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BRIEFJune 5, 2023

Integrating Landscape, Seascape, and Natural Capital Approaches for People, Planet, and Prosperity

Mangroves in Ghana Anya Nui

The world is facing three environmental crises—nature loss, climate change, and pollution—which disproportionately impact low-income countries. Placing nature at the core of development efforts across sectors can avert risks and support economic prosperity.  

The World Bank’s Environment, Natural Resources and Blue Economy (ENB) Global Practice leverages partnerships to promote a ridge-to-reef approach to development, which integrates sustainable natural resource management approaches across the landscape, seascape, nature, and biodiversity agendas.  Investments in nature are made across terrestrial, coastal, and marine ecosystems, from land to sea.  With this approach, ENB Trust Funds collaborate with knowledge, lessons, analytics, convening, and investments, to support governments to deploy improved policies and practices at the national level.

For example, in Ghana, environmental degradation imposes large direct and indirect costs on people, nature, and the economy, each year, equivalent to 10% of GDP.  However, the Government of Ghana, with support from the World Bank's Multi-donor Trust Funds (MDTFs), has committed to investing in an integrated approach to sustainable landscape and seascape management.

Among other things, PROBLUE supports work to restore mangroves in coastal Ghana, which provide a range of benefits to the environment. Acting as buffers between land and water, mangroves have the potential to protect the coastline from erosion, sea-level rise, and nature disasters. PROGREEN works to promote sustainable landscape management practices. In doing so, it supports community participation in decision-making to empower communities to be the true custodians of their landscapes.  These two Multi-Donor Trust Funds, PROBLUE and PROGREEN, work to develop knowledge, build capacity through technical assistance, and co-finance larger World Bank investment.

A third MDTF, the Global Program on Sustainability (GPS), works in concert to strengthen the country’s capacity for measuring and valuing natural capital and ecosystem services, for better policy, development, and investment planning. The Bank is scaling up the impact of these partnerships through co-financing and leveraging other funds, including those from the Global Environment Facility (GEF).