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landscape restoration

Impact Evaluation of Landscape Programs in Ethiopia


The overarching goal of this project is to assess the impact of landscape programs on livelihood and resilience outcomes in Ethiopia and inform the future design of the programs. Overall, the study seeks to understand the effects of the landscape programs on the outcomes such as household livelihoods, diversification of income generating activities, agricultural productivity and resilience to extreme events.


The World Bank has been investing for landscape programs in Ethiopia. Despite of the large investments in this area of work, there is little evidence to understand the impact of the landscape projects financed by the World Bank on household livelihoods and resilience. Further understanding and evaluation of impacts of the landscape programs is important for the design of the future investments in Ethiopia and other countries. 

Furthermore, an in-depth analysis on the landscape approach is timely given that PROGREEN, the Global Partnership for Sustainable and Resilient Landscapes launched on September 23, 2019. PROGREEN is a World Bank Multi-Donor Trust Fund that supports countries’ efforts to improve livelihoods while tackling declining biodiversity, loss of forests, deteriorating land fertility and increasing risks such as uncontrolled forest fires, which are exacerbated by a changing climate. Through an integrated landscape approach, PROGREEN helps countries meet their national and global sustainable development goals and commitments, including poverty reduction, in a cost-effective manner. In addition, the theme of the fourth Forum on Natural Capital Accounting for Better Policy held in November 18-19, 2019 was “Measuring and valuing natural capital for improved landscape management”.


In order to comprehensively assess the impact of the Ethiopia landscape program from both economic and physical aspects, this study is composed of three research topics below.
  • Research Topic 1: Estimating impacts of the land restoration program on livelihoods and resilience in Ethiopia
  • Research Topic 2: Impacts of land restoration program on agricultural productivity and production diversity during and after the 2015/16 severe droughts in Ethiopia
  • Research Topic 3: Use of satellite remote sensing SIF observations to estimate the effects of land restoration programs on land productivity and resilience
The main program outputs will be the following:
  •  Main report for policy-makers and general audience
  •  Supporting technical report
This activity is ongoing. It is expected to contribute the development goals in the following ways.
  1. The estimated impact of the landscape projects on household livelihoods, diversification of income generating activities, agricultural productivity and resilience to extreme events will allow the project teams and policy makers understand the degree to which the intervention has been effective or ineffective in affecting beneficiary households. More specifically, if there are areas that turn out to be ineffective, they can consider modifying the project design. the developed methodology for impact evaluation could be applied to other countries where the landscape projects are ongoing.
  2. Findings of the study could provide useful information for policy makers to plan future investments on the landscape projects and for task teams to conduct the project financial and economic analysis. If the study reveals positive quantitative estimates of the project impact, it could consequently promote the landscape approach to other countries.
  3. The study will provide more evidence on whether SIF remote sensing data could be used as proxy for near-real-time crop growth, which would contribute to the scientific community.
Results and findings will be shared on this page when they become available.

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Last Updated : 01-27-2020

An economic cost-benefit analysis of forest conservation and restoration in Nicaragua

Program Summary

This PROFOR activity aims to provide evidence to the Government of Nicaragua on the economic benefits of forest landscape restoration activities. The knowledge generated from this activity will be disseminated to policy makers who will improve their decision-making on investments going towards rural livelihoods and incomes, reduced GHG emissions, and greater climate risk resilience.


Based on climate change projections, water availability is likely to decline in most of Nicaragua's watersheds. A three-year drought, coupled with massive deforestation in the past few decades, has depleted most of Nicaragua’s water sources which is threatening the country’s future water supply. In fact, the country has lost up to 60 percent of its surface water sources and up to 50 percent of its underground sources, which have either dried up or have been polluted. Such diminished water availability will severely impact human health, agricultural productivity, hydropower generation, and a suite of other economic activities.

The government of Nicaragua recognizes that restoring forest cover is indispensable to safeguarding agricultural production and minimizing the impacts of climate variability on economic and human well-being. Under the National Reforestation Plan, the government is not only addressing the reduction of carbon emissions, but also aiming to increase awareness of the importance of reversing deforestation, increasing forest coverage, and improving the production of environmental services provided by forests.

To assist the government’s efforts, PROFOR will provide analysis on the ecosystem service and economic benefits of forest landscape restoration activities, including disseminating information to decision makers on the trade-offs of different restoration scenarios. The results can guide the Nicaraguan government on implementing potential forest landscape restoration programs by providing potential prices for payment for ecosystem services and identifying the low-cost/high-benefit alternatives in watershed conservation, forest protection, and carbon sequestration. PROFOR will generate various restoration and investment scenarios that could open restoration and reforestation opportunities for farmers, local communities, and the private sector, including agribusiness and ecotourism.  


This PROFOR activity consists of the following tasks:

  • Analysis of the costs of environmental degradation. This task will estimate the costs of environmental degradation resulting from land degradation and deforestation, droughts, soil degradation, fire, flooding, and other natural disasters. In addition, the analysis will estimate the costs to Nicaragua associated with climate change. This task will provide the analytical underpinnings to target interventions for climate change adaptation and mitigation.

  • Benefit analysis of a potential program for watershed conservation and landscape restoration in Nicaragua. This analysis will estimate the benefits of forest and landscape restoration on the value of multiple ecosystem services across the country by estimating the net value of ecosystem service benefits (such as ecotourism, carbon sequestration, water quality, agriculture, soil protection, etc.) under different reforestation scenarios. It will also explore the economic potential of changing land use (such as degraded agricultural land) to restore native forest, or for agroforestry.

  • Recommendations on policies, regulations, incentives and plans to improve forest and land conservation. Different system dynamic modelling tools will be used to analyze various scenarios where investments and policies could improve Nicaragua’s forest landscape restoration.  

By accomplishing these tasks, the program will inform and improve the Nicaraguan Government’s knowledge on how to promote policies and regulations that increase forest conservation, support a nature-based economy, and increase watershed conservation and landscape restoration in the country.   


This activity is on-going. The preliminary findings indicate that there is increasing pressure on forests because of the expansion of cattle ranching and several types of illegal processes to take land in the Caribbean versant; the incidences of forest fire are also increasing and demanding response from civil society (the forest fire in Indio Maiz Reserve was the original element that generated confrontation with the government). Because of the political unrest in the country, consultations and the fieldwork could not progress as planned. More results will be reported as the implementation of this project progresses over time.

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Last Updated : 06-09-2019