USAID Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean Environment Support Services Contract
Environmental Incentives implements the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) Office of Regional Sustainable Development Environment team under the Environmental Support Services Contract (ESSC). Under LAC ESSC, EI and partner ICF Macro, Inc., provide demand-driven technical and logistical support services in program and activity design, implementation, management, evaluation, communications, and environmental compliance for LAC regional and bilateral environment, natural resource management, resilience, and energy programs. The LAC ESSC contract focuses on four tasks and objectives outlined in the following table below.
EI provides a wide range of environmental and energy sector services under LAC ESSC to support USAID’s LAC/RSD/ENV team and LAC Missions. During years one and two, the contract quickly grew from start-up to robust program delivery, while establishing itself as a proven mechanism for providing demand-driven services to support local engagement and evidence-based solutions to regional challenges in the energy and environment sectors, including biodiversity conservation, water, combating conservation crime, compliance, natural resource management, resilience in sustainable landscapes and climate risk management. Now in its third year, LAC ESSC is broadening its scope to support USAID’s Climate Change Strategy with the focus in climate resilience and mitigation as well as in renewable energy in the LAC region.
Cover Photo: Los Haitises National Park, Dominican Republic. Photo by Bienvenida Bauer for Conservation of Biodiversity and Sustainable Tourism Project.
EI and partner Dalberg Global Development Advisors conducted an analysis of key environmental and energy trends that will affect Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) from 2020-2030 in order to improve environmental and energy programming in LAC. The analysis explored trends along multiple dimensions, including those that were both challenges (e.g., greater scarcity of water) and solutions (e.g., the rise of sustainable production); trends that were both pan-regional and local, existing and emerging or expected; and trends with either a large or a very small number of players participating.
EI analyzed tropical forests and biodiversity in Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Dominica, Saint Lucia, Barbados, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, and Suriname. The analysis identified opportunities to integrate conservation across sectors and informed the development and implementation of the ESC Mission’s Regional Development Cooperation Strategy, a five-year planning tool to strategically target the region’s most challenging problems.
EI and partner ICF Incorporated, LLC conducted an innovative study integrating data and trends on disaster and climate risk with USAID’s food security resilience guidance. The study includes regional shocks and stressors, country profiles for Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Lucia, Grenada, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, and Guyana, the current landscape of resilience actors, and regional initiatives. Recommendations are intended to ensure USAID investments focus on the most significant needs of ESC countries, align with regional strategies, and increase absorptive, adaptive, and transformative resilience capacities.
EI coordinated a virtual regional Climate Change Symposium, convening stakeholders to share experiences and identify climate action priorities. Eight sessions featured 39 speakers, including high-level regional public sector representatives; climate specialists; climate youth activists; experts from social, health, and economic sectors; and regional artists. The Symposium was broadcast live through the BlueJeans platform and the University of West Indies TV Facebook page, engaging over 1,000 participants and reaching more than a million people on Twitter.
EI, along with partner ICF Incorporated, LLC, is supporting USAID’s Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) Bureau and Missions to develop a Caribbean-wide vision for disaster recovery and climate change resilience. Drawing on 33 key informant interviews, desk research, and consultations with Missions, EI produced an assessment that provides a regional overview of key climate-related risks to priority USAID programming areas, roles and responsibilities of climate-focused institutions, and the status of related policies and programming. The assessment identifies gaps in capacities to build resilience and outlines recommendations for regional resilience programming.
Financing Sustainable Landscapes Through Small Producers in Mexico: Analysis of Barriers and OpportunitiesEI, along with partner Dalberg Global Development Advisors, collaborated with USAID Mexico and LAC/RSD/ENV counterparts to perform a financial sector analysis to identify barriers to financing sustainable landscapes. The approach included working with small producers in Mexico to identify these barriers and propose recommendations to overcome them. Due in part to agricultural expansion and livestock production, Mexico has lost, on average, more than 280,000 hectares of forest cover annually over the last three years. These losses have led to increased greenhouse gas emissions, water regulation loss, and reduced economic opportunities for communities and businesses. Reversing this trend requires working with small producers who manage a large share of Mexico’s land. The Mexico Financial Barriers Analysis presents data on these barriers to inform USAID strategy and other partners’ approaches to financing sustainable landscapes.