Environment

Improved management of natural resources and important ecosystem services not only supports economic growth and strengthens resilience to climate change but also can provide the foundation for sustainable development.

Natural Resource Management

Across the developing world, population growth and surging demand for agricultural land has put tremendous pressure on natural resources as people strive to meet their daily needs for food, shelter, and energy. Many governments face increasing pressure from communities and local and international businesses to exploit natural resources in the quest for economic growth. But DAI’s experience has shown that growth and conservation are not mutually exclusive—in fact, linking the two can have significant, mutually reinforcing benefits.

Promoting broad participation, advocacy, and accountability as the pathway to better-managed natural resources, our specialists partner with local governments and communities to develop and implement the enabling policy and legislative frameworks required to devolve management authority and resource-use rights of the forest, fisheries, and wildlife sectors. Combining local knowledge and the findings of environmental impact assessments, we help to raise awareness of land-use activities that compromise the ecosystem and biodiversity. Building on this heightened environmental awareness among stakeholders, we employ training and incentives to redirect development into sustainable channels.

In parallel, we work with national governments, communities, and conservation organizations to improve the effectiveness of biodiversity conservation at a landscape level, safeguarding emblematic and precious ecosystems and species whose existence is a fundamental cornerstone of a broader sustainable landscape. Our contributions include technical assistance in sustainable financing, improving the systems and mechanisms for scientific research and the formulation of conservation strategies, and improving the effectiveness of protected area and ecosystem management.

Our Experts


Nilu Puri Basnyat is DAI’s country representative in Nepal, where she provides strategic advice to the firm, establishes and maintains networks and key relationships, strengthens DAI’s positioning in and support for the development sector, facilitates project delivery, and works to mitigate risk.

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Kevin Carlucci is a development professional with more than 20 years of experience across a diverse set of disciplines, including finance, natural resource management, economic policy reform, and emerging market economic development.

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Thomas Erdmann specializes in natural resources management and project management. A trained forester, he offers expertise in community forestry, agroforesty, ecoregional or landscape-scale conservation and development, conservation forestry, land use planning, and environmental impact and management.

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Doreen Erfe is the Resources Mobilization Specialist for the Philippines Safe Water Activity.

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Daniel Evans is an environmental scientist, project manager, and international development specialist focused on climate, land, and natural resource management.

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Jette Findsen has experience working internationally and domestically on issues of climate change, natural resources management, clean energy, and climate finance.

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Lorine Giangola specializes in natural resources management and climate change adaptation, with a focus on agroecosystems.

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Abraham Guillen is a leading sustainable forestry management expert with more than 35 years of experience in sustainable forestry management with a demonstrated track record of building capacity and forging partnerships between the private sector, government, communities, and civil society to achieve sustainable outcomes.

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Erin Hespe Cudworth is a development professional with more than 15 years of experience across a diverse set of disciplines, including climate adaptation and mitigation; environmental compliance; private sector engagement and co-creation; and monitoring, evaluation, and learning.

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Jeremy Keeton is an environmental and water resources management professional with 19 years of experience—including 10 years in developing countries in Africa, Asia, and South America.

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John Leckie is a land and resource governance professional with more than 22 years of international project experience in Europe, Africa, Central, and Southeast Asia, and South America.

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Robin Martino is Chief of Party for the Integrated Natural Resource Management (INRM) Activity. INRM provides on-demand technical assistance for USAID Missions, Bureaus, and Independent Offices across a wide array of environmental and natural resource management issues.

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Kayte Meola is a sociologist, researcher, and gender, youth, and social inclusion advisor focusing on women’s and girls’ empowerment in agriculture and environment in international development.

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Christy Owen is a development professional with more than 25 years of experience in the areas of natural resource management, climate finance, private sector engagement, climate adaptation and mitigation, biodiversity conservation, and governance.

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Alma Porciuncula has been leading DAI’s work in the Philippines on innovative financing for water supply and sanitation projects, policy, and regulatory and utility reform since 1994.

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Jonathan Randall has more than 22 years of international experience managing teams and providing expertise at the intersection of sustainable development, climate change, and natural resources for organizations, such as the U.S. Agency for International Development, Millennium Challenge Corporation, World Bank, and World Wildlife Fund.

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Darren Saywell has 25 years of experience in practice, research, and policy development in water security, sanitation, and hygiene (WSSH), with a particular focus on solutions in urban environments.

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Bruce Spake is Vice President for Field Engagement.

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Our Projects


Madagascar—HARENA Activity

The USAID HARENA Activity works to reduce threats to biodiversity and forests, improve conservation, and build resilience to climate change; develop sustainable, economic opportunities for the poor; and improve environmental governance in Madagascar.

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Indonesia—Sustainable Municipal Solid Waste Management and Partnership (USAID SELARAS)

The Sustainable Municipal Solid Waste Management and Partnership (SELARAS) project is a five-year initiative to enhance waste service delivery and curtail ocean plastic pollution in Indonesia.

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Haiti—Projet Paysages Résilients-Nord (PPR-Nord)

The Haiti Projet Paysages Résilients-Nord (PPR-Nord) activity build communities’ resilience to reduce vulnerability and to facilitate growth. PPR-Nord promotes sustainable watershed management practices across households, communities, and sub-watersheds.

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Colombia—Destination Nature Activity (DNA)

The Destination Nature Activity conserves biodiversity and reduces greenhouse gas emissions by supporting rural communities to make a living from sustainable nature tourism.

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Worldwide—Integrated Natural Resource Management (INRM) Activity

The Integrated Natural Resource Management (INRM) program is designed to drive the uptake and operationalization of the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Environment and Natural Resource Management Framework.

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Vietnam—Sustainable Forest Management (SFM)

The Vietnam Sustainable Forest Management project helps the Government of Vietnam reduce carbon emissions associated with deforestation, the degradation of natural forests, and poor plantation management.

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Peru—Prevent activity

Peru Prevent helped Peruvian institutions and actors more effectively manage the country’s natural resources for future generations.

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