To build on previous United States Government investments in the forestry and agricultural sectors, particularly the Land Rights and Community Forestry Program (2007–2011) and the Liberia Forestry Support Program (2011–2012), USAID contracted Tetra Tech ARD 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; and
- Enhance community-based livelihoods derived from sustainable forest-based and agriculture-based enterprises in target areas.
This Quarterly Report provides a description of the activities undertaken by PROSPER during the third quarter of fiscal year 2016 (FY16Q3), April – June 2016.
During FY16Q3, PROSPER supported the work of four (4) STTAs on the project to provide the following technical assistance:
- Emiko Guthe – GIS Expert (June 2016)
- To provide follow on training in GIS skills to PROSPER and FDA GIS Specialists and field staff including spatial data management, analysis and cartography skills. An emphasis was put on working with the FDA to agree upon a map for posting demarcation results.
- Andrew Wilson – Education and Curriculum Development Specialist (May 2016)
- Review of lessons learned, best practices, and assessment of the development of environmental education curriculum, in fulfilment of PROSPER Deliverable 24;
- Assessment of Environmental Curriculum Materials in collaboration with partners, in fulfilment of PROSPER Deliverable 4a.
- William Cordero – Forest Resource Inventory and Land Use Specialist (May 2016)
- Develop a report on proposed best practices for community-based low impact timber harvesting in Liberia made available to stakeholders, in fulfillment of PROSPER Deliverable 18.
- Develop an appropriate methodology to inventory the timber and non-timber forest products in community forest pilot areas, for use by community-level forest management bodies in taking stock, keeping track of and sustainably using their forest resources.
- Erica Dunmire – M&E Specialist (June 2016)
- Review institutional capacity assessment tools and ensure M&E staff are able to utilize the tool for annual assessment;
- Provide training to the M&E Specialist and Officer in data collection, management and reporting.
The community level rollout of the Fourth Annual Outreach campaign began in March, at the end of the last quarter; however, activities peaked through May and June. Driven by CF leaders, the exercise covered thirty-six (36) towns and villages in PROSPER zones in northern Nimba, fifty-four (54) towns in southern Nimba, and thirty-nine (39) towns and villages in Grand Bassa County.
The extended outreach activities to the three new PROSPER counties (Sinoe, Gbarpolu, Grand Gedeh) included training of radio broadcasters in the respective counties and the airing of radio programs and dramas. PROSPER’s Extended Outreach Coordinator made several follow up trips to the counties to monitor progress of the outreach. She continues to work with the radio stations to ensure the programs are correctly monitored and that the people in the communities are receiving the intended messages from the activities. A more detailed report will be included in the annual report.
Throughout the quarter, PROSPER and the FDA worked closely together to continue with demarcation exercises in all of the PROSPER sites. While it was anticipated that Demarcation notices and SER survey results would be posted in April 2016, actual postings did not commence until the end of the Quarter due to ensuring all necessary government agencies and officials in the respective counties were properly informed before the process commenced.
There were 13 deliverables actively worked on during FY16Q3, which included eight deliverables that were carried over from previous quarters and one submitted ahead of schedule. Seven deliverables were submitted and approved, two were submitted and are pending approval, and the remaining four are nearly complete. A more detailed summary of the deliverables is found in Annex 5, below.
In addition to PROSPER’s contractual obligations, there has been close coordination between PROSPER and the new USAID/FIFES project to ensure continuity of PROSPER’s work and progress in the Community Forestry. Bi-weekly coordination meetings between the COP’s and inclusion of FIFES staff during workplanning sessions has assisted with the transfer of knowledge to FIFES. PROSPER has also signed an MOU with FIFES regarding the shared use of PROSPER guest houses in Tappita, Sanniquellie and Buchanan.
FY16 Q3 HIGHLIGHTS
Component 1: Education, Outreach, and Awareness
- In collaboration with community mobilizers and students, PROSPER designed and supported the implementation of programs for nature clubs across the various sites;
- Organized and conducted a daylong Education Review Workshop with the CDWG to review lessons learned, best practices, and to assess the EE-curriculum development process;
- Field teams supported CF leaders to plan activities to rollout the 4th Annual Outreach Campaign across PROSPER zones in communities in Northern and Southern Nimba, and Grand Bassa Counties;
- In conjunction with the Public Awareness Department (PAD) of the FDA, PROSPER developed training materials for community radio broadcasters and national level media partners;
- Trained sixteen (16) community radio producers from PROSPER’s three (3) target zones in southeastern and western Liberia, in the design and production of interactive talk shows;
- Supported the broadcast of a forty-two (42) episode drama, and radio messages on the CRL, on community radio stations in Nimba and Grand Bassa;
- Began monitoring weekly radio drama and radio programs on community radio stations across sites through collaboration with the FDA;
- Developed three (3) core messages, a monologue, and radio content for community radio stations;
- In collaboration with FDA, conducted extended outreach and awareness in the communities in southeastern and western Liberia;
- Observed and assessed the implementation of the FTI curriculum, with a specific focus on the delivery of the CF curriculum, and documented this in an M&E Assessment Report;
- Completed the Nine Steps Handbook, and had it approved and adopted by the FDA’s Community Forestry Department, which is now using it to inform the community forestry program more broadly.
Component 2: Forest Management and Biodiversity
- Provided training to CFMBs in financial policy and business management;
- Supported the FDA to ground-truth and address issues arising from the preliminary demarcation;
- Supported the CF governance bodies to participate in County-level forums;
- Conducted exchange visit from the Golama Community with Society for the Conservation of Liberia;
- Completed Deliverable 26, for a total of 12 Policy Briefs that PROSPER has written. They will be distributed to relevant stakeholder;
- Progress on the harmonization of CRL Regulations with FDA
Component 3: Livelihood and Enterprise Development
- Completed second phase of introductory training in proposal writing skills and business plan development to the three CFMBs (Blei, Gba and Zor) in Sanniquellie;
- Completed Deliverable 18 – Report on proposed best practices for community-based low impact timber harvesting in Liberia made available to stakeholders;
- FY15 Oil palm nursery farmers begins out-planting;
- FY16 oil palm nursery farmers complete payment toward the establishment of four new oil palm nurseries;
- Farmer-to Farmer exchange visits organized for FY16 oil palm nursery farmers in Q4;
- Cocoa rehabilitation field days organized;
- 253 (59 male, 194 female) new crop diversification farmers participate in Farming as a Business and Crop Diversification trainings;
- Provided technical assistance to 33 crop diversification groups;
- Cocoa reference price launched on Tappita community radio station;
- Universal Outreach Foundation (UOF) organized five new beekeeping groups in five towns and recruited 103 farmers to participate in FY16 beekeeping activities;
- Extension support provided to FY15 Beekeeping groups;
- Three hives harvested in two communities;
- Nine additional hives colonized.