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How nature based solutions are transforming lives

08 November 2021

Nature-based solutions is a concept that highlights the fact that people can proactively protect, manage or restore natural ecosystems, while significantly contributing to addressing six major challenges: climate change, food security, water security, human health, disaster risk, and social and economic development.

IFAD has an important role to play through projects it supports, working with small-scale producers to help them adapt and build their resilience to shocks. Here are some examples of how nature-based solutions are transforming lives.

©IFAD/Joanne Levitan

After a day at pasture, shepherds in Tajikistan lead their cattle back to their village. In order to prevent the overgrazing of land, they follow a pasture rotation plan. Controlling where and when livestock graze favours more plant growth and a larger diversity of vegetation, soil conservation and improvement and enhancement of biodiversity.



In east-central Sudan, these women have come together to protect and restore their community's grazing land. The aim of the project is to ensure regulated access to land and water in Butana and to help manage the natural resources and reduce conflicts among settled farmers and herders (transhumant pastoralists) who migrate with their livestock to fixed points to take advantage of the seasonal availability of pastures.


©IFAD/Barbara Gravelli

Mangrove reforestation in the Bondali-Tenda village in Gambia is one of the activities carried-out to help create sustainable environmental and socioeconomic conditions for the local communities. This also strengthens the ecosystem enabling it to adapt and mitigate the effects of climate change and enhance biodiversity.



In Nicaragua, the introduction of fruit, timber, banana and plantain trees and leguminous crops provides shade for coffee and cocoa trees, maintaining temperatures at suitable levels. This has increased food security for the communities and, by planting native species, has helped the conservation of local biodiversity.


©IFAD/Nico Hertweck

This project in Laos improves soil fertility in vegetable gardens and farmlands and manages pest and insect invasion, thus increasing food production for the local communities. The main target of the project are women with the aim of ensuring they can fully benefit from the programme.


©IFAD/FAO/WFP/Petterik Wiggers

Irrigation schemes enable smallholder farmers, particularly women and young people, to have greater access to water, allowing them to grow more crops and increase their income and build resilience to climate change. Hayelom Kebele is one of the women who has benefitted from an irrigation project in Ethiopia. She has also received training on different aspects of watershed management.


©IFAD/Martha Populin

Family Farming Development in Maradi, Tahoua and Zinder Regions Women in Niger receive agricultural input kits which help them to increase their incomes. They are taught to organize savings groups that will finance income-generating activities. In addition, through a number of restoration and adaptation activities, small-scale farmers resilience and agricultural productivity has increased.

To find out more about IFAD’s work on Nature-based Solutions, read more here.