Posted on November 17, 2020 by Sasha Lishansky
|Authoring Organizations:||Pacific Institute|
|Applicable Tags:||Nature-Based Solutions|
|Last Updated||Jun 5, 2023|
Effective engagement with local communities in nature-based solutions (NBS) projects requires thoughtful commitment. Build relationships with stakeholder groups and incorporate their input throughout the project lifecycle, from design and planning to project management and maintenance. Engaging and empowering a diverse and inclusive group of local stakeholders allows local concerns and circumstances to be addressed early on, expands the breadth of benefits considered, and leads to improved project design. This, in turn, leads to more successful and sustainable projects that have local buy-in and a "social license to operate.”
This Lesson Learned is based on Incorporating Multiple Benefits into Water Projects: A Guide for Water Managers, 2020.
For more guidance, see
Greenpop’s Forests for Life program undertakes reforestation and invasive alien plant clearing projects in South Africa, Zambia, Malawi, and Tanzania. Greenpop centers the needs of local communities in projects by implementing projects only when a local organization initiates a project request. The local organization recommends the most relevant intervention for its community and leads decision-making during the course of the project. In addition, many of Greenpop’s projects utilize the Asset-Based Community Development framework, which seeks to identify and mobilize a community’s assets to solve its challenges. Finally, at least 50% of project budgets are set aside for capacity building related to forest restoration. Examples of this include developing alternative income streams for communities such as beekeeping or agroforestry, workshopping efficient stove technologies to minimize the demand for firewood fuel, and investing in invasive plant clearing to facilitate forest restoration and job creation. By taking a pro-community approach, Greenpop is able to implement solutions that benefit both communities and ecosystems.
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This lesson learned reflects the beliefs and experiences of the author, not necessarily the Pacific Institute, CEO Water Mandate, or UN Global Compact.