June 2023

Dear reader,

Hello from a warm and humid Washington, D.C. I am excited to be sharing the next edition of the PROGREEN quarterly newsletter.


Just two weeks ago, PROGREEN and our development partners arrived in Accra, Ghana, for a week of meetings and site visits. We did so jointly with our fellow environmental trust funds, PROBLUE, and the Global Partnership on Sustainability. Together, we discussed synergies and collaboration between the Trust Funds, heard from the Government of Ghana on their priorities, and engaged with some of the communities on the frontlines of the nature crisis. You can read more about it below.


In this edition, we are showcasing a diverse range of content funded by PROGREEN and our partners. Check out some of the impressive work underway by the Biodiversity, Ecosystems, and Landscape Assessment (BELA) initiative in Malawi. I also want to spotlight one of our featured blogs, written by Arame Tall and team, which speaks to the fortitude of women in the face of climate and nature crises in rural Burundi.


For those that haven’t already seen it, I encourage you to check out the 2022 PROGREEN Annual Progress Report, which is online and ready for your leisurely read.



Tim Brown,

Program Manager, PROGREEN

We are delighted to announce the approval of ProClimat Congo, a groundbreaking project that has secured $82 million in funding ($70 million IBRD loan; $12 million PROGREEN grant). ProClimat aims to strengthen landscape management and empower targeted communities in the Republic of Congo. By adopting a comprehensive landscape approach, the project will address economic development, sustainable resource use, conservation, and climate risks, specifically focusing on floods and droughts. Through initiatives such as resilient agriculture, community forestry, non-timber forest products, and ecotourism, ProClimat aims to benefit 562,000 beneficiaries, including marginalized groups, while bringing 1.2 million hectares under sustainable management practices. This transformative project holds the promise of sustainable development and the preservation of Congo's natural heritage. 

The Kazakhstan Resilient Landscape Restoration Project, funded by a US$2 million PROGREEN trust fund grant, has been approved by the Country Director on June 14, 2023, pending government signature. Its objective is to pilot community-centered agroforestry practices and strengthen government capacity for landscape management and restoration in protected areas. With a focus on nature-based tourism and biodiversity preservation in the Aksu-Zhabagly, Karatau, and Sayram-Ugamskiy nature reserves, this project aims to revitalize landscapes, promote sustainable development, and empower local communities. The project will benefit from early insights gained from the GEF project and will be implemented by the Forests and Wildlife Committee over a 5-year period. 

Economics of Nature-based Tourism ASA is working with several World Bank project teams, providing technical guidance to strengthen the impact of operations and contribute to efforts that protect biodiversity. Recent examples include support to the design of the nature-based tourism components in the Gabon Support to Economic Diversification through Blue and Green Sectors, Tripura Enhancing Landscape and Ecosystem Management, and Zambia Green, Resilient, and Transformational Tourism Development projects. The team is also working with the Uganda Investing in Forests and Protected Areas or Climate-Smart Development and Madagascar Integrated Growth Poles Series of Projects to help assess the economic impact of protected area tourism on local communities and to ensure that tourism sector is built on principles of inclusion and sustainability.  

Editorial and Digital

BLOG | MARCH 28, 2023

Burundi: Scaling up Climate Resilience in the Land of 3,000 Hills

BLOG | MARCH 20, 2023

On the Frontline of Climate Change: The Grit and Resilience of Women in the Face of Multiple Crises in Burundi

VIDEO | MARCH 28, 2023

Strengthening Climate Resilience in Burundi: Challenges, Opportunities and Solutions 

Reviving Ecosystems and Improving Livelihoods in Southern Ethiopia

In our latest story, discover how watershed management efforts are helping to safeguard Ethiopia's natural ecosystems, including its national parks. With support from PROGREEN, the Resilient Landscapes and Livelihoods project rehabilitates degraded lands and enhances biodiversity, with the aim of improving community livelihoods while reducing human pressures on the environment. Read the full article to learn about the initiatives underway in Zala District

Read more here

Disruptive Technologies for a Sustainable

Use of Chad’s Natural Capital 

More details here

In the context of the Landscape Restoration Program for the Sahel G5 countries, and specifically for the ALBIÄ Project in Chad, PROGREEEN is financing a study to identify relevant disruptive technologies that can be used in-country to support monitoring of ecosystems, wildlife, water, and land degradation.

The improved monitoring technologies are especially adapted for FCV conditions, through the World Bank’s Geo-Enabled Monitoring and Supervision (GEMS) or similar platforms.

Training sessions to build the capacity of key actors in the Chadian wildlife sector to use technological innovation, such as remote sensing are ongoing.

The ALBIÄ project also produced a 360-3D realistic view of the Ouadi Rime and Ouadi Achim (OROA) Reserve in Chad to showcase all the environmental, economic, and social benefits of sustainable landscape management.

On March 18, 2023, during a ceremony with the Minister of Environment in Djedaa, one of ALBIÄ project hotspots, project beneficiaries and stakeholders used virtual reality headsets to experience the transformation of their land thanks to improved use of water, climate smart agriculture and restoration activities.

Watch the interactive video here

Introducing 8billion: Inspiring Stories of Resilience in the Face of Climate Crisis

We are excited to announce the launch of 8billion, a grassroots storytelling movement that aims to amplify the diverse voices of resilient communities worldwide. In collaboration with Resilient Foundation, Connect4Climate - World Bank Group, and PROGREEN's Sahel Landscape Restoration program, 8billion presents four compelling short documentaries showcasing local solutions to global climate challenges. Filmed and edited by talented young trainees in Burkina Faso and Mali, alongside 8billion ambassadors, these captivating stories inspire the next generation of storytellers and climate innovators. Join the movement and watch the thought-provoking documentaries on our YouTube channel: https://waterbe.ar/8billionYT. Together, let's ignite change through storytelling and build a sustainable future.


World Bank and Development Partners convene to discuss Ghana’s environmental ambitions

June 2023

PROGREEN join PROBLUE and the Global Partnership on Sustainability for Joint Technical Meetings and Site Visits with Development Partners | Peduase, Ghana

Between June 12-16, the World Bank’s Environment, Natural Resources and Blue Economy (ENB) Global Practice gathered development partners from its 

three Trust Funds in Ghana to discuss sustainable natural resource management work across the landscape, seascape, natural capital accounting, and biodiversity agendas. The meetings aimed to spotlight the collaboration of the three Trust Funds – PROGREEN, PROBLUE, and the Global Partnership on Sustainability (GPS) – and the associated successes, challenges, and opportunities; to showcase Ghana as an example of where the three Trust Funds collaborate for impact; and to chart a path forward between Trust Funds and development partners. A delegation from the World Bank joined Ghana-based colleagues, government partners, and development partners from Germany, the UK, Norway, Sweden, and the U.S. for a week of joint technical meetings, workshops, and field visits.


In Ghana, PROGREEN is supporting the Government of Ghana’s Landscape Restoration and Small-scale Mining Project (GLRSSMP) by implementing cross-sectoral land-use planning and management in the country’s Northern Savannah Zone (NSZ). The objective of the project is to strengthen natural resource management and increase benefits to communities in targeted savannah and cocoa forest landscapes. PROGREEN is also supporting analytical work on sustainable wildfire management and the woodfuels sector, respectively. A recent report on Wildfire Monitoring and Management recommends the adoption of an accountable and participatory approach to wildfire management wherein government and communities can collaborate. Another analysis of the Woodfuels Sector in Ghana makes recommendations for demand reduction, supply enhancement, and the strengthening of governance structures.

World Bank and Development Partner delegation, led by Valerie Hickey (Global Director for Environment, Natural Resources, and Blue Economy), meet with the District Chief Executive, Bosomtwe District.

As part of the joint technical meetings, the group visited Lake Bosomtwe, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve where PROGREEN financing is helping to embed and improve sustainable landscape management practices. The group had the chance to meet with a host of local actors, from the District Chief Executive and representatives from the Water Resources Commission and Man and Biosphere (MAB) program, to the district’s Paramount Chief.


Learn more about how PROGREEN, PROBLUE, and GPS are collaborating to integrate landscape, seascape, and natural capital accounting approaches for people, planet, and prosperity.

June 2023

Launch of the Embedding Ecosystem Services into Policy Training Program (EESP) in Malawi

The PROGREEN-supported Biodiversity, Ecosystems, and Landscape Assessment (BELA) initiative joined forces with the Global Program on Sustainability (GPS) and the

Africa Natural Capital Accounting Community of Practice (Africa NCA COP) to launch the Embedding Ecosystem Services into Policy Training Program (EESP). This three-part series aims to promote ecosystem services and natural capital approaches to inform national conservation and restoration policies. The first in-person EESP training took place in Malawi and was co-developed with the Malawi Environmental Affairs and National Statistics. The training built on BELA’s recent engagement with the Malawi government and the World Bank Country Climate Development Report which culminated in a deep dive exploration of development and climate impacts on Malawi’s precious ecosystem services (read the report here). The Malawi events kicked off on June 19 with a meeting with key government, academic, and private sector decision-makers, where ecosystem services and natural capital approaches were introduced, followed by two days of training with technical staff from the government. The program resulted in the formulation of a draft Natural Capital Accounting roadmap and commitments from the National Statistics Office (NSO) of Malawi to lead account development, further solidifying their participation in the Africa NCA COP forum in Nairobi this September. 

Stay tuned for the EESP e-Course on OLC!

May 2023

Spotlight on Success of Forestry Projects in Uzbekistan at United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF 18)

On May 8th, Paola Agostini (Lead Natural Resources Management Specialist, World Bank) took part in the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF 18) side event, titled "Rooted in Forests - National and Regional Action for Global Impact",

where she facilitated discussions on Uzbekistan's ambitious afforestation program and its role in addressing climate change and desertification. During the event, Dr. Agostini presented the PROGREEN-financed RESILAND CA+ Program, a World Bank initiative aimed at promoting resilient landscape restoration in Central Asia.

May 2023

Converging for the Climate in Dushanbe (Tajikistan): Highlights from the Central Asia Climate Change Conference

The recently concluded Central Asia Climate Change Conference (CACCC-23) focused on the urgent issues of climate change and

its impacts on the water-energy-food nexus in the Central Asia region. The conference brought together over 750 participants including representatives from ministries, international organizations, NGOs, academia, media, and for the first time -- youth. Young delegates from Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan participated as speakers, panelists, and attendees in the conference plenary and side sessions sharing their vision, perspectives and innovative approaches in the Youth Statement. The successful Connect4Climate (C4C) youth takeover, organized jointly by ECA ENB, CA CMU EXT, and C4C, amplified climate action messaging and awareness, reaching a nearly 13,000-strong audience across social media platforms and generating over 1,000 interactions. The conference was preceded by the Youth Day on Climate Change and Development.  

More information here

May 2023

Novel Valuation Methods: Insights from the Measuring Development 2023 Conference

In May, Paola Agostini (Lead Natural Resources Management Specialist, World Bank) participated as a Research Panelist at the Measuring Development 2023: Mitigating the Risks and Impacts of Climate Change Conference hosted by UC Berkeley.

The conference aimed to bring together researchers, decision-makers, and practitioners to explore innovative data sources and analytical techniques for monitoring and mitigating the risks and impacts of climate change. The presentation highlighted novel valuation methods from the recently published PROGREEN-funded study Valuing Green Infrastructure: Case Study of Vakhsh Watershed (Tajikistan). This includes a geochemical tracing method to track the movement of sediments in the Vakhsh River catchment and a coupled modeling procedure to estimate the sediment budget under different intervention scenarios. 

More information here

April 2023

Scaling Investments in Nature: BELA Team Leads Global Partnership for Sustainable Development

This April, the Global Forum for Mainstreaming Nature in Decision-Making, hosted by Stanford's Natural Capital Project, unveiled a collaboration between the World

Bank, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Asian Development Bank (ADB), 15 national governments, Stanford's Natural Capital Project, and supported by the Global Environmental Fund (GEF) and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. The first of its kind collaboration aims to develop innovative policies and financial tools that accelerate investments in nature. Lessons learned from 15 case study countries were shared, showcasing the integration of nature into policies, planning, and targeted investments for ecosystem restoration. The Biodiversity, Ecosystems, and Landscape Assessments (BELA) team and collaborators from the World Bank hosted a panel event which showcased applications of ecosystem services, natural capital and nature-based solutions in Bank operations and projects. The World Bank is a clear leader in the field of Ecosystem Services Assessment and Natural Capital Accounting. The BELA approach, in fact, has been used by the Natural Capital Project to design the approach that IDB and ADB will adopt to mainstream natural capital into policy and decision-making in the 5 Latin American and 5 Asia countries respectively.  The World Bank delegates engaged in break out group and plenary discussions, exchanging best practices and the event ended with agreements to work toward a community of practice that will shape policy and finance interventions and prioritize biodiversity assets for a sustainable future.

More information here

April 2023

Presenting the Natural Capital Assessment Methodology from RESILAND Uzbekistan with the Global Forum on Mainstreaming Nature in Decisions at Stanford University

In April, Paola Agostini travelled to Stanford University to present at a Training Workshop for the Global Forum on Mainstreaming Nature in Decisions. The workshop's objective was to collaboratively create innovative natural capital approaches that transform policy and investment outcomes for both people and nature while fostering capacity building and community engagement to share experiences, challenges, and achievements. With the support of PROGREEN, the RESILAND CA+ team evaluated hotspots of opportunity for landscape restoration in Uzbekistan. This project used natural-capital assessment tools to guide decision-making processes, focusing on identifying hotspots of land degradation and climate risks, evaluating the potential for natural-based solutions and climate-smart technologies, and conducting portfolio analysis to determine optimal investment locations considering financial constraints and social justice considerations. 

More information here

April 2023

Green Horizons: Insights from Urban Forestry and Nature-Based Solutions for Resilient Cities

In the final three sessions of the Trees, Cities, & Green Future Webinar Series, co-hosted by the World Bank's ENB

(Environment, Natural Resources, and Blue Economy) and URL (Urban, Resilience, and Land) Global Practices, participants engaged in rich discussions and explored groundbreaking approaches to urban greening and resilience. Session 3 focused on showcasing urban green corridors and forestry best practices in Korea, emphasizing citizen benefits and livability. The fourth webinar, led by Senior Scientist at Cologne University of Applied Sciences, Dr. Karen Sudmeier, delved into the challenges and opportunities of implementing Nature-Based Solutions for landslide management in densely populated urban areas. Finally, Session 5 shed light on Brazil's Campinas Linear Parks Program and its success in enhancing local resilience through well-designed green corridors and urban forestry. These sessions offered valuable insights and highlighted innovative strategies for sustainable urban development. 

Watch the recording here


2022 PROGREEN Annual Progress Report

The Annual Report highlights the critical role that forests, woodlands, and landscapes fulfill for the planet, people, and economies. The report provides an overview of the breadth of PROGREEN’s investments across 44 countries in seven regions and underscores the critical work underway in each country.


Analysis of Agroforestry-Based Value Chains and Food System in Northern Ghana – The Cashew Value Chain

The report presents the findings of market and viability analyses of the cashew value chain in the Northern Savannah Zone of Ghana and identifies opportunities for supporting sustainable and profitable cashew production as a means of diversifying farming systems and livelihoods in rural communities.


Analysis of Agroforestry- Based Value Chains and Food System in Northern Ghana – The Shea Butter Value Chain

This analysis explores economic viability and value creation in the shea butter value chain with the aim of identifying opportunities for enhancing market integration and income generation especially among women in Ghana’s Northern Savannah Zone.


Wildfire Monitoring and Management Options in Northern Savannah Zone of Ghana

The report summarizes an investigation into wildfires in Ghana’s Northern Savannah Zone including practical recommendations for effective wildfire prevention, monitoring and management. 


Landscape Restoration Opportunities in the Naryn River Basin, the Kyrgyz Republic: Restoration Opportunities Assessment Methodology

This report unveils the findings of a significant Restoration Opportunities Assessment Methodology (ROAM) study conducted in the Naryn River Basin, Kyrgyz Republic. 


Assessment and Options Analysis of Climate and Nature Financing Instruments and Opportunities - Summary Note on Financing for Climate and Nature

I wrote: The report highlights a significant and growing global financing gap for climate and nature investments, despite increased awareness of the impact of nature degradation.


Ghana - Green Growth PASA: Analysis of the Woodfuels Sector 

The latest report on woodfuels consumption and production in Ghana highlights its crucial role in national energy supply and rural livelihoods, despite a decline in its percentage share in the energy mix. 


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Photo Sources

Header: photostory / Shutterstock

PROGREEN in action / Shutterstock

Image from UN Forum on Forests 18 addresses Aral Sea region issues (uzdaily.uz)