This blog originally appeared on the News and Insights Blog on WorkwithUSAID.org.
Environmental compliance is not just about checking regulatory boxes. As USAID partner countries confront complex challenges, including the impacts of climate change, USAID’s commitment to including environmental considerations in project planning, design, and implementation is essential to achieve sustainability goals, including as articulated in the Agency’s 2022-2030 Climate Strategy. The Strategy lays out how the Agency will “work on the ground with partner governments and local actors to set the global trajectory toward our vision of a resilient, prosperous, and equitable world with net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.”
In our experience, making the most of environmental compliance is all about perspective:
Consider the management of a healthy forest ecosystem—each component part, from the soil microbes to the vegetation and wildlife—to the communities that steward and depend on the goods and services the forest produces—is part of an integrated system that can’t be fully understood or effectively managed in isolation.
In a similar vein, project design and implementation involve a group of activities that must be managed in a coordinated way. Regulations like 22 CFR 216 (“Reg. 216”) provide an environmental lens through which project designers and implementers can better prepare for and manage, the systemic impacts of implementation.