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About BELA: 

Supported by the PROGREEN Global Partnership for Sustainable and Resilient Landscapes, the Biodiversity, Ecosystems, and Landscape Assessment (BELA) initiative promotes the use of ecosystem-services-informed project planning to enhance the effectiveness and long-term sustainability of investments in agriculture, water resources, forestry, nature-based tourism, infrastructure, and to boost countries’ resilience to climate change.  

How we work: 

The BELA team works closely with World Bank teams and clients to support landscape assessments of biodiversity and ecosystem services in World Bank engagements. Our initiative adds unique value to collective efforts across the World Bank that promote integrated land management and nature-based solutions by providing technical landscape assessments, ecosystem service modeling, technical training, and decision support to improve impact on the ground.  

Our work relies on the integration of three pillars: technical landscape assessment, capacity building, and clear communication of results.


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What is the value-add of BELA?  

The BELA team has partnered with country teams across the world to integrate nature and ecosystem services approaches into Bank operations from upstream to implementation. BELA’s technical assessments have informed Country Climate Development Reports, Country Partnership Framework, Project Appraisal Documents, Country Environmental, and Advisory Services and Analytics.  

BELA draws on cutting-edge biodiversity and ecosystem service science and employs innovative tools that help teams to identify interventions needed to more effectively manage landscapes by:  

  • Understanding tradeoffs between different uses of a landscape to help identify effective solutions, such as adaptation policies, integrated land management practices, and nature-based solutions. These tools provide critical information to help teams and clients decide where and what solutions are needed to manage competing uses and development goals.  

  • Moving from problem-based to solution-based targeting of actions to generate higher and more sustainable societal, public health, ecological and financial benefits on investments. A problem-based perspective targets investments based on snapshots of threats or problems, whereas a solution-based perspective takes an action-oriented approach and targets places where the impacts of investments would be highest.  

  • Measuring anticipated impacts enabling projects to monitor outcomes that clients care about and set targets for performance-based financing. 

Biodiversity, Ecosystems, and Landscape Assessment (BELA) Initiative