Environmental Management and Land Rights for Sustaining Development

Improved management of natural resources and important ecosystem services not only supports economic growth, and strengthens resilience to climate change but also can provide the foundation for sustainable development.

We live in a world of expanding populations, increasing pressure on dwindling natural resources, evolving sociopolitical landscapes, and a changing climate. In response, we partner with government, private sector, nongovernmental, and local community stakeholders to create solutions that improve livelihoods, protect precious water supplies, conserve natural habitats and biodiversity, and reduce vulnerability and strengthen resilience to climate change and other natural and man-made shocks. Over the past 40 years, we have amassed the experience needed to tailor our global expertise to relevant local development priorities and needs. Tapping our worldwide network of development professionals and drawing upon this experience, we help local and national stakeholders design and implement people-focused approaches that deliver development results for clients in:

Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation—Helping community, business, and government partners to translate climate science and global climate models into downscaled, locally viable strategies and solutions. We work with governments, civil society and the private sector to develop programs and policies that will strengthen resilience to climate impacts, mitigate behaviors that exacerbate vulnerabilities, and protect water supplies forests and other natural assets as well as improve food security and economic development.

Water Services and Management—Improving the management and use of our precious and threatened water resources. We assist national and local governments and private water service providers with the development and implementation of innovative approaches for providing water and sanitation services to meet demand. Our teams also help local and national governments, civil society groups, and private businesses to improve water use efficiency in agriculture, manufacturing, and urban areas, and plan and implement strategies to protect watersheds and secure water resources for current and future generations.

Sustainable Livelihoods—Analyzing value chains and crafting partnerships between governments, communities, and enterprises to reform policies, strengthen business linkages, and create incentives that stimulate local business growth based on sustainable economic, social, and environmental returns. We assist local communities and nongovernmental groups to analyze current livelihoods and potential opportunities, adding value to activities that people already understand, and build new, small, and medium enterprises.

Natural Resource Management—Balancing the protection and management of forest, water, and coastal resources. We work to improve people’s welfare by linking their livelihoods to the sound management of natural resources and ecosystems. Developing countries often face seemingly impossible choices that pit protecting ecosystems against leveraging natural resources to fund economic growth. We harness both these impulses by helping governments design policies and regulations and assisting communities to implement actions that promote the sustainable management of timber and non-timber resources, preserve biodiversity and habitat, and provide direct incentives and livelihood opportunities for local stakeholders. These can include the development of value chains and direct payments for carbon and other environmental services, thereby delivering tangible economic and social benefits that are grounded in maintaining the integrity of ecosystems.

Clean Energy and Energy Efficiency—Expanding the delivery of modern energy services reliably, and securely. Worldwide, 2.4 billion people still rely on traditional biomass for cooking and heating, and 1.6 billion people lack electricity. But affordable energy is critical to sustainable livelihoods and economic development. We support countries around the world in designing policies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fossil fuel consumption by promoting investments in clean and renewable energy as well as energy efficiency, without compromising economic development.

Land Tenure and Property Rights–DAI works within all tenure systems—customary, private, and public—to strengthen the security of land users, depending on what will yield adequate security in a given context. We do so in cost-effective ways, working with and through familiar local institutions in which local inhabitants have confidence, so they can get on with securing and managing their livelihoods. Our land tenure and property rights work includes securing property rights, supporting policy and law reforms, institution building and information dissemination, participatory land and resource planning, dispute resolution and mitigation, training, research and communications, and grants management.