This appendix reviews literature on sustainability and durability in project outcomes, coupled with scaling of impact and sustainability of projects in the face of future change. About 100 sources were reviewed, including mostly peer-reviewed literature but also assessments of project portfolios by a range of development funders and foundations. This appendix summarizes key findings from this literature outside the GEF family of reports from STAP and the IEO. The main text draws selectively on this appendix, and also links it to findings framed by GEF publications.
Appendix to STAP’s paper, “Achieving enduring outcomes from GEF investment”: a short literature review
Local commons for global benefits: indigenous and community-based management of wild species, forests and drylands
A large proportion – up to half – of the world’s land area is used or communally-managed by indigenous people and local communities (IPLCs). This includes a large share of the planet’s remaining high-quality, high-biodiversity ecosystems. These lands are critical for achieving global environmental benefits related to biodiversity, climate change mitigation, and addressing land degradation through the management and conservation of wild species, forests, and drylands – here collectively referred to as “wild resources”.
However, governance over much of these lands is weak. Communities have no legally recognized tenure – a fundamental basis for robust governance – over around 80% of this area. At the same time, central governments often lack the capacity and resources to effectively manage these vast and often remote lands. This creates de facto “open access” areas susceptible to uncontrolled and destructive exploitation, which may be via mining, logging, agricultural encroachment, hunting, or wildlife trafficking.
Strengthening community rights to manage land and resources is showing promise as an approach to deliver on biodiversity, climate change mitigation, and land degradation objectives. Clear principles and fundamental design characteristics have emerged from extensive research to guide interventions to support and establish robust governance of local “commons” – and interventions often fail when these are not followed.
There is a clear need and opportunity for the GEF to stimulate transformational change through restoring, strengthening, or establishing sound and inclusive community-based governance of traditional “commons”, promoting achievement of global environmental benefits.
A Conceptual Framework for Governing and Managing Key Flows in a Source-to-Sea Continuum
This Advisory Document from the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP) takes stock of a range of earlier GEF IW investments and concludes that existing governance and management arrangements could be improved to balance the often diverse and conflicting water management objectives, stakeholder priorities, and institutional arrangements of connected systems in the source-to-sea continuum. This proposed source-to-sea framework considers the interconnected social, ecological, and economic systems in a comprehensive manner, from the land area that is drained by a river system to the coastal area to the open ocean it flows into. It offers a way to consolidate analysis, planning, policy-making, and decision-making across sectors and scales. STAP presents in this paper a conceptual framework that can support the design and implementation of GEF projects addressing inter-connected upstream and downstream water systems by identifying several key flows that must be managed across the source-to-sea continuum and geographies.
Soil conservation in the 21st century: why we need smart agricultural intensification
Gerard Govers, Roel Merckx, Bas van Wesemael, and Kristof Van Oost
Soil erosion severely threatens the soil resource and the sustainability of agriculture. After decades of research, this problem still persists, despite the fact that adequate technical solutions now exist for most situations. This begs the question as to why soil conservation is not more rapidly and more generally implemented. Studies show that the implementation of soil conservation measures depends on a multitude of factors but it is also clear that rapid change in agricultural systems only happens when a clear economic incentive is present for the farmer. Conservation measures are often more or less cost-neutral, which explains why they are often less generally adopted than expected. This needs to be accounted for when developing a strategy on how we may achieve effective soil conservation in the Global South, where agriculture will fundamentally change in the next century. In this paper we argue that smart intensification is a necessary component of such a strategy. Smart intensification will not only allow for soil conservation to be made more economical, but will also allow for significant gains to be made in terms of soil organic carbon storage, water efficiency and biodiversity, while at the same time lowering the overall erosion risk. While smart intensification as such will not lead to adequate soil conservation, it will facilitate it and, at the same time, allow for the farmers of the Global South to be offered a more viable future.
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Title: Participatory Assessment of Land Degradation and Sustainable Land Management in Grassland and Pastoral Systems
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Title: BS:UNEP-GEF Project for Continued Enhancement of Building Capacity for Effective Participation in the BCH II
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Title: TT-Pilot (GEF 4): Promotion and Development of Local Wind Technologies in Mexico
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Title: Support to GEF Eligible Parties (LDCs & SIDs) for the Revision of the NBSAPs and Development of Fifth National Report to the CBD - Phase II
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Title: Establishing Sustainable Liquid Biofuels Production Worldwide (A Targeted Research Project)
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Title: GEF International Waters Learning Exchange and Resources Network IW LEARN