Decades of experience inform Chemonics’ work in environment and natural resources, which spans more than 50 countries worldwide. Understanding interrelated development challenges, we design crosscutting solutions to complex environmental problems. Our projects engage stakeholders to support strong and inclusive governance, promote proven environmental technologies, and build sound environmental management at every level. As a result, communities can better manage their natural resources and protect biodiversity, increase climate resilience, and create lasting opportunities that sustain livelihoods

About Chemonics

Founded in 1975, Chemonics is a global leader in international development consulting. In 80 countries, our network of 5,000 specialists pursues a higher standard in development to help clients, partners, and beneficiaries achieve results.

Our Services

COMBATTING ENVIRONMENTAL CRIMES. Innovative technologies, forensic science, and close coordination with stakeholders drive our approach to combatting wildlife, fisheries, and forest crimes, enabling communities to predict, prevent, and disrupt chains of illegality. We reduce consumer demand for wildlife products by applying tailored social and behavioral change methods. By strengthening judicial capacity, prosecutorial capability, and law enforcement, we help countries reduce the exploitation and trade of trafficked goods. We convene experts and community members to co-create and implement effective counter-trafficking solutions and create positive alternatives to activities such as illegal artisanal gold mining in Colombia.

WILDLIFE FORENSICS IN SOUTHERN AFRICA Through the VukaNow activity, Chemonics helped develop the ForCyt DNA database, which provides reference DNA to identify species in wildlife crime cases. The database enables forensic scientists to upload an unknown DNA sample and determine its species.

BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION, NATURAL RESOURCES MANAGEMENT, AND SUSTAINABLE LANDSCAPES. We convene government officials, local communities, the private sector, academia, and civil society to build systemic solutions to environmental challenges. This allows us to address threats to biodiversity and natural resources and apply integrated, science-based solutions. Our participatory approach focuses on conserving biodiversity, promoting conservation-oriented value chains, reducing deforestation, and improving resource governance. By facilitating public-private partnerships, supporting community-based natural resources management, and promoting sustainable agriculture and tourism, we enable local communities to conserve ecological and cultural heritage while spurring sustainable economic growth. For example, we partner with indigenous communities through the Natural Wealth Program to establish conservation clusters and facilitate the registration and sustainable management of private natural reserves in Colombia.

Photo Credit: Julián Lineros (Top), Martín Villamizar (Bottom Right)

CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION AND MITIGATION. We help communities and governments prepare for and adapt to climate change and reduce emissions. Our approach bolsters local capacity to safeguards natural resources, improves management of ecosystem services, and increases the quality and accessibility of climate information. Our programs such as the USAID Adaptation Thought Leadership and Assessments (ATLAS) project go beyond general climate vulnerability assessments to develop specialized decision-making tools and guidance to support improved resilience and effective climate adaptation. By improving land-use planning and community-based REDD+ and low-emission initiatives, we bring informed decision-making to address the impacts of climate change that often disproportionately harm the poor. These efforts include promoting voluntary standards and results-based payments for environmental services to increase the competitiveness of businesses, promote finance for conservation and clean production, and strengthen shared environmental responsibility.

LAND TENURE AND RESOURCE RIGHTS. We believe that equitable, secure land tenure — formal and informal — that strengthens stakeholder rights is essential to sound stewardship of land and natural resources. Our work boosts multi-stakeholder investment in conservation and reduces conflict. In Tajikistan, we have broadened citizens’ understanding of legal frameworks for land and access to justice. Chemonics has also provided evidence-based research to inform land policy that boosts private investment, secures property rights, and promotes sustainable economic development in Rwanda.

Numbers reflect results achieved from 1975 – 2020

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT. To achieve biodiversity conservation goals — and global goals of environmental sustainability, social equity, and empowerment — we must engage communities. As part of this effort, Chemonics partnered with Arizona State University’s Center for Biodiversity Outcomes to establish the Conservation Solutions Lab, which studies how to engage communities to achieve sustainable project outcomes. The lab brings together a multidisciplinary group of scientists, conservationists, and development practitioners to build evidence-based, practical solutions that help design, implement, and evaluate community engagement in conservation.

PROGRAMMING FOR RESULTS. Chemonics’ projects are flexible, responsive, and innovative; they apply CLA practices throughout implementation. Our projects rigorously collect data to monitor performance, leverage feedback to swiftly adapt to contexts and changing needs, and incorporate theories of change to capture outcome pathways, assess progress, and adjust. By mapping key steps of complex processes, theories of change help teams visualize how and why a process will succeed in reducing threats and, given specific circumstances, achieve results.