To build on previous 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;
- Enhance community-based livelihoods derived from sustainable forest-based and agriculture-based enterprises in target areas.
This quarterly report presents the activities undertaken and results obtained during the second quarter fiscal year 2015 (FY15Q2) which covers January 1 – March 31, 2015.
During the January – March period, the restrictions and effects of Ebola began to subside and Liberia began to return to normal. There were some difficulties with the submission of contract deliverables due to the Ebola crisis, however, the project is almost back to normal and STTAs are once again able to come to Liberia. This will significantly improve PROSPER’s ability to timely submit the deliverables scheduled for the remainder of FY2015.
Summary and Highlights
Component 1 activities for the quarter included: formatting prototypes of the Environmental Education (EE) booklets and posters in easy-to-use electronic formats for submission to MoE; identifying School EE/nature/conservation clubs and teachers within PROSPER communities; conducting situation analysis on threats to biodiversity in the three PROSPER sites; conducting a matrix of change workshop to support the development of a communication strategy for the third annual outreach campaign; developing site-based outreach activities for CF leaders; presenting results of the impact assessment of the second annual outreach campaign to FDA and the CFWG; developing radio programs in collaboration with PCI Media Impact and CFWG for nation-wide broadcast, with specific media support activities in the PROSPER sites; deploying PROSPER staff to FTI to provide regular support and to monitor teacher development at FTI; and conducting workshops with staff and students of FTI to improve their capacity to access and effectively use FTI website.
Component 2 activities for the quarter included: supporting the Gba CFMB to implement the MOU signed between Gba CFMB and AML; revising CFMP’s for Gba, Zor and Blehi CFs; coordinating support to the Community Forest Management Bodies in Northern Nimba with AML; training Community Forest Guards in Northern Nimba; resolving the issue of recognition of PROSPER supported sites by FDA Board of Directors as CF Pilots; developing training manual and tools for CSOs and FDA in Socio-economic Reconnaissance Survey methods; supporting the FDA/CFWG/ CSOs to define and document CF steps to becoming an authorized CF, and; supporting the FDA and the NGO Coalition with the Harmonization of the CRL and its regulations.
Component 3 activities during the quarter included: training CFMBs in Best Practices of NTFP harvesting; Working with local NTFP Market Analysis/Trade Network in District 4 and Barconnie; providing support to develop and foster wood-based enterprises; providing maintenance and operations training for CPGs in Northern Nimba; monitoring processing volume of CPGs & CPOP; continuing Oil Palm processing support, Freedom Mill demonstrations, and the development of Oil Palm Nurseries; discussing possibilities of an eco-tourism pilot in the Barconnie area with other Buchanan entrepreneurs that have attempted similar projects; crop diversification activities and training in Farming as a Business (FaaB); providing technical assistance in crop production; and identifying eight new groups in the PROSPER sites.
There were several deliverables expected to be submitted during FY15Q2. While none were approved, significant progress has been made with each of them and many are expected to be submitted for approval in FY15Q3.