UNDP Around the world

Community Development and Knowledge Management for the Satoyama Initiative

Ecosystems, species and genes—the building blocks of biodiversity—are being lost across the world at an unparalleled pace. In recent years, significant progress has been made in expanding the national networks of Protected Areas—which provide a vital refuge for many species of plants and animals and which supply vital ecosystem services. Yet, much biodiversity remains outside of the PA systems in production landscapes involving agriculture, forestry and other land and water uses (e.g. fisheries, aquaculture). The fate of this biodiversity, and of vital ecological processes that cannot be sustained within protected areas alone, will depend on the sound management of these environments. In many cases, local communities have developed biodiversity-friendly farming systems and resource use management practices that are the result of hundreds of years of production practice.

In June 2011, the Ministry of the Environment of Japan (MOEJ), the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD), the United Nations University (UNU), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) agreed to support the Community Development and Knowledge management for the Satoyama Initiative Project (COMDEKS), as the flagship of the International Partnership for the Satoyama Initiative (IPSI). The Satoyama Initiative is a global initiative to promote sustainable use and management of natural resources in socio-ecological production landscapes and seascapes with the aim of maintaining, rebuilding and revitalizing them. The Satoyama Initiative was recognized as a potentially useful tool to better understand and support human-influenced natural environments for the benefit of biodiversity and human well-being by decision X/32 at the Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity in Nagoya, and will contribute to the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020.

Funded by the Japan Biodiversity Fund setup within the CBD Secretariat, the COMDEKS project is a unique global project implemented by UNDP as the flagship of the International Partnership for the Satoyama Initiative, and delivered through the GEF Small Grants Programme (SGP), allowing for a fast, flexible, and proven mechanism to reach communities and civil society at the local level.

As part of COMDEKS, small grants are provided to local community organizations with the overall long term objective to enhance socio-ecological production landscape and seascape resilience by developing sound biodiversity management and sustainable livelihood activities with local communities to maintain, rebuild, and revitalize landscapes and seascapes.


COMDEKS grant making is expected to generate key lessons on community-based best practices to maintain and rebuild socio-ecological production landscapes and seascapes toward the realization of “societies in harmony with nature”, as defined as the vision of the Satoyama Initiative.

COMDEKS is also applying and testing a series of inter-related indicators for resilience of socio-ecological production landscapes and seascapes, developed under a project led by the United Nations University-Institute of Advanced Studies and Bioversity International as a collaborative activity under the International Partnership for the Satoyama Initiative (IPSI). These indicators are used in participatory landscape baseline assessments to measure and understand landscape resilience, and in the development, implementation, and results-based monitoring of landscape strategies in each participating country. Lessons learned from these experiences will help to further improve the indicators.

COMDEKS is currently implemented in the following 20 countries: Bhutan, Brazil, Cambodia, Cameroon, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Fiji, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, Malawi, Mongolia, Namibia, Nepal, Niger, Slovakia and Turkey.

For more information visit the project website at www.comdeksproject.com

Please click here to access our latest COMDEKS Newsletter.