Announcing the Climatelinks 2021 Photo Contest

The Climatelinks 2021 Photo Contest theme is Climate Change and People: The Challenges and Opportunities. We’re looking for submissions that capture the human dimension of climate change, in particular, social and economic responses to global change.

Examples of relevant photos include depictions of the links between climate change and:

  • Conflict and migration
  • Adapting to climate and weather extremes
  • Economic challenges and opportunities 
  • Nature-based solutions
  • Youth climate leaders and climate action champions

You may submit up to five images complying with the contest rules and requirements. Entries will be judged on relevance, composition, originality, and technical quality. Winners will be selected overall through an evaluation panel composed of USAID staff and the Climatelinks team.

The contest runs until July 16, 2021. Winning photos will be announced in Fall 2021, subsequently featured in Climatelinks communications, highlighted on the website’s topic pages, and showcased in the Climatelinks photo gallery. The winning photos will also be featured in the USAID Climate and Cross-sectoral Strategy Branch’s official 2022 calendar, which will be distributed to contest winners.

Submit your photos today!

Introducing the Newest Member of the Links Family: BiodiversityLinks

BiodiversityLinks, USAID’s newly refreshed and relaunched knowledge portal for biodiversity conservation, features key USAID tools and resources, as well as new evidence and learning.

Many long-time users likely remember BiodiversityLinks’ predecessors, the Natural Resources Management and Development (RM) Portal and the Biodiversity Conservation Gateway. BiodiversityLinks takes the best of these sites forward into a platform that fuels learning to improve biodiversity programming.

The site features a redesigned homepage and updated navigation throughout. Landlinks users are now able to explore biodiversity’s interactions and systems-based approaches to improve land and property rights and cross-sectoral connections. You can discover successfully completed projects like Biodiversity Understanding in Infrastructure and Landscape Development (BUILD) and Forest Carbon, Markets and Communities (FCMC), or explore organizations such as Landesa and resources on land or marine tenure, while also taking advantage of the new Library functionality to more easily share curated resources with colleagues and partners. 

Enjoy exploring the new site, and please contribute your resources, learning, and stories related to biodiversity! We will continue adding resources and adapting the site based on your feedback so please reach out to the site managers with any submissions, thoughts, or questions so we can address them and better meet your needs.



Co-creation and Partnership Opportunity

Partnership opportunity to address two Sustainable Landscapes challenges!

First, how do we speed and scale up profitable business models that secure sustainable, deforestation-free supply chains? Second, how do we develop and innovative strategies to scale landscape restoration and conservation? To support the co-creation of these models and strategies for Sustainable Landscapes, the Global Climate Change Office of USAID’s E3 Bureau (E3/GCC) posted to and a new partnership opportunity. Seeking collaborative and integrated solutions to the challenges of 1) reducing commodity-driven deforestation, and 2) scaling up landscape restoration, USAID encourages participation from both traditional and nontraditional, private sector actors.

Download the Full Announcement

Register for Climate Change Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) Industry Day Webinar 

Click here to register, and receive instructions on this live virtual session.



Announcing New Mission Support Activity for Integrated Environmental Programming

E3’s Offices of Land and Urban (E3/LU), Forestry and Biodiversity (E3/FAB), and Global Climate Change (E3/GCC) are pleased to announce a new jointly managed global integrated resource management activity that provides cross-cutting programming support to Missions.

The Integrated Natural Resource Management (INRM) activity provides on-demand support services and technical assistance for USAID Missions, Bureaus and Independent Offices across a wide array of environmental and natural resource management issues.  INRM covers the full range of environmental issues USAID works on and is managed jointly by the USAID E3 Offices of Land and Urban, Forestry and Biodiversity, and Global Climate Change.  The activity is designed to help Operating Units achieve higher impact environment programming and to support the uptake of principles and approaches outlined in the Agency’s Environmental and Natural Resource Management (ENRM) Framework.

The Integrated Natural Resource Management activity will support Missions with integrated programming across the program cycle and across sectors, such as food security and biodiversity, health and climate change, land use and environmental protection.  INRM’s overarching cross-cutting principles consider climate risks and the inclusion of women, girls, and other marginalized populations.  Technical services include:

  • Strategic planning based on timely analysis and best available evidence;
  • Project and activity design and adaptive management;
  • Testing and learning from new approaches for integrated environmental programming;
  • Monitoring, evaluation, and learning of multi-sectoral programs; and
  • Communications and knowledge management.

For more information about how to access INRM’s technical services, please download an info sheet about the new Mission-support mechanism here:  INRM Factsheet.



Announcing the Climatelinks 2020 Photo Contest

Do you have great photos of climate and development? Do you want to promote your work on Climatelinks? Now is your chance!

Submit your photos so we can share your work or your organization’s work with our global community of climate practitioners.

Our 2020 Photo Contest theme is Healthy Forests for a Healthy Future. We’re looking to capture nature-based solutions such as active reforestation, plantations, agroforestry, and natural regeneration. We would also like photos that tell the story of how individuals and communities interact with the forests they depend on, and how local leaders are conserving, managing, and restoring them.

You may submit up to five images complying with the contest rules and requirements. Entries will be judged on relevance, composition, originality, and technical quality. Winners will be selected overall through an evaluation panel composed of USAID staff and the Climatelinks team.

The contest runs until July 31, 2020. Winning photos will be announced in Fall 2020, subsequently featured in Climatelinks communications, highlighted on the website’s topic pages, and showcased in Climatelinks photo gallery. The winning photos will also be featured in the Office of Global Climate Change’s official 2021 calendar, which will be distributed to contest winners.



Reopening: Resilient, Inclusive, & Sustainable Environments (Rise) A Challenge to Address Gender-Based Violence in the Environment

Gender-based violence (GBV) is estimated to affect more than one in three women worldwide. GBV takes a variety of forms, including sexual, psychological, community, economic, institutional, and intimate partner violence, and in turn affects nearly every aspect of a person’s life, including health, education, and economic and political opportunities. At the same time, environmental degradation, loss of ecosystem benefits, and unsustainable resource use are creating complex crises worldwide. As billions of people rely on these natural resources and ecosystems to sustain themselves, the potential human impacts are dire, with disproportionate effects on women and girls.

USAID’s Office of Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment (GenDev) is hosting the RISE Challenge to seek the innovative application of promising or proven interventions to address GBV in environmental programming.


  • Spur greater awareness of the intersection between environmental degradation and GBV
  • Test new environmental programming approaches that incorporate efforts to prevent and respond to GBV
  • Widely share evidence of effective interventions and policies
  • Elevate this issue and attract commitments from other organizations, including implementing partners and donors, for collaboration and co-investment



Prospective competitors must meet the following requirements to participate in the RISE Challenge. All applications will undergo an initial eligibility screening to ensure they comply with the eligibility criteria.

Organization size and type: RISE is open to all organizations regardless of size and type.

Partnership model: Applicants must demonstrate a partnership model and/or teaming intervention that leverages the capacity, expertise, and existing relationships across relevant environmental sector organizations, gender and GBV organizations, relevant experts, and local communities.

Local presence: All applicants must use the funds to implement interventions in geographies where USAID currently operates.

Willingness to capture and share evidence and learning: All applicants need to describe a clear and actionable plan for Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning that articulates how the applicant will test hypotheses, generate evidence, and use learning to adapt programming, which will feed into the evidence base that USAID is creating.

Topical: Applicants should present interventions that address the objectives of the Program Statement in the Request for Applications.

Gender analysis: Applicants must be willing to use grant funding to complete a gender analysis of their proposed intervention before implementation.

Eligible to receive USAID funds: RISE will conduct a responsibility determination prior to award, to ensure the applicant has the organizational and technical capacity to manage a USAID-funded project.

Language: Applicants must submit their entries in English.

Completeness and timeliness: Entries will not be assessed if all required fields have not been completed.


Intervention rationale: Applicants will be judged on their articulation of the challenge, hypothesis for change, and rationale for how their intervention will prevent or respond to GBV in environmental programming.

Contextual awareness, human-centered approaches, and sensitivity: Applicants should describe and demonstrate an awareness of the local context in which their intervention operates, how they intend to meet their target population where they are at, and the measures in place to protect and collect sensitive information.

Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning: Given the nascency of the evidence base at this nexus, applicants will be judged on how their proposal will advance the international community’s understanding of challenges and potential interventions at the intersection of GBV and environmental programming.

Innovative partnerships and organizational capacity: Applicants will be judged on the degree to which their partnership model demonstrates the ability to leverage the diversity of expertise required to successfully innovate new interventions to challenges at the intersection of GBV and the environment. This includes proposed engagement with GBV organizations, women’s and girls’ organizations, indigenous communities/groups, youth, and other vulnerable groups and local partners. Partnerships with research, academic, or evaluation organizations with the capacity to support evidence collection are also highly encouraged.

Pathway to integration: Applicants should demonstrate a plan for understanding how this intervention can be applied in new contexts beyond the initial application.

Deadlines, details, and application: Contact us:



Meet the USAID Resilient, Inclusive, & Sustainable Environments (RISE) Challenge winners!

Gender–based violence (GBV) is estimated to affect more than one in three women worldwide. This widespread problem takes a variety of forms and can affect nearly every aspect of a survivors’ life. At the same time, environmental degradation, loss of ecosystem benefits, and unsustainable resource use are creating instability and control imbalances over natural resources. When these environmental threats occur, GBV increases.

In 2019, USAID’s Office of Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment (GenDev) designed the RISE Challenge to identify and fund the innovative application of promising approaches to address GBV across programs that address the access, use, control, and management of natural resources.


  • Increase awareness of the intersection between environmental conservation and GBV
  • Test new environmental programming approaches that incorporate efforts to prevent and respond to GBV
  • Share evidence of effective interventions and policies widely
  • Elevate this issue and attract commitments from other organizations, including implementing partners and donors, for collaboration and co-investment



Action to Protect Women and Abandoned Children (ASEFA) is partnering with the Harvard Humanitarian Initative (HHI) and two other women-led local organizations to implement the project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC): Resource-ful Empowerment: Elevating Women’s Voices for Human and Environmental Protection in Congolese Small-Scale Mining.

The project will address GBV and environmental degradation associated with artisanal mining in the eastern DRC, where one study found that one in seven women were required to trade sex for access to work in mining. Building upon research conducted by HHI in 2016, ASEFA and HHI will train 360 women and mine miners through a year-long curriculum on human rights, women’s protection, and measures for reducing the environmental impact of artisanal mining in four project sites within each of the provinces of North Kivu, South Kivu, and Maniema. Two of the four communities will receive additional training that examines the link between people who work in mining towns and how humans are connected to their environment with the main goal of improving both environmental and human outcomes. The project aims to develop an evidence-based, scalable, and replicable curriculum to address human rights, GBV, and environmental protection.


The Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM) is partnering with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Development Lab (MIT D-Lab) to implement the project in Colombia: Creative Capacity Building to Address Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in the Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining Sector.

The project introduces GBV prevention and response into an existing MIT D-Lab project that aims to increase socio-economic opportunities for women miners while reducing environmental impacts in the Antioquia region of Colombia. In 2018, ARM completed a study in Antioquia that found that gender inequality and GBV are widespread in the mining communities. With RISE funding, the project will use a proven and innovative movement-building approach to address GBV in mining. Through this approach, ARM will create safe spaces for women to share their GBV experiences and receive guidance on how to identify specific GBV challenges to collectively build solutions. The project will also guide women on best practices in organizing themselves into associations and how to effectively implement a strategy to address GBV in their communities. This project will increase awareness and provide women miners with the skills and spaces to overcome social and economic gender-based violence.


Marstel-Day and WI-HER, as well as their counterparts, the University of the South Pacific, the Fiji Environmental Law Association, Live & Learn Environmental Education, and Fiji’s REDD+ Programme, are working together to promote gender equity and transformation by tackling resource-based conflict and GBV in Fiji.

With funding from the World Bank, Marstel-Day staff supported the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+) program’s readiness efforts and led to the design and implementation of the Feedback, Grievances, and Redress Mechanism (FGRM), a promising framework for resolving resource-based disputes and conflicts that may arise from REDD+ programming. The FGRM facilitates two-way communication between communities and national government agencies or companies to solve issues arising from REDD+ programming through formalized dialogue. With RISE funding, the consortium will use WI-HER’s proven approach to integrate gender (iDARE) to improve the FGRM so that it better addresses gender-based risk and GBV as a result of payment for ecosystem services programming, like REDD+.


Trócaire is partnering with Land Equity Movement of Uganda (LEMU) and Soroti Catholic Diocese Integrated Development Organization (SOCADIDO) to implement the project in Uganda: Securing Land Rights and Ending Gender Exclusion Project.

In eastern Uganda, approximately 80% of women report experiencing physical and psychological violence when claiming their land rights, and only 8% of men believe it is wrong to commit violence against women. With RISE funding, the partners will integrate SASA!, a proven methodology that addresses power imbalances between men and women to prevent and respond to GBV, while improving land tenure and property rights in Uganda. They will train faith-based leaders and partner staff to

promote positive social norms that support women’s rights to access and control land and to live free from GBV. The partners will also help women better document their land rights by developing and training traditional leaders to use an alternative dispute resolution mechanism that takes into consideration the rights of women.


Women for Women International (WfWI) is partnering with Innovation and Training for Development and Peace (IFDP) to promote women’s rights and improve women’s access to land and GBV referral systems in the DRC.

In the DRC, women experience high levels of GBV and low levels of land ownership. For the past fifteen years, WfWI has worked to improve the lives of over100,000 women in the Congolese province of South Kivu by addressing the drivers of GBV and gender inequality at the community level. With RISE funding, WfWI and IFDP will adapt their promising GBV interventions and apply them to land rights and access, which is an area where women are particularly at risk. This project will engage men in shifting social norms, train change agents to prevent GBV, and expand women’s land rights, thereby boosting their economic security.



USAID is now accepting applications for funding on land and resource governance research in select African countries!

USAID is pleased to announce the Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research (PEER) Special Call for applications to support graduate students and their mentors interested in building their capacity for research on land and resource governance. One-year awards of up to $15,000 per research team (mentor and one or more graduate students and/or postdocs) are available. Applicants must be based in Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Tanzania, or Zambia. All applications submitted in response to this call MUST incorporate previously-generated USAID impact evaluation data available on USAID Land and Urban’s LandLinks or by contacting USAID LU’s LandLinks website or email

The application deadline is April 17, 2020, and applicants will be notified of the outcome of their applications on or around May 1. For examples of research topics, details on the application and review process, and application form, visit the PEER webpage.

Click Here to Learn More and Apply


In Tribute to a Land and Gender Champion: Chief Nyamphande

The international development community mourns the loss of Chief Nyamphande IV, a traditional chief of the Nsenga Tribe of Zambia, who passed away suddenly on January 17, 2020. Chief Nyamphande was a celebrated land champion known for promoting women’s land rights and access to land for all people across Zambia. An important USAID partner, Chief Nyamphande contributed to numerous national development efforts over the course of his career, and his leadership offered a model of good governance for customary land.

First meeting of USAID land tenure programs with Chief Nyamphande in one of his fields in December 2014 (photo by James Murombedzi).
First meeting of USAID land tenure programs with Chief Nyamphande in one of his fields in December 2014. Photo: James Murombedzi

“Chief Nyamphande was the first traditional leader USAID encountered when designing its support to customary land rights. He always acted as an ambassador for good governance with a focus on ‘how does any partnership improve the livelihoods of the people within his chiefdom,”USAID ILRG Chief of Party Matt Sommerville remarked on the chief’s legacy.  He continued, “Chief Nyamphande provided a vision for using participatorily developed maps to secure the rights of his people, particularly women, as well as to negotiate positive outcomes with government in areas of water and sanitation, wildlife management and agricultural productivity. His passing is a deep loss for Zambia, though it is heartening to see many following in his footsteps.

Once an accountant, Chief Nyamphande was called to leave city life behind and return to serve his people of the Nsenga Tribe in Zambia’s Petauke District. Over the course of his years as chief, Nyamphande was devastated by the extent of land-related issues plaguing his community. Each week he witnessed widows being chased from their farms by extended family, neighbors fighting over boundaries and resources, and widespread deforestation of his people’s once densely forested land. Chief Nyamphande lamented these challenges in a 2019 interview:

“Women were the most disadvantaged,” Nyamphande said. “Brothers displaced widows and women were like an appendage to their husbands. They didn’t have rights. Brother fought with brother, and neighbor with neighbor. We had hundreds of disputes every year. If it wasn’t about ownership, it was about boundaries. There were assaults and even killings. Our community’s forests were a free-for-all. We didn’t know who was coming in and cutting our trees by the truckload.

Through his involvement with the USAID Tenure and Global Climate Change Program in 2014, he helped dramatically reduce the number of people affected by these issues, and supported his people to better-manage their land for a more sustainable future.

“Land is scarce,” Nyamphande said in 2019. “We’ve realized that we need to manage land better. This [USAID] program allows us to do that. We are setting aside a conservation area where no one will farm. We are protecting the natural environment by making rules about who can cut trees, who cannot cut. And, most importantly, when you cut a tree, you must plant a tree.

In 2018 Nyamphande continued his work by partnering with the USAID Integrated Land and Resource Governance Program (ILRG), supporting his and other communities to document their land tenure under the authority of village headpersons and chiefs. Through this work, male and female farmers in his community were provided physical, laminated, signed documentation of their land rights; a level of land security most farmers had never experienced. Before ILRG, few of Chief Nyamphande’s people had any documentation of their land at all.

“Anyone could make any claim,” Chief Nyamphande said in 2019. “It was an open field. People would come out of nowhere and say: ‘my grandfather loaned this land to your grandfather and now I am taking the land back’. We didn’t know if it was true or untrue. There was no documentation of anything.

In past rainy seasons, which last from October through March, mediation and conflict resolution between farmers and neighbors consumed Chief Nyamphande’s life. As the farmers were working their fields,  Chief Nyamphande was working to keep the peace, resolve disputes, and help his community manage resources. Land documentation drastically reduced the need for mediation and the amount of time Chief Nyamphande spent settling disputes. Before his death Nyamphande heard community disputes on Mondays and Fridays, often referring both parties back to their land certificates to settle the conflict.

“Land tenure was our missing link,” the Chief said. “We had disputes and serious violence. But now, with GPS technology we have precisely measured our land. And we suddenly have order.

USAID and the government of Zambia look forward to continuing Nyamphande’s strong legacy of charting a prosperous and sustainable future for his people. Working closely with the new Acting Chief, the program will continue pushing land rights forward with the people of Zambia.