MENARID - Institutional Strengthening and Coherence for Integrated Natural Resource Management


Updated: June 2017

What is the project about:

MENARID is a Middle East and North Africa Regional Development for Integrated Sustainable Development.  MENARID provides valuable lessons and experiences for promoting Integrated Natural Resource Management (INRM) in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid environments.  It also addresses regions suffering severe land degradation and loss of ecosystem services.  Its overall objective is to:

  • Promote INRM in the production landscapes of the MENA region.
  • Improve the economic and social well-being of targeted communities through the restoration and maintenance of ecosystem functions and productivity.

The goal of the project is to promote climate-resilient integrated management of renewable natural resources, while maintaining the capacity of ecosystems to deliver the goods and services needed to support local livelihoods. Given the successful results achieved by the project and willingness of Forests, Rangeland and Watershed Organization (FRWO), In June 2017 a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between FRWO and UNDP intending to further develop a Government Cost-Shared Project addendum, to support scaling-up and replication of the project in at least two new provinces over a 5-years duration.

What have we accomplished so far:

In Iran, MENARID has so far accomplished the following:

  • Implementation: INRM was introduced and implemented in 40,000 hectares at four main demonstration sites and 260,000 hectares at two replication sites.
  • Rehabilitation: 49,109 tons of Carbon are sequestrated annually through INRM resulting in rangeland biological soil and vegetation rehabilitation and reduced deforestation.
  • Participatory rehabilitation: Traditional water management practices were revived in dry and semidry areas.  This was achieved by rehabilitating more than 4,040meters of qanat and though the participatory rehabilitation of 1,600 meters of irrigation channels.
  • Risk reduction: Five types of resilience-enhancing measures have been employed in 13,714 hectares including wind erosion control, flood control, soil erosion control, sustainable agriculture, and cultivation of resistant species.
  • Finance: A Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) concept for natural resource management in Iran was introduced by piloting four PES schemes in the project sites.
  • Innovation: Water harvesting practices have been implemented as a new model for natural resources management and created 100 hectares of forest park as a pilot.
  • Mitigation: Drought resistant species were introduced to 1,124 hectares of pilot lands as a drought/climate change adaptation measure.
  • Empowerment: Participatory INRM approaches were introduced to local communities leading to establishment of local groups of women and men and 87 groups now being actively involved in INRM practices.
  • Empowerment: Women are now empowered in project pilot sites through 26 women-led businesses as a means of alternative livelihood, creating 297 jobs for women, and are heavily involved in policy-making processes of the project.
  • Increased Awareness: Public advocacy on INRM was carried out through publications, events, interviews, national TV programmes, newspapers and other media. 

Who finances the project:

Global Environment Facility (GEF)

US $4,320,000


US $500,000

Government of I.R. Iran (Parallel Funding)

US $14,600,000

Delivery in the previous fiscal year:

Global Environment Facility (GEF)

US $523,896


US $79,359

Government of I.R. Iran (Parallel Funding)

US $210,000 (cash)

US $300,000 (in kind)

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