Tetra Tech is developing tools to improve land use management to increase sustainable agriculture around the globe.

The. U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) selected Tetra Tech to implement the Productive Landscapes (ProLand) project to help improve land management in Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and Mexico. Rural smallholder farmers around the globe usually depend on multiple income sources including subsistence agriculture and resources from forests and grasslands. However, population growth, land pressure, and climate variability have increased the challenge of managing risk and uncertainty for rural producers. Improved land management strategies strengthen both food security and income for rural people while protecting biodiversity and natural resources.

ProLand aims to improve land use management and develop tools and evidence around sustainable land-use intensification best practices for food security, biodiversity conservation, adaptation and climate resilience, and broad-based economic growth. Through ProLand, Tetra Tech is developing guidance for reducing land degradation through impact evaluations; analyses and identification of opportunities for USAID Mission programs and strategies; and communication and outreach to disseminate findings and recommendations. The project provides in-depth analysis and guidance to support effective activity designs, establish more informative monitoring and evaluation programs, and implement impactful approaches at a larger scale.

The ProLand team delivered recommendations for USAID/Tanzania to help strengthen the honey value chain in Tanzanian landscape conservation projects by conducting a thorough assessment of small-scale beekeeping. The assessment aims to increase income for small-scale producers and provide incentives to conserve protected areas. Additionally, the project team supported the USAID/Tanzania Climate Change Review, helping produce a strategic summary of ProLand activities by implementing a monitoring and evaluation system to assess interventions on climate change adaptation.

In the DRC, Tetra Tech is supporting USAID in assessing opportunities to improve agricultural land use and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The assessment reviewed the evidence surrounding agricultural intensification and deforestation in the DRC to further recommend approaches that develop sustainable incentives to reduce deforestation and increase agricultural yields.

In Mexico, the project team developed an assessment for the land use, land use change, and forests (LULUCF) sector, which is an important source of GHG emissions. The study identified options to support the Government of Mexico’s efforts to reduce GHG emissions and achieve its short- and medium-term climate change mitigation goals.

On a global scale, ProLand conducted a worldwide analysis regarding sustainable agricultural intensification and impacts on forests. Through a review of theory and case studies, the team assessed nine types of agricultural systems and five governance approaches to help identify ways to reduce pressure on forests caused by agricultural intensification.

As a result, Tetra Tech has helped strengthen USAID’s environmental programming by providing a state-of-the-art set of guidance materials to meet global and Mission-driven needs. These materials include case studies of forest resources management for sustainable production of firewood and charcoal and best practices guidelines related to designing alternative livelihoods activities and evaluating their impacts.