The Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 recognises that biodiversity underpins ecosystem functioning and the provision of ecosystem services that are essential for human well-being. The fourth Global Biodiversity Outlook underscores that biodiversity is still being lost and ecosystems degraded at alarming rates. Actions for restoring degraded ecosystems need to be strengthened and scaled up. Some countries have developed public programmes with socio-economic and development objectives that invest in large-scale conservation and restoration of ecosystems. These programmes use labour-intensive approaches for both development needs and environmental goals. To examine the potential of these types of programs to contribute simultaneously to development and environmental goals, the Convention on Biological Diversity initiated the project “Leveraging Public Programmes with Socio-Economic and Development Objectives to Support Conservation and Restoration of Ecosystems” with the generous financial contribution from the European Commission and the Government of Germany (Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety). The project summarizes the best practices and lessons learned of a number of existing programmes, providing information that may be useful to Parties to understand the potential of public programmes with socio-economic and development objectives to contribute simultaneously to poverty alleviation and large scale biodiversity conservation and ecosystem restoration goals. The project also aims to provide useful information to Parties to consider implementing similar programmes in their countries, thereby scaling up biodiversity conservation.