Biodiversity & The Climate Strategy


The USAID Climate Strategy recognizes the concurrent global crisis of accelerated biodiversity loss and the ways in which climate change undermines the resilience of terrestrial and marine ecosystems, increasing stress on already scarce resources. Notably, the Climate Strategy recognizes nature as critical to climate solutions and integrates nature-based solutions throughout.

Nature-based solutions are one of the Climate Strategy’s five foundational principles. The Agency will elevate nature-based solutions as key tools to reduce emissions and absorb carbon, reduce disaster risk, support livelihoods, and improve food and water security. Natural and managed ecosystems are also the focus of one of six ambitious high-level targets, and USAID pledges to support the conservation, restoration, or management of 100 million hectares with a climate change mitigation benefit by 2030. Many of the forests, grasslands, wetlands, and marine ecosystems that provide climate mitigation and adaptation benefits are also critical for biodiversity conservation.

Intermediate Result 1.1 focuses on achieving climate change mitigation benefits. The Strategy highlights several illustrative actions, including: 

  • Conservation, management, and restoration of forests, mangroves, peatlands, and other high-carbon ecosystems. 
  • Protecting and supporting environmental and human rights defenders who advocate to preserve critical carbon-sequestering ecosystems.

Intermediate Result 1.2 addresses strengthening the climate resilience of people, places, ecosystems, and livelihoods that are vulnerable to the impacts of climate variability and change. Illustrative actions include: 

  • Strengthening natural resource management to manage and reduce climate risks and to build local capacity for resilience and resource sharing, including through socio-ecological approaches. 
  • Supporting the implementation of nature-based solutions, including the conservation, management, and restoration of forests, mangroves, peatlands, and other critical ecosystems, to deliver adaptation, mitigation, and other co-benefits for people and biodiversity.

The Strategy notes the importance of conserving biodiversity to maintain the ecosystem services that deliver climate mitigation and adaptation benefits. The Strategy also recognizes the importance of human rights and the critical role of Indigenous Peoples and local communities in conserving ecosystems and sustainably managing natural resources. The Climate Strategy emphasizes the need for USAID to continually strengthen the integration of biodiversity conservation and natural resource management considerations in its sector programming and policies to achieve climate goals.