Independent Evaluation of the Biodiverse Landscapes Fund

Defra’s Biodiverse Landscapes Fund (BLF) aims to reduce poverty, protect and restore biodiversity and lessen the impact of climate change in six critical landscapes around the world.

  • Date
    May 2022 - December 2029
  • Client


  • Office
    OPM United Kingdom
  • Project number


  • Project status


The BLF aims to address global challenges of poverty, climate change and biodiversity loss in an integrated manner, using a landscape approach. The BLF is a complex and ambitious programme with a strong focus on learning and adaptation, operating across six environmentally critical landscapes including Mesoamerica, the Andes, the Amazon, the Congo Basin, Madagascar, and the Lower Mekong. Through an investment of £100m running from 2022 to 2029, the BLF strives to achieve three overarching outcomes:

  • Outcome 1: People – to develop economic opportunities through investment in nature in support of climate adaptation and resilience and poverty reduction;
  • Outcome 2: Nature – to slow, halt, or reverse biodiversity loss in six globally significant regions for biodiversity; and
  • Outcome 3: Climate – to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and safeguard natural carbon sinks.

It will meet these aims by:

  • reducing poverty and creating sustainable economic development for communities living in, and dependent upon, environmentally precious Landscapes;
  • protecting and restoring ecosystems and biologically diverse Landscapes; and
  • helping to mitigate climate change by preserving carbon sinks and ecosystems, addressing the causes of environmental degradation supporting national and local governments, park authorities and communities to achieve long-term sustainable management and use of natural resources.


The natural environment regulates the climate, and supplies humanity with the ecosystem services essential for human existence and well-being. Human development and our insatiable demand for natural resources are placing increasing pressure on the few remaining intact and well-functioning ecological ecosystems. The BLF will support six of these landscapes in addressing the challenges of biodiversity loss, habitat fragmentation, land degradation and ecosystem collapse.


Reflecting its ambition the BLF recognises the need to innovate simultaneously in five key areas:

  • Delivering multiple benefits for nature, people and climate (consistent with the three overarching outcomes, above). Recognition that effective conservation of nature (biodiversity and ecosystems) delivers livelihood benefits (well-being, resilience and poverty alleviation) to people (indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLCs)) living in and around those ecosystems, and that both are part of an effective response to climate change.
  • A Landscape focus. Recognition that Landscapes provide an appropriate geographical focus around which to develop strategies that can deliver these multiple and complementary benefits.
  • A multi-level focus. Recognition that while a focus on Landscapes can help address the proximate drivers of biodiversity and ecosystem loss and local poverty, a focus is also needed on other levels to address the underlying drivers on public and private sector policies, institutions and supply chains, as well as on financing mechanisms.
  • Contribution to transformational change. Reflecting this global contribution, the BLF has both portfolio-level strategic objectives as well as context-defined Landscape-level objectives.
  • Adaptive programming. Recognition of need for an adaptive learning and programming approach in response to complexity, uncertainty and emergence. This is a vital innovation across the portfolio and potentially a key strength.


The BLF is one of many initiatives seeking to restore biodiversity and ecosystem functionality across the planet. It is part of a global effort, while also making specific and hopefully vital contributions within the six Landscapes in which it is operating. We anticipate that the learning that is flowing from this will of be interest to a diversity of stakeholders and programmes within each landscape and at the global scale to influence transformational change in natural resource governance, biodiversity conservation, and climate adaptation.

Photo: Unsplash