Our Programmes



Sign up to our newsletter.

Follow ODI

Natural resource management in a changing climate - land, forests, water and energy


How natural resources, including land, forests, water and energy, can support growth and poverty reduction in the most inclusive and sustainable way has long been a subject of research and discussion. Climate change increases this pressure, in terms of how to adapt to changing conditions in developing countries, but also by increasing interest in using natural resources and their management to achieve climate change mitigation goals.

ODI research on natural resource management in the context of climate change combines expertise from a number of programmes to investigate two key areas.

1. Land-based climate change mitigation activities and their contribution to low carbon development, including:

  • REDD+ (Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation): institutional and governance structures, legal and policy frameworks needed for its successful integration of REDD+ into low carbon development at the international, national and regional levels.
  • climate-smart agriculture: technical solutions for low emissions agriculture and their socio-economic feasibility in the context of rural livelihoods.
  • biofuels: including production models that maximise rural development, and policy frameworks to improve the sustainability of production.

2. Effective use of natural resources for development purposes in the context of climate change and increasing scarcity and competition for resources, including:

  • land tenure systems, large-scale land acquisition and land-use planning as key issues to ensure secure and equitable access to natural resources and that land meets multiple objectives.
  • water management that responds to the realities of climate change, and recognises complex linkages with other natural resources and social systems.
  • energy access and delivery of energy for development that integrates long-term sustainability and climate change.