Decades of experience inform Chemonics’ environment and natural resources work, which spans more than 50 countries worldwide. Understanding interrelated development challenges, we design crosscutting solutions to complex environmental issues. Our projects support strong and inclusive governance, spur innovation and appropriate technology, and strengthen natural climate and nature-based solutions on community, regional, and national levels. As a result, our partners can better manage natural resources, protect biodiversity, increase climate resilience, and create lasting opportunities in green and blue economies that sustain healthy lives and livelihoods.

About Chemonics

Founded in 1975, Chemonics is a global leader in international development consulting. Through our network of 6,000 specialists across 95 countries, we pursue the highest standards in development to help clients, partners, and beneficiaries achieve results.

Our Services

COMBATTING ENVIRONMENTAL CRIMES. Environmental crimes, from illegal mining and logging to land grabs and wildlife trafficking, pose significant threats to ecosystems, communities, and economies worldwide. At Chemonics, we collaborate with various stakeholders to understand, monitor, and prevent these crimes, employing technology, advocacy, and networking to promote wildlife conservation, governance, and local livelihoods. In southern Africa, for example, the VukaNow activity used collective impact theory to foster stakeholder collaboration to reduce poaching and illegal wildlife trade. The activity developed predictive analytics algorithms to identify high-risk poaching areas, enhanced park management strategies, and safeguarded wildlife populations. By conducting research, hosting learning events, and supporting the Southern African Development Community in implementing a law enforcement and anti-poaching strategy, VukaNow played a critical role in enhancing regional efforts to combat wildlife crime.

WILDLIFE FORENSICS IN SOUTHERN AFRICA Through the VukaNow activity, Chemonics helped develop the ForCyt DNA database, which provides reference DNA to identify species in wildlife crime cases. The database enables forensic scientists to upload an unknown DNA sample and determine its species.

SUSTAINABLE NATURAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT. Natural resource management is vital for balancing human well-being and livelihoods with ecosystem functionality and biodiversity preservation. Chemonics prioritizes clear objectives, knowledge dissemination, and inclusive participation to foster sustainable natural resource management practices. We convene government officials, local communities, the private sector, academia, and civil society to build systemic solutions to environmental challenges, addressing threats to biodiversity and natural resources with integrated, science-based solutions. Our participatory approach promotes conservation-oriented value chains and public-private partnerships that reduce deforestation and improve resource governance to conserve biodiversity while enhancing people’s livelihoods. From the Resilient Waters activity in southern Africa, which promoted partnerships for water security and resilience, to the Páramos and Forests activity in Colombia, which supports community-based forest management and biodiversity conservation, Chemonics helps communities make natural resource management more effective and sustainable.

Top Left: Achmad Rodli, Natai Baru Village secretary and independent plantation farmer, takes care of village treasury land planted with oil palm in Indonesia. Top Right: In Colombia, such as at El Madroño Ranch, it is common to see deer, capybara, puma, birds, and wetlands all in the same space, such that there is a natural reserve with native wildlife, livestock, alongside a ranching culture (As mentioned by Camilo Aerraza Chaparro). Bottom: Transfrontier Conservation-focused Media Trip to the Kavango-Zambezi TFCA encompassing Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia

CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION AND MITIGATION. Chemonics supports communities, the private sector, and governments in preparing for and adapting to climate change and reducing emissions. Our approach bolsters local capacity to safeguard natural resources, improves management of ecosystem services, and increases the quality and accessibility of climate information. For example, our Climate Finance for Development Accelerator (CFDA) aims to advance ambitious climate goals by broadening access to climate finance to diverse stakeholders. CFDA offers a dynamic platform for testing innovative approaches to mobilizing finance for climate adaptation, renewable energy, nature-based solutions, and gender-responsive initiatives. By supporting land-use planning, low-emissions initiatives, and community-based REDD+ (a United Nations framework to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries), Chemonics brings informed decision-making on climate change impacts that often disproportionately harm economically disadvantaged peoples. Our efforts include the Tierra Dorada activity in Colombia, which focuses on reducing deforestation and forest degradation emissions through conservation funding mechanisms. By promoting voluntary standards and results-based payments for environmental services to increase business competitiveness and supporting communities to engage in and benefit from global carbon markets, our programs strengthen shared environmental responsibility to adapt to and address the global climate crisis.

LAND TENURE AND RESOURCE RIGHTS. Equitable, secure land tenure — formal and informal — that strengthens stakeholder rights is essential to sound stewardship of land and natural resources. Chemonics’ work boosts multi-stakeholder investment in conservation and reduces conflict. In Tajikistan, we have broadened citizens’ understanding of legal frameworks for land and access to justice. In Rwanda, we have provided evidence-based research to inform land policy that boosts private investment, secures property rights, and promotes sustainable economic development.

Numbers reflect results achieved from 1975 – 2020

INCLUSIVE, COMMUNITY-BASED APPROACHES. Community-based approaches to conservation, natural resource management, and climate change recognize the importance of engaging and supporting local communities for long-term success. Chemonics invests in inclusive development practices that integrate lessons from experts across multiple fields to enhance gender equality and social inclusion. Examples of our work include enhancing community resilience and fostering collaboration with local authorities in the Amazon, supporting communities in Colombia to establish conservation agreements with cocoa producers, and facilitating inclusive consultations for Mozambique’s Massingir Dam to ensure diverse and equitable stakeholder participation.

PROGRAMMING FOR RESULTS. Chemonics’ projects are flexible, responsive, and innovative, applying collaborating, learning, and adapting principles throughout implementation. We rigorously collect data to monitor performance; leverage feedback to swiftly adapt to changing contexts and emerging needs and opportunities; and incorporate theories of change to capture outcome pathways, assess progress, and adjust. By mapping key steps of complex processes, our teams visualize how and why a process will succeed in reducing threats and achieving results.

Chemonics' 2023 Climate, Environment, and Natural Resource Programs