Environment and Climate Change

Cooperation towards sustainable development is the framework and the improvement of livelihoods in developing countries the main objective of the Environment and Climate Change Team of HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation. Environmental performance and livelihoods are closely interlinked and at times there are tradeoffs. We design and support the implementation of interventions that optimize the livelihood and environment interactions. We foster biodiversity through a landscape approach and develop measures which mitigate climate change and at the same time are profitable for local communities. We advise development actors to design and support measures that help rural communities to adapt to climate change and to manage disaster risks. Thereby it is our institutional strength to link the local level – such as questions around the governance of natural resources – with the policy dialogue in national and international bodies. The team offers its services to a multitude of Swiss and international clients as well as to the own development projects of HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation in its partner countries.


  • Landscape and watershed management
  • Sustainable Forest Management; including conservati on, restoration and other good practices
  • Community forestry/collaborative forest management and use of forest products and services (timber and non timber)
  • Governance of forests and natural resources, including decentralisation processes and institutional reforms
  • Biodiversity conservation and fostering agro-biodiversity
  • Mitigation of climate change: Afforestation and refore- station, REDD+ and rural energy. Voluntary carbon markets and Clean Development Mechanism
  • Adaptation to climate change: assessment of vulnera- bilities, design and monitoring of adaptation
  • International advocacy for water
  • Disaster risk reduction
  • Payment for environmental services
  • Design & Planning
    Project formulation, monitoring and evaluation; strategic planning; feasibility studies; impact assessments
    Capacity Development & Backstopping
    Capacity building; development of training modules; conduct and facilitation of thematic learning events; organisational development and coaching of partners Thematic support; advice and backstopping at local, national and international level
    Knowledge Management
    Research, analysis and documentation; evidence based learning; development of concepts, methods and tools Support to international initiatives; representing clients in international forums and conferences; bridging field activities with international policy making 
  • Swiss Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO): Backstopping mandate on policy dialogue and support/monitoring (sustainable forest management in the tropics, forest and climate change, forest products and trade).
    Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation (SDC): Backstopping mandate on Climate Change and Forestry.HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation: Backstopping a programme on adaptation to climate change, food security and disaster risk reduction in Peru.
    HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation: Evaluation and subsequent planning of a watershed management project with adaptation to climate change elements in Ethiopia.
    Agence Française de Développement (AFD): Assessment of AFD strategy since 1990 to support Sustainable Forest Management in the Congo Basin.