Opportunity and Risk: Mining and the Green Energy Transition


Join the Wilson Center’s Environmental Change and Security Program for a discussion of how the projected increase in mineral demand could influence markets, supply chains, and geopolitical competition, shaping the future of global peace and security.

Wednesday June 1, 2022

3:30 PM – 5:00 PM ET

RSVP here.

The live event webcast will appear on this Wilson Center webpage promptly at 3:30 pm ET on June 1, 2022. 

The latest IPCC report underscored the urgency of an aggressive energy transformation if the world is to stave off climate disaster. With current technologies, that transformation means a steep rise in the use of critical minerals, already essential for the digital age global economy. The shift from fossil fuels to other minerals comes with environmental, social, and governance tradeoffs. For developing countries, in particular, there is both opportunity and risk, according to a recent report from the U.S. Agency for International Development. Join the Wilson Center’s Environmental Change and Security Program for a discussion of how the projected increase in mineral demand could influence markets, supply chains, and geopolitical competition, shaping the future of global peace and security.

Follow the conversation on Twitter @NewSecurityBeat.


Introduction: Lauren Herzer Risi, Program Director, Environmental Change and Security Program, Wilson Center

Keynote Speakers:

  • Kathy Castor (D-FL 14th District), Chair, Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, U.S. House of Representatives
  • Gillian Caldwell, Chief Climate Officer and Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Center for Environment, Energy, and Infrastructure, U.S. Agency for International Development

Moderator: Sharon Burke, Global Fellow, Environmental Change and Security Program; Founder and President, Ecospherics


  • Jewellord (Jojo) Nem Sing, Assistant Professor in International Development, International Institute of Social Studies
  • Alyssa Newman, Program Manager, Responsible Materials & Inclusive Sourcing, Google
  • Josee-Blandine Ongotto, Project Manager, Combatting Child Labor in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s Cobalt Industry (COTECCO, funded by DOL Kolwezi, DRC), International Labor Organization ​
  • Kimberly Thompson, Senior Advisor, Natural Resource Governance & Conflict and Industry Lead for Mining, Center for Environment, Energy, and Infrastructure, U.S. Agency for International Development


Frontiers: The Voluntary Guidelines on Tenure, Ten Years Later


Ten years ago, donors from around the world came together to negotiate a first-of-its-kind international agreement to strengthen and secure land rights in the context of food security. This agreement—the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests (VGGT)—was negotiated in a unique, inclusive process by the UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS) that included more than 100 UN member states, 30 civil society organizations, a private sector network, and numerous observers. After two years of intense negotiations, the VGGT was unanimously adopted in 2012.

The arrival of the VGGT was hailed as a watershed moment for the land rights community, and prompted a flurry of activity and funding. Donors allocated billions of dollars to implement the principles enshrined in the VGGTs, across dozens of countries.

Ten years later, we can look back and ask: what have we accomplished; what have we learned; and, where do we go from here?

Please join the U.S. Agency for International Development and New America on June 7 at 9 a.m. Eastern for a panel discussion to take stock of a decade of implementing the VGGT, and discuss the future of this landmark agreement. This event is supported by the USAID Integrated Natural Resource Management project.

RSVP here

Women, Deeds, and Dirt: Confront the Climate Crisis, Uproot Gender Inequality (Recorded)


This event on March 22, 2022 examined the intersection of women’s land rights, sustainable land use, and the climate crisis by: highlighting the connection between gender-sensitive land rights reforms and climate change mitigation and adaptation, and discussing sustainable land use strategies related to women’s skills and knowledge, such as in water and agriculture.

Listen to the podcast to hear from Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry, USAID Chief Climate Officer Gillian Caldwell and others on their efforts related to this nexus. This side event to the 66th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) was convened by U.S. Department of State, USAID, and Landesa, a U.S. Department of State and USAID foreign assistance implementer.

The podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Anchor.

Frontiers: Women Leading Solutions to Climate Change


Virtual Event

Monday March 21, 2022 | 9:00AM – 10:30AM EDT

Watch the event recording here.

Climate change poses incredible challenges for women and girls in the developing world and threatens global progress on gender equality.

We know that the growing scarcity of natural resources and the increase in extreme weather events due to climate change disproportionately impacts women and girls, especially those in marginalized and underrepresented groups. Climate change limits their opportunities for education and income-generating activities, harms their overall health and wellbeing, and increases their risk of violence and exploitation.

At the same time, women around the world are leading the efforts within their households and communities to prepare for and adapt to climate shocks and stresses. And women leaders are stepping up to design solutions that mitigate climate change at the local, national, and international levels. Studies show that when women are engaged as decision-makers in resilience and disaster plans, their communities are better able to adapt and manage climate impacts.

To celebrate and recognize the sixty-sixth session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), please join the U.S. Agency for International Development and New America on March 21st at 9 a.m. Eastern for a virtual fireside chat between New America and USAID leadership, followed by a panel discussion that explores the many ways women are leading solutions to critical land and natural resource management and climate change challenges. This event is supported by the USAID Integrated Natural Resource Management project.


Fireside Chat: Women Leading on Climate Change

  • Anne-Marie Slaughter, CEO, New America
  • Gillian Caldwell, Chief Climate Officer, USAID
  • Jamille Bigio, Senior Coordinator for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment, USAID

Panel Discussion: Approaches from Around the World

  • Solange Bandiaky-Badji, Coordinator, Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI) and President, the Rights and Resources Group (RRG)
  • Rili Djohani, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Coral Triangle Center (CTC)
  • Tracy Farrell, Director, North American Region, International Union for Conservation of Nature
  • Moderator: Karol Boudreaux, Senior Land and Resource Governance Advisor, USAID


Artisanal Small-scale Gold Mining (ASGM) Sector Expansion in Latin America: Drivers, Impacts, Solutions


Hosted by the LAC Environment Combating Conservation Crime Learning Group, this event spotlighted ASGM in Peru and approaches to address its drivers and impacts, from improving governance to environmental remediation.

Presentations by: 

  • Ana Cristina Villegas, Biodiversity and Forest Advisor, USAID LAC Bureau
  • Beatriz Torres, Regional Amazon Environment Specialist, USAID/Peru
  • Luis Fernandez, Executive Director, Wake Forest University’s Center for Amazonian Scientific Innovation (CINCIA)


USAID Integrated Land and Resource Governance (ILRG) Annual Research Symposium

Event | Online

Register for the event


The USAID Integrated Land and Resource Governance (ILRG) Annual Research Symposium will showcase academic research and field experience in Zambia related to land tenure and natural resource management over the course of four weeks (Wednesdays and Thursdays from 13:00 – 15:00 CAT). The presentations with Q & A will be entirely virtual through the Zoom platform (assistance with Internet connection is available.)


Registration for the symposium is now open. Registration is not required to view the symposium but is requested in order to participate in the discussion.


Each week 4-5 presentations + discussion will focus on the following thematic issues:

    • 6 October: Opening and Government Context on Land and Resource Policy in Zambia
    • 7-8 October: State and Customary Land Governance
    • 14-15 October: Land Documentation and Administration
    • 21-22 October: Natural Resource Management
    • 28-29 October: Integrated Development Planning


The opening session is Tuesday, October 6 at 13:00 CAT (7:00 ET). You can join this session and all subsequent symposium sessions by clicking the link below:

Click Here to Join the Event



Webinar: Community Based Natural Resource Management in Zambia: Critical Issues and New Opportunities

Event | Online

Zambia is rich in natural resources, with vast forests, wetlands, and diverse wildlife populations. Community-based natural resource management (CBNRM) is central to conservation and rural development in Zambia, in seeking to generate incentives and greater economic value for local communities from forests and wildlife. Important changes have taken place in Zambia in recent years, including the passage of the 2015 Forests Act, which provides new mechanisms for community forest management and is spurring establishment of community forests in different parts of the country. Policy reforms and field-level experiments are also creating potential opportunities in wildlife management and conservation approaches.

This webinar will provide an opportunity to learn about policy and legal reforms, and innovative efforts in the field, to advance CBNRM in Zambia. It will share findings from a new review produced by Maliasili and the USAID-funded Integrated Land and Resource Governance (ILRG) program, in collaboration with The Nature Conservancy Africa Program. Speakers will include representatives from key government agencies and civil society organizations working on CBNRM in Zambia, including those implementing CBNRM in the field and working on policy reforms.


Forestry Department
Patricia Mupeta-Muyamwa
The Nature Conservancy Africa Program

Jassiel Msoka

Rodgers Lubilo
Frankfurt Zoological Society

Hassan Sachedina
BioCarbon Partners (TBC)

Bupe Banda
Zambia National Community Resources
Boards Association

Fred Nelson

Ian Robinson
Wildlife Producers Association of Zambia


Gender-based Violence and Environment Linkages: Key Issues and Strategies for Change

Event | Online

Join IUCN, USAID, and other partners for the first in a series of webinars and presenting AGENT research and key findings on linkages related to:

  • Access and control of land and natural resources (e.g., fisheries, agriculture, water and energy)
  • Environmental pressures and threats (e.g., disasters, climate change, environmental crimes)
  • Crucial strategies for safeguards and other interventions

And introducing the grantees of RISE , USAID’s global challenge to address these linkages.

Gender-based violence (GBV) is pervasive across sectors, countries, and communities. Both a symptom of gender inequality and a means for keeping it intact, GBV impedes progress toward gender equality and acts as a barrier to meeting conservation and sustainable development goals.

Viewed nearly 10,000 times in its first three months online and covered by more than 60 media articles so far, Gender-based Violence and Environment Linkages: The Violence of Inequality (IUCN, 2020) brought together evidence and analysis from across environment-related sectors and contexts to better understand GBV in relation to natural resource access and control and environmental degradation and stressors. A webinar series will present and discuss key findings, across issues and sectors, toward improved coordinated strategies and results.


Advancing Gender in the Environment (AGENT) is a ten-year Public International Organization (PIO) grant to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) that was established in 2014 and is managed by the Bureau for Economic Growth, Education and Environment’s (E3) Office of Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment. The purpose of the grant is to increase the effectiveness of USAID’s environment programming through the robust integration of gender considerations, improving gender equality and women’s empowerment outcomes in a broad range of environmental sectors. AGENT provides an array of support for national, regional and global environmental activities to advance women’s empowerment and gender equality. AGENT’s support is designed to complement existing or emerging USAID environmental efforts. AGENT broadens the reach of technical support, builds evidence for gender integration throughout environmental sectors, fills critical information gaps, and develops targeted resources and tools that can be directly applied in Agency programs, training, and communications.

The information provided in this email is not official U.S. Government information and does not represent the views or positions of the U.S. Agency for International Development or the U.S. Government. 

You can learn more about AGENT here.
Follow AGENT news on Twitter at#AGENT_usaid .



Webinar: Digging Deeper into Artisanal & Small-Scale Mining: Gender & Women’s Economic Empowerment

Event | Online
USAID’s Land and Urban Office recently hosted a webinar on Digging Deeper into Artisanal &Small-Scale Mining: Gender & Women’s Economic Empowerment. View the webinar recording, and download the presentation.

In this webinar, USAID and development experts discussed on gender-related opportunities and constraints in ASM, with a focus on strategies for transforming gender biases in the sector, and ensuring that women and men have equal access to economic empowerment through ASM-related value chains.

The artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) sector offers critical economic opportunities for women as well as a unique set of challenges. Women work at all levels of the ASM value chain, from pit labor to international trading and represent 30-50 percent of the global workforce for ASM. The most lucrative opportunities related to ASM, however, fall largely to men. Women often work longer hours for less money, lack rights to important production assets, such as land, licensing and capital, and are more exposed to social and environmental risks, including gender-based violence.

Opening Remarks:

Jeffrey Haeni, Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator, USAID

Jeffrey Haeni is the Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator in the Bureau for Economic Growth, Education and Environment (E3), where he oversees the Energy and Infrastructure, Forest and Biodiversity, Land and Urban, and Global Climate Change Offices.


Kimberly Thompson, Natural Resource Governance and Conflict Advisor, USAID E3/Land Team

Kim Thompson is a Natural Resource Governance and Conflict Advisor for the E3/Land and Urban Office. She is a career foreign service officer and leads USAID’s work on artisanal and small scale mining.


Joanne Lebert, Executive Director, IMPACT. Ms. Lebert leads IMPACT’s work to improve how natural resources are managed where security and human rights are at risk. Her work has focused on contributing to responsibly-sourced, conflict-free minerals and she has helped Central African governments launch and implement a regional strategy to tackle conflict minerals.

Jocelyn Kelly, Director, Gender, Rights, and Resilience, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI).  Ms. Kelly is the founding director for HHI’s Women in War program, and currently is a fellow at HHI where she designs and implements projects to examine issues relating to gender, peace, and security in fragile states.

Nathalia Rocio Mendoza Baron, Gender Coordinator, Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM). Ms. Mendoza is a political scientist and internationalist, coordinator. She leads gender mainstreaming into the projects and processes of the ARM. Previously she worked on promoting women’s rights through gender mainstreaming with the government of Bogotá. 




Learn More about Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining

WEBCAST | Building Bridges: Cross-Sectoral Approaches to Biodiversity Conservation, Governance, Health, & Food Security

Event | Online

Sound management of natural resources is integral to a country’s development, resilience, and self-reliance. By promoting development that benefits both nature and people, biodiversity conservation activities can strengthen development impact and the capacity of countries to manage their natural resources, improving their self-reliance.

The Wilson Center’s Environmental Change & Security Program, in partnership with USAID’s USAID’s Biodiversity Results and Integrated Development Gains Enhanced (BRIDGE) project, held a three-part virtual series with researchers and practitioners discussing lessons learned and entry points for action in the integration of biodiversity conservation, governance, public health, and food security.

There are strong linkages between good governance and biodiversity conservation. Better governance, conservation and natural resource management all focus on improving the collective good. Similarly, good governance and biodiversity conservation require the participation of local communities in decision making and management. Where governance institutions are seen as legitimate, transparent and effective, people are much more likely to follow the rules and regulations that the institutions set. Further, combining collective action, natural resource management and good governance can provide incentives to individuals and groups to manage natural resources in more sustainable ways. Good governance is thus a linchpin of biodiversity conservation. Examples of programming interventions include improved marine biodiversity conservation through community participation in co-management; increased prosecution of environmental crime through investments in judicial systems; or enhanced integrity of forested landscapes through investments in indigenous land tenure systems.

Building Bridges: Governance, Natural Resource Management, and “Thinking and Working Politically”
Follow the link above to view the webcast recording. 

Moderated by Derick Brinkerhoff, Distinguished Fellow Emeritus, RTI International with an introduction by Kyle Rearick, Forestry and Biodiversity Advisor, U.S. Agency for International Development.

Panel Speakers:

  • Suzanne Kelly-Lyall, Founder, Wildcat Research & Advisory Services, LLC.
  • Rachel Kleinfeld, Senior Fellow, Democracy, Conflict, and Governance Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Diane Russell, President, SocioEcological Strategies, Inc.
Other Webcast in Series

Governance, Natural Resource Management, and “Thinking and Working Politically” is the second panel in a three-part “Building Bridges” virtual series to hear from researchers and practitioners on lessons learned and entry points for action in the integration of biodiversity conservation, governance, public health, and food security.

For the past five years, BRIDGE has supported the second goal of USAID’s Biodiversity Policy, to “integrate biodiversity as an essential component of human development.” BRIDGE collaborates with USAID missions and regional and technical bureaus to identify and promote integrated programming approaches and contribute to the evidence base for integration.

The Environmental Change and Security Program (ECSP) explores the connections between environmental, health, and population dynamics and their links to conflict, human insecurity, and foreign policy.

Additional Resources: