Building on previous investments in the forestry and agricultural sectors (Land Rights and Community Forestry Program [2007-2011] and the Liberia Forestry Support Program [2011-2012]), USAID contracted Tetra Tech in May 2012 to implement a new, five-year program (2012-2017) entitled People, Rules and Organizations Supporting the Protection of Ecosystem Resources (PROSPER). The overall goal of the program is to introduce, operationalize, and refine appropriate models for community management of forest resources for local self-governance and enterprise development in targeted areas of the country. The three primary objectives of the program are:
- Expand educational and institutional capacity to improve environmental awareness, natural resource management, biodiversity conservation, and environmental compliance.
- Improve community-based forest management leading to more sustainable practices and reduced threats to biodiversity in target areas.
- Enhance community-based livelihoods derived from sustainable forest-based and agriculture-based enterprises in target areas.
This eighth quarterly report presents the activities undertaken and results obtained during the third quarter of fiscal year 2014 (FY14) which covers April 1–June 30, 2014. Individual monthly progress reports were also prepared for USAID.
The April–June 2014 period included the arrival of the new Chief of Party (COP), Paul Cowles, who focused on getting to know the project team, key partners, and the technical scope of USAID/PROSPER. This report summarizes the accomplishments for the period measured against the Annual Work Plan.
SUMMARY AND HIGHLIGHTS
Component 1 activities focused on the roll out of the second Annual Outreach Campaign, beginning with the launch of the campaign in Monrovia in early April. Significantly more community-to-community outreach was facilitated to support outreach and education on community forestry. Assistance to the Ministry of Education (MoE) continued and the second draft of the Teaching and Learning Materials (TLM) was reviewed. Support to Forestry Training Institute (FTI) continued with the handover of the curriculum and participatory techniques teaching guide as well as through support from Dr. Ken Bauer. His support led to the improvement and relaunch of the FTI community forestry teaching website with all materials available online.
Component 2 focused on supporting FDA in moving forward with community forestry after the lifting of the Moratorium in early April. The project began collaborating closely with the FDA team to identify how best to begin moving new Community Forest Management Agreements (CFMAs) forward, and how to address issues with established CFMAs. Facilitation of an agreement between Arcelor Mittal Liberia (AML) and the Gba Community Forest also continued to be a major activity with continued support to conduct inventories and look for wood buyers for timber from the Tailings Management Facility area. Reaching final agreement has been difficult, however, and negotiations continue. Another conflict arose in District 4 near Buchanan, with a separate faction of communities attempting to start a second community forest in the same area. FDA and PROSPER are working together to manage the conflict. The land dispute between the Gblor and Kparblee communities nearly reached resolution but flared up again during demarcation activities, once again demonstrating the complexity and difficulty of helping communities to resolve long-standing conflicts. Scopes of work for more detailed threat assessments and biomonitoring were also developed.
One deliverable was submitted during the reporting period. This information is similarly presented in the appendices.