Project Description

Identifying Green Infrastructure and Nature-based Solutions For More Resilient Rural Communities

Donor: Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) |    Duration: 2019  |    Location: Asia-Pacific Region

About: The Asia-Pacific region is undergoing a rapid transformation in terms of socio-economic development and has seen strides in poverty reduction and overall improvement of quality of life. Agriculture remains pivotal to these countries’ economies, employing up to two-thirds of their workforce and accounting for between 10 and 30% of GDP. However, there has been heavy reliance on intensive farming practices and unsustainable agricultural approaches. These have  taken a  toll on the environment, causing widespread loss of biodiversity and freshwater resources, and increasing air and water pollution from fertilizer usage, reducing the resilience of these natural systems.

With a rapidly changing climate and an exponential rise in population, the agricultural sector is facing tremendous pressures to keep up with the growing demand for food while the natural resource base is shrinking at an alarming rate. In light of these challenges, this project aims to move towards more sustainable agricultural practices and increase resilience of natural ecosystems to reduce the vulnerabilities of rural communities and farmers to climate change.

Objective: Identify Green Infrastructure and Nature-Based Solutions options in the agricultural sector for more resilient rural communities and inform stakeholders about the potential applications and benefits of GI and NBS in the Asia-Pacific region.

GI/NBS approaches: Green or nature based infrastructure (GI) exist from micro to macro level and range from conserving natural ecosystems to creating natural processes in modified or artificial ecosystems. Available examples of GI and NBS indicate multiple potential benefits when compared to traditional ‘grey infrastructure’ including reduced lifetime O&M costs, pollution control, creating new employment opportunities, improving community resilience, safeguarding the environment and biodiversity, reducing impacts of climate change, increasing carbon storage in potential sinks and increasing land values.

Main tasks:

  • Undertake research and compile a report on the potential of green infrastructures and nature based solutions in the region highlighting current state of knowledge, policy, social and economic constraints, net public benefits, cost savings and long run benefits
  • Develop concept notes for potential GI infrastructure development projects in five countries in the region
  • Convene a regional workshop on GI and NBS in the agricultural sector