Thirty years from now, new urban and rural landscapes will have been shaped by demographic transitions and economic opportunities as well as by changes in climatic and environmental conditions or crises and conflicts. They will also be determined by public development and infrastructure policies, which will need to be inclusive if they are to preserve the social, economic and environmental equilibrium during a period of profound change.

We thus need to begin, as of now, devising development models that avoid inequalities as much as possible and preserve nature. The aim is to improve living conditions for everyone but also make sure that we are not doing so at the expense of the Planet. This means moving away from urban expansion towards a denser use of space, away from the extension of cultivated areas towards ecological intensification, away from the excessive consumption of water towards optimised and concerted uses, etc.

To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals set by the international community for 2030, AFD Group wishes to support its partners – state and local authorities, economic stakeholders and civil societies – in introducing the territorial and ecological transitions that are needed, not only to change course from the current perilous trajectories, but also to support the emergence of renewed paradigms of balanced development – one that is socially cohesive and resilient to climatic and environmental changes.

By taking a position in support of territorial dynamics, AFD Group recognises that all projects are designed within a specific local context where on-going initiatives and multiple stakeholders’ interests are at play. As a result:

  • AFD will consistently seek cross-cutting co-benefits (social cohesion, climate-environment, biodiversity, gender).
  • AFD will insist on the need to ground projects in their political, institutional and social context and design them in line with living spaces and economic basins. This will often mean going beyond the project’s strict administrative boundaries so as to avoid, at the very least, doing harm to the immediate or extended surroundings and, above all, to maximise positive impacts.
  • AFD will promote multi-sectoral approaches, which are crucial to a spatial planning and management policy that builds on the urban-rural continuum and also aim to find solutions suited to a territory’s characteristics and, where possible, nature-based.

As this strategy is grounded on a territorial approach, it will intersect with all the other transitions supported by AFD Group. It will, however, specifically focus on water and sanitation, urban development, transport, rural development and the conservation of biodiversity and natural resources.

Between 2015 and 2019, financial commitments to the territorial and ecological transition have steadily increased from €3.1 billion in 2015 to €5.6 billion in 2019, including nearly €350 million linked to Proparco’s activity. Representing 43% of total commitments between 2014 and 2019, this transition was the leading thematic portfolio carried by the Group.

AFD Group’s Territorial and Ecological Transition Strategy will focus on three focus areas driven by three accelerators, on which you are invited to give your opinion in this survey.


Three focus areas for interventions

  • Improve the quality of life for all
  • Strengthen the attractiveness of territories for shared prosperity
  • Support ecological and resilient territories 

Three Accelerators

  • Improve local governance and plan for sustainable development for all territories
  • Adopt and roll out innovative approaches
  • Mobilise partners


Click on the images below to give us your opinion on the different proposals.

Participatory projects