Sustainable Forest Management Impact Program on Dryland Sustainable Landscapes

Leveraging on Forest and Farm Producer Organizations for impact at scale in Drylands across Southern Africa


In its mission to amplify the impact of its country-level interventions, the Dryland Sustainable Landscapes Impact Program (DSL-IP), a multi-country endeavor financed by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), has been working with Forest and Farm Producer Organizations (FFPOs) in Southern Africa to leverage on their existing social capital within the project’s landscapes to bridge sustainable land management, business plan development, and crop diversification at farm and landscape level. 

In order to map existing FFPOs within the project landscape, a comprehensive assessment has been carried out across the DSL-IP Southern Africa countries. To this end, and in partnership with country teams, the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and the Forest and Farm Facility, the DSL-IP developed an FFPO assessment tool that reflects country project and program needs. 

Geographically relevant FFPOs have been interviewed and categorized according to their membership size and gender balance, infrastructure, key value chains, crop diversification, farmer field school experience, market links, financial capacity, and membership links, among other relevant parameters.  

All assessed FFPOs were categorized based on their potential to benefit from the program’s interventions, while also acting as agents of change, multipliers and retainers upon project conclusion. 

Selected FFPOs will benefit from a robust capacity development program, seeking to co-design more sustainable solutions for common forest and land management challenges in the region. 

FFPO assessments are key to guiding project interventions on the ground, and due to its comprehensive scope, based on the project’s objectives, different FFPOs can be prioritized. 

In Malawi, FFPO assessment results are being integrated into a tailored, programmatic capacity needs assessment conducted with FFPOs. This will contribute to shine light on capacity development and input needs to be addressed by the project.  

In Zimbabwe, members of selected FFPOs were interviewed by the project teams through the application of the Integrated Landscape Assessment Methodology (ILAM). The integrated assessments provided useful information and data for informed decision making, Monitoring and Evaluation reporting, and integrated land use planning. Read more about the DSL-IP’s efforts in Zimbabwe to enhance FFPOs’ capacity, while strengthening community seed banks.