Ecosystems and Natural Resource Management

Community-driven natural resource management builds resilience by restoring degraded agricultural land and mitigating effects of climate and weather shocks. 

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aerial view of river

Natural resources are an essential part of reducing threats from drought, erosion, flooding, and tsunamis and storm surges. But they are threatened by increasing population, climate variability, and poor management. And natural resource environments are complex. New approaches are needed to address environments in the context of a broader systems approach.

Approach

Evaluations show how to mitigate the effects of climate change and strengthen resilience. One approach is through devolved responsibility for managing natural resources. Another is an agro-ecological approach that integrates natural resource management (NMR) with agriculture. This is called farmer-managed natural resource management (FMNR).

These practices improve soil health and productivity, reduce malnutrition, and strengthen capacities to cope with drought. They also reduce women’s burden for gathering wood and mitigate the impact of climate change through carbon sequestration. Integrating natural resource management and local governance has especially strong impacts on women’s empowerment.

Evidence

In Niger and Senegal, FMNR (and other community empowerment approaches to NRM) positively impacted land use and poverty reduction. In Niger, FMNR restored 5 million hectares of landscape threatened by severe desertification into productive agroforestry land. In Senegal, NRM partnerships between citizen working groups and local governments reduced poverty across 800,000 households.

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