The Community Development and Knowledge Management for the Satoyama Initiative Programme (COMDEKS) was launched in 2011 as the flagship programme of the Satoyama Initiative, a global effort to promote sustainable use of natural resources in the landscapes worked in and relied upon by rural communities. Funded by the Japan Biodiversity Fund, the Programme is implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in partnership with the Ministry of the Environment of Japan (MOEJ), the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD), and the United Nations University—Institute of Advanced Studies of Sustainability (UNU-IAS). Grants are delivered through the GEF Small Grants Programme in each country, allowing for a fast, flexible, and proven mechanism to reach communities and civil society at the local level.
Small grants are provided to local community organizations with the overall long-term objective to enhance resilience of socio-ecological production landscapes and seascapes (SEPLS) by developing sound biodiversity management and sustainable livelihood activities with local communities to maintain, rebuild, and revitalize landscapes. Since SEPLS are the repository of much of the world’s crop genetic diversity and biodiversity outside of parks and protected areas, their health is critical to attaining local and global conservation goals and maintaining local crop varieties. Local land use also plays a significant role in climate change mitigation through its effects on carbon storage in soils and biomass, and is equally significant in the success of local climate change adaptation strategies.
Since its inception in 2011, the COMDEKS landscape management approach has been implemented in target landscapes in 20 countries spread over two phases: Brazil, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Ghana, India, Malawi, Nepal, Slovakia, and Turkey (phase 1), and Bhutan, Cameroon, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Namibia, and Niger (phase 2).
The cornerstone of the COMDEKS community-based landscape management approach is supporting community organizations to revitalize their landscapes and seascapes through participatory land use planning that builds their awareness and capacities for governance and innovation. Communities practice an adaptive management cycle in which they first assess socio-ecological conditions, trends, problems, and potential opportunities in their landscape; identify desirable ecological, social, and economic outcomes as dynamic building blocks of resilience; plan activities in pursuit of these outcomes by boosting ecosystem productivity and sustainability and improving organizational capacities of communities to execute projects and measure results; and finally adapt their planning and management practices to reflect lessons learned and new conditions and opportunities.
Having supported more than 215 such community-based projects, COMDEKS’ 20 pilot country experiences span a wide range of physical and social geography, economic and cultural circumstances, and governance regimes. The results demonstrated in all 20 target landscapes thus far show the flexibility and effectiveness of the COMDEKS landscape approach and funding model.
Publication: "Communities in Action for Landscape Resilience and Sustainability: The COMDEKS Programme" which was launched on October 2014 at the Twelfth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP 12) in Pyeongchang, Republic of Korea.
The toolkit provides practical guidance for making use of the "Indicators of Resilience in Socio-ecological Production Landscapes and Seascapes (SEPLS)", a tool for engaging local communities in adaptive management of the landscapes and seascapes in which they live. Developed by Bioversity International and UNU-IAS, the indicators are applied by the UNDP COMDEKS Programme to guide the assessment of socio-ecological production landscapes and seascapes.
The toolkit was developed by the United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS), Bioversity International, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as part of a Collaborative Activity under the International Partnership for the Satoyama Initiative (IPSI).