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Purpose. The Sector Environmental Guidelines present information on common USAID development actions regarding:

  • the typical, potential adverse impacts of activities in these sectors; 
  • how to prevent or otherwise mitigate these impacts, both in the form of general activity design guidance and specific design, construction and operating measures;
  • how to minimize vulnerability of activities to climate change; and
  • more detailed resources for further exploration of these issues.

Environmental Compliance Applications. 

The Sector Environmental Guidelines series directly support environmental compliance by providing: information essential to assessing the potential impacts of activities, and to the identification and detailed design of appropriate mitigation and monitoring measures.

However, the Sector Environmental Guidelines are not specific to USAID’s environmental procedures. They are generally written and are intended to support the general environmentally and socially sustainable approaches to common sectors, regardless of the specific environmental requirements, regulations, or processes that apply, if any.  Site specific context must be considered when using these guidelines and additional or modified impacts and mitigation measures may be required.

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USAID SEG Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining

USAID’s Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining Sector Environmental Guideline (SEG) are designed for project managers, project implementers, practitioners, or others working on artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) issues and in ASM communities.

This SEG for ASM introduces the range of possible impacts, particularly environmental, health, and socio-political, and explains how project managers and others can support prevention and/or mitigation through project design, environmental review, and during the development of site-specific Environmental Mitigation and Monitoring Plans (EMMPs). This guideline is also intended to help USAID partners, staff, and other practitioners understand climate change impacts to and from ASM activities. Finally, the references section of the document lists cited documents as well as additional resources and references on this topic.

USAID SEG Livestock

The use of cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, poultry, and other livestock offer many benefits to the growing global population and millions of farmers in the developing world. These animals are integral to rural livelihoods and local cultures, providing food (meat, eggs and other dairy products), materials (wool, hide, horns, etc.), income, and mechanical power for pulling carts, drawing water or plowing fields.

Livestock manure can serve as a source of fertilizer. Grazing can help sustain vegetation and promote biodiversity by dispersing seeds, controlling shrub growth, breaking soil crusts, stimulating grass growth and improving seed germination. Livestock may also represent savings and currency or have cultural value.

Properly managed, livestock production can enhance land and water quality, biodiversity, and social and economic well-being. However, when improperly managed, livestock production may cause significant economic, social and environmental damage. Increasing livestock production has the potential to increase environmental harm. This Livestock Sector Environmental Guideline helps identify potential adverse environmental impacts and mitigation and monitoring options to address them.

USAID SEG Integrated Pest Management

Integrated pest management (IPM) is defined as a farmer-based and knowledge-intensive management approach that encourages natural and cultural control of pest populations by anticipating pest problems and managing their numbers to reduce losses, while permitting safer pesticide uses where justified and permitted. Many indigenous, as well as newly-developed, non-chemical techniques are available for use. These include combinations of biological control, habitat manipulation, soil health management, use of resistant varieties, and modification of cultural practices (expanded upon below). IPM focuses on long-term prevention of pests and their damage and is USAID policy. Pesticides are considered curative, and generally should be used as a last resort.

USAID’s IPM Sector Environmental Guidelines are designed to encourage the use of natural and cultural pest management tactics to the extent possible while permitting the safe integration of pesticides, as needed, with farmers’ traditional cropping and pest management systems.