Environmental Safeguards

Saving Lives While Protecting the Environment


CRS Food Assistance Program in Madagascar
USAID/CRS Madagascar

The role of environmental safeguards in USAID Food Assistance programs is to enhance the resiliency of over-exploited natural resources, improve environmental health, as well as, strengthen partner-country environmental governance and community resilience to climate and other environmental changes. To uphold USAID environmental policies and procedures, the internationally-accepted environmental impact assessment methodology is incorporated into program design and implementation across USAID food assistance programs globally. This methodology supports USAID goals in achieving resilience, prevention, response, recovery and transition from disaster while protecting the environment.

Top 5 Goals of Environmental Safeguarding

  1. No harm is done to the baseline of natural capital including land, air, water and biodiversity
  2. Rehabilitated or reversed losses in natural resource wealth
  3. Increased sustainability of community natural resource use and governance
  4. Improved resilience to environmental- and climate-related shocks.
  5. Safer and more effective use of pesticide for commodities, agriculture and health

USAID Regulation

The goals of environmental safeguards are pursued through compliance with the Agency’s environmental regulations.The USG Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, Section 117, requires impacts of USAID’s activities on the environment to be assessed and environmental sustainability included as a central consideration in the design and implementation of development programs. This mandate is further codified in Federal Regulations (22 C.F.R. 216) and described in USAID’s Automated Directives System (ADS) Part 204.  For more information, please contact the USAID Bureau Environmental Officer for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance.