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).
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.
Connecting Space to Village
Science, satellites, and information technology are transforming how countries manage critical development challenges such as climate resilience and environmental management.
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.
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.
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…
From Trickle to Flood: How Water Extremes Can Impact Health
In early 2018, drought-stricken Cape Town narrowly averted its “Day Zero,” the day when taps in the city would have run dry. Reservoirs filled up just enough to avert an all-out water crisis, and “Day Zero” has now been pushed to 2019. Meanwhile, in 2016, 2017, and 2018, floods in South Asia, Africa, Europe, 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…