides from erosion and safeguard farmers’ livelihoods.
Trailblazers for Wildfire Preparedness in the Philippines
After a series of wildfires broke out in the Philippines, the B+WISER program is helping revamp the country’s approach to fire management.
Storm Warnings in Mozambique
A new service provides citizens in Mozambique with life-saving information about approaching natural disasters.
The Cost of Not Adapting
A recent assessment of the economic impact of climate change in Indonesia highlighted the major environmental, economic, and health challenges that the country will face from now to 2050.
Protecting the Peruvian Amazon
Through innovative mobile technology, Peru is combating the economic and environmental costs of illegal logging.
Harnessing Technology to Protect Forests and Biodiversity in the Philippines
Conservation efforts in the Philippines mobilize user-friendly technology and government, community, and private sector partnerships in the fight against deforestation.
More Water, More Jobs in Southern Africa
In Southern Africa’s Limpopo River Basin, a community organization is finding a way to reconcile economic development with the need to conserve resources for the future.
A Damselfly Discovery in Angola
Scientists in southern Africa have identified a new species of damselfly while working on an environmental program that protects the biodiversity of the Cubango-Okavango River Basin.
Compensating Communities in Colombia for Forest Stewardship
Colombians are conserving their local environment to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, while earning revenue for their communities.
Planning for the Unexpected
An interactive, community-led process called I-CATCH is helping coastal communities in Indonesia better prepare for the impacts of climate change.
Improving Soil Health
Using conservation agriculture and technology, the Feed the Future Commodity Production and Marketing Activity in Uganda is helping farmers improve yields and increase incomes.
Saving Lives through Cell Phones in Mozambique
In Mozambique, a low-cost, SMS-based early warning system is empowering community members to prepare for and respond to natural disasters.
Leading Innovative Imaging
The Colombian government is piloting an innovative approach to imaging technology to better conserve forests and build local livelihoods.
Building Resilience to Climate Change in Indonesia
Indonesian coastal communities are developing management tools to ensure the health of their fisheries and build resilience to climate change.
Training Communities to Protect the Cubango-Okavango River Basin
Using a sustainable management system, communities in the Kavango Region of Namibia are working to conserve the Cubango-Okavango River Basin, which is the life source for more than 1 million people and supports diverse plants and wildlife.
From Billions to Trillions: Using Blended Finance for Scaling Impact in Climate and Health
The following blog post introduces Chemonics’ recently launched Blended Finance Technical Briefs series. Each explores a different development sector as it intersects with blended finance and impact investing, including agricultural finance, gender lens investing, healthcare services, health supply chains, and sustainable landscapes. With private capital outpacing traditional donor assistance, the devastating impact of the COVID-19…
Combating Climate Change with Data-Driven Development
The mechanics of drilling a well are straightforward. Knowing where, how, and whether to drill that well amid extreme conditions wrought by climate change poses a whole new challenge. International development experts, confronting the complexities of rising temperatures, shifting rainfall patterns, and extreme weather, are adding new data-driven approaches to their toolkits to drill that…
Why Glasgow’s Climate Talks Should Warm to Resettlement for Small Island States
Small, low-lying islands are on the frontlines of climate change. From Isle de Jean Charles, Louisiana in the Gulf of Mexico, to Tuvalu and Kiribati in the Pacific, these populations not only face existential sea-level rise, but exacerbated economic and social fallout from an ever-warming world. While many states have fostered climate resilience by fortifying…
From the Highlands to the Deltas: Why We Need Integrated Water Security Programming
Whether building strong economies, improving human health, or supporting thriving ecosystems, water is an integral and interconnected element with impacts far outside of the water sector in global development. While improved water management can reduce treatment costs and deliver valuable ecosystem services, poorly managed upstream resources can undermine investments in drinking water delivery. Cases from…
How to Fail to Succeed
“Failure is strength. The most effective and innovative organizations are those that are willing to speak openly about their failures because the only truly ‘bad’ failure is one that’s repeated.” —Engineers without Borders, USAID Learning Lab No one wants to fail. And fewer wish to own up to it. Understanding the causes of failure is…
News: Chemonics Invests in Young Innovators’ Promising Development Solutions
On Tuesday, November 12, Chemonics awarded two teams of young problem-solvers with funding and ongoing support to continue development of their innovative solutions for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Presented by Chemonics’ Executive Vice President Jamey Butcher, the award was part of the company’s commitment as Lead Scale Partner of the UNLEASH global innovation…
From Threat to Solution: Rethinking the Role of Communities in Nature Conservation
This post originally appeared on Mongabay. Photo courtesy of Samantha Cheng. The imperative for nature conservation has never been greater. A widely publicized intergovernmental report predicts extinction for more than a million species over the next few decades unless we drastically change human consumption and economic growth. This loss of species will threaten the global…
Maximizing the Power of Climate Data by Building Trust
This post originally appeared on the SEEP blog. As the frequency and magnitude of climate-related hazards increases, these changes are affecting people’s livelihoods — particularly those of rural and vulnerable populations — more than ever. In response to this challenge, climate data can be employed in program design to foster greater resilience for livelihoods at…
Development Works Here with Brian App
We’d like you to meet Brian App! Brian is a natural resource management specialist with nearly 20 years of experience working in the environmental sector. From flipping through the pages of National Geographic to building more water-secure communities in Africa, he shares some of the highlights of his development journey. Brian is one reason #DevelopmentWorksHere.…
To Improve Water Management, Start Local
Rivers are the world’s main source of clean drinking water, and their economic and environmental value are fundamental to the health of people and ecosystems. However, river basins face interrelated challenges — population growth, industrialization, urbanization, land use changes (including deforestation and land degradation), and changes in water quantity and quality. Climate change acts as…
Development Works Here with Alejandro Arrivillaga
We’d like you to meet Alejandro “Alex” Arrivillaga! Alex is a biologist and the deputy chief of party for the USAID Guatemala Biodiversity Project. He shares some of the insight he’s gained over the course of his 25-year career working with communities to develop shared solutions for biodiversity conservation. Alex is one reason #DevelopmentWorksHere. 1.…
Land and Property Rights Meet the SDGs: Reflections from the 2019 World Bank Land and Poverty Conference
It appears the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are wobbling along fitfully, and the general consensus among attendees at this year’s annual World Bank Land and Poverty Conference seemed to be that we’re not on track to meet our goals related to land and property rights. This year’s conference offered a smorgasbord of lessons learned, applied…
The Politics of Biodiversity: Two Experiences with Thinking and Working Politically
What do forest and species loss have to do with politics? A great deal, in fact. Conserving and protecting natural resources involves a complex set of power dynamics, interests, and economies — licit and illicit — that affect how a program can operate within an existing local system. Biodiversity programming must embrace a Thinking and…
Four Ways to Build Urban Resilience to Water Stress
The United Nations estimates that 68 percent of the world’s population will be concentrated in urban centers by 2050. While water and sanitation access and delivery are generally higher in urban areas, cities still face significant challenges managing, operating, and expanding critical infrastructure, as well as ensuring the financial and environmental sustainability of municipal water…
Reflections on the Circular Economy
I had the recent good fortune of attending the 8th Session of the World Water Forum in Brazil — what a grand affair! There was a packed program full of fascinating technical sessions held in parallel; three huge marquee tents full of exhibitors from governments, international agencies, and companies; and local community groups, NGOs, and entrepreneurs engaging thousands…
News: Innovating, Connecting, and Transforming Development at the ICT4D Conference
Innovations in technology have enhanced development impact across all sectors — from agriculture to education to health. From May 8 to 10, public, private, and civil society organizations from around the world will convene for the 2018 Information and Communications Technology for Development (ICT4D) Conference in Lusaka, Zambia. Now in its 10th year, the conference…
The Problem with “Success Now”: A Story of Adaptive Management
Although adaptive management is widely promoted — and often required — for development programs, its basic principles can be difficult to adhere to. Strict timelines and prescribed indicators often demand immediate success — success now. How do we implement this seemingly simple approach, which is measured by failure more than success, and requires experienced technical…
Reforestation: More Than Just Planting Trees
In many parts of the world, massive deforestation seems to outpace reforestation and forest restoration efforts. In tropical countries with significant forest resources, like Brazil, Democratic Republic of Congo and Indonesia, illegal logging usually involves large swaths of forest being cut down rapidly to feed the growing worldwide demand for timber. However, in a country…
6 Myths About Youth and Land
A few basic facts: there were 1.2 billion youth aged 15 to 24 years globally in 2015, accounting for one out of every six people worldwide. By 2030, the target date for achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the number of youth is projected to grow by 7 percent, to nearly 1.3 billion. Given…
News: Looking to the Future of Digital Development
Which digital tools show the greatest promise to maximize development impact around the world? How can organizations and governments make sure that these tools are part of an inclusive approach to development? These are the kinds of questions that participants will discuss at the Digital Development Forum: The Next 10 Years event, hosted by USAID…
News: Addressing Environmental Degradation in Haiti
Cap-Haïtien, Haiti: Chemonics joined USAID/Haiti and officials from the Haitian government for a ceremonial launch today to officially commence USAID’s Haiti Reforestation Project. The five-year Reforestation Project, supported by USAID and implemented by Chemonics, aims to address critical environmental degradation and loss of tree cover in Haiti’s North and North East departments. Representing the U.S.…
Compounded Impacts of Climate Change: Emerging Health Risks to the World’s Most Vulnerable Populations
This post originally appeared on Climatelinks. The direct consequences of climate variability and change on the health of vulnerable populations are fairly well established, but there is emerging evidence that the indirect consequences are just as insidious, detrimental, and widespread. Which populations are the most vulnerable? Those who may be more susceptible to disease, have preexisting health conditions,…
News: Chemonics Presents at the 2017 International Civil Society Week
What part should civil society play in protecting the planet? How have recent political crises put the environment at risk? How can civil society hold government institutions accountable to alleviate the resource curse? These are the kinds of questions that environmental protection and democracy and governance experts will tackle at the International Civil Society Week…
From Research to Response: The Role of Climate Information in Anticipating and Responding to Disease Outbreaks in Mozambique
This post originally appeared on Climatelinks. Malaria kills hundreds of thousands of people worldwide every year (over 90 percent of these deaths occur in Africa) and diarrheal disease is the second leading cause of death in children under five years old. Large investments in health have led to significant declines in both diseases; however, emerging evidence suggests that climate…