Nature-Positive Solutions: Enhancing Productivity and Resilience, Safeguarding the Environment, and Promoting Inclusive Community Growth


Together, agroecosystems are the planet’s largest existing ecosystem. They use 70% of the world’s freshwater resources, drive 80% of deforestation, and are responsible for major biodiversity losses and land degradation. Much of today’s agriculture is exploiting nature beyond planetary boundaries, resulting in waste generation, deforestation, water pollution, ecosystem destruction, and biodiversity loss. One reason for this is that rural development and environmental policies have tended to be unconnected and incentives for boosting productivity are largely detrimental to adoption of nature-positive solutions.

Now, with unprecedented job losses and increased social inequality triggered by COVID-19, the world has reached a critical point. We must find a way to shift those negative incentives so that our food, land, and water systems generate jobs and sufficient, diverse, and safe food, while safeguarding planetary health.


This Initiative aims to reshape food production systems in five countries to meet the food demands of growing populations by stewarding biodiversity and improving soil and water management through integrated nature-positive solutions.

This will be achieved through:

  1. A co-designed decision-support platform that helps a broad range of users in five countries to select proven nature-positive solutions, trialed and adapted to their local contexts, and integrating their needs.
  2. Validation of the decision-support platform via implementation of nature-positive solutions with eight communities in biodiversity-rich areas, benefitting 100,000 people.
  3. Analysis of the local political economy and identification of barriers to the adoption of nature-positive solutions, to both shape more inclusive enabling environments that incentivize adoption of nature-positive solutions by rural communities and embed nature-positive solutions in five countries.
  4. Helping private sector and government shape financially viable business models and blended, market-responsive, socially-inclusive investment plans around nature-positive solutions, using a demand-driven approach and capitalizing on CGIAR evidence and innovation.
  5. Documenting learning while raising awareness and building capacity of key stakeholders to support wider adoption of nature-positive solutions at global, national, and local levels, based on sound monitoring, evaluation, and novel learning mechanisms.


      Proposed 3-year outcomes include:

      1. Rural communities and producers in five countries use a co-designed, inclusive, and context-specific decision-making toolkit to implement nature-positive solutions in primary production systems.
      2. Farmers, private business, and conservationists rigor-test nature-positive solutions approaches in eight communities in environments of significant biodiversity interest, leading to positive socioeconomic and ecosystem-derived agrobiodiversity, soil, water, and income-equity benefits for 100,000 people, including vulnerable women, young people, and marginalized groups.
      3. Policymakers in five countries receive policy briefs, participate in 30 workshops and trainings, and actively engage in developing policies supportive of nature-positive solutions, leading to more transparent, inclusive, and empowered governance.
      4. Public and private investment structures incentivize nature-positive solutions uptake, with significant new investment in nature-positive solutions in five countries by the end of 2024 and three ecosystem payment schemes near launch stage.
      5. Community member representatives, natural resource stewards, and NARES increase their capacity to implement nature-positive solutions. Participatory monitoring, evaluation, and learning frameworks and tools are adopted in five countries.




      Improved environmental health and biodiversity across degraded land brought under sustainable management), a 30% increase in water productivity, and 40% of plant accessions available and safely duplicated in genebanks. Agrobiodiversity increased by 40% and biodiversity by 50% in selected locations.


      Increased agrobiodiversity in production systems includes greater promotion of vegetables, fruits, nuts, fishes, and animal products, leading to better diets. In 10 countries, at least 10 million women, men, and children benefit from improved nutrition, health, and food security outcomes deriving from CGIAR-led nature-positive solutions innovation packages.


      Poverty reduction, improved livelihoods, and new jobs stemming from new nature-positive solutions-focused business activities, value chains, and investment assist 6 million women, men, and youth to exit poverty. The economy is diversified and more circular, supporting the creation of local small- and medium-sized enterprises and providing options for green investments.


      Six million women and youth are empowered to become agents of nature-positive solutions-based innovation, through their involvement in all stages, from co-design of nature-positive solutions community trials, to scaling out and up, and the inclusion of their voices in supply and demand assessments of nature-positive solutions investment.


      Enhanced climate adaptation and greenhouse gas reduction in the form of contributions to 10 national-level plans, including Nationally Determined Contributions and National Adaptation Plans, with evidence of implementation of nature-positive solutions measures. In addition, US$1 billion in climate adaptation nature-positive solutions investment, and a 10% reduction in CO2-equivalent emissions.


      For more details, view the full preliminary outline


      Header photo: Photo by R. Ziade/ICARDA.