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.
January – March 2016 marked one of the busiest quarters during the PROSPER project. In January, PROSPER supported the work of four (4) STTAs on the project to provide the following technical assistance:
- Emiko Gunthe – GIS Expert (23 Jan – 11 Feb 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
- To review the project GIS database along with related data collection standards and protocols
- Peter Aldinger – Legal and Policy Expert (21 Jan – 13 Feb 2016)
- Developed three (3) Policy Briefs:
- The importance of Free, prior and informed consent (FPIC): strategies for realization;
- The Voluntary Partnership Agreement: backstopping the community rights law; and,
- The Proposed Local Government Act: Community Forestry and Decentralization
- Developed three (3) Policy Briefs:
- Leif Kindberg – Communication and Outreach Specialist (23 Jan – 8 Feb 2016)
- Assessed the effectiveness of Deliverables 5, 11, 15 and 17, while providing an update for Deliverable 6.
- Vaneska Litz – Community Forestry Management Specialist – (30 Jan – 20 Feb 2016)
- Technical input, oversight and guidance to the PROSPER support Community Forest activities in northern Nimba
In February, after a very long process to modify the PROSPER contract to include an extended Outreach and Awareness Campaign to several additional counties, USAID approved the modification. The modification included four additional vehicles and five (5) new positions: an international full-time FDA Advisor; two additional Drivers; one Communications and Outreach Coordinator; and, a Finance Assistant. Currently, all of the positions are staffed. The three additional counties were strategically selected with the FDA based on the number of current CF applications in the surrounding areas. The new counties include Gbarpolu, Grand Gedeh, and Sinoe.
In March, PROSPER conducted the Fourth Annual Outreach and Awareness Campaign with the theme of “Make Community Forest Rights Real”. The event was well attended and feedback has been positive. PROSPER teams have already deployed to the field sites to distribute materials and messages to the communities. Following the Launch, PROSPER held the FY16Q3 Work Planning session in Monrovia.
Throughout the quarter, PROSPER and the FDA worked closely together to continue with demarcation exercises in all of the PROSPER sites. Demarcation notices are scheduled to be posted in all PROSPER communities by the end of April 2016.
There were nine deliverables due during FY16Q2, which includes five deliverables that were carried over from FY16Q1. Three of the deliverables were submitted, of which one has been approved and two are pending approval. Two of the deliverables are complete and are being reviewed for branding by TTARD’s Home Office. Four are not complete but are scheduled to be complete during FY16Q3. Finally, a deliverable scheduled for FY16Q3 was submitted ahead of schedule and pending approval. A more detailed summary of the deliverables is found in Annex 5, below.
This Quarterly Report provides a description of the activities undertaken by PROSPER during the second quarter of fiscal year 2016 (FY16Q2), January – March 2016.
FY16 Q2 HIGHLIGHTS
Component 1: Education, Outreach, and Awareness
- Observation and assessment of the implementation of the FTI curriculum, with a specific focus on the delivery of the CF curriculum
- Trained local theater groups in the effective delivery of community forestry messages using dramas, skits, traditional songs, and dance
- Launch of the 4th Annual Community Forestry Outreach Campaign
- Finalized and submitted articles for publication in local media to promote the launch of the 4th Annual Community Forestry Outreach campaign
- Developed outreach materials to promote community members’ understanding of the CRL and CRL Regulations
- Developed radio messages and collaborated with community radio stations to broadcast a 42-episode drama
- Provided training for mobilizers to effectively engage teachers in EE clubs, using lesson plans developed with the MoE
- In collaboration with students and teachers, helped develop, and supported the implementation of EE club programs
Component 2: Forest Management and Biodiversity
- Supported the completion of the Gba and Blei CFMPs, the revision and development of their CF rules, and helped define next-steps to promote permitting systems
- Supported CFOCs from applicant communities in Grand Bassa to develop presentations for the CDSC meeting, and facilitated attendance
- Supported the Gba, Zor, and Blei CFMBs to develop presentations for the scheduled CDSC meeting
- Provided training to CFMBs on their new financial policy and business management skills
- Supported the FDA by validating the preliminary demarcation that was done for the proposed CF at Sehyi, through ground-truthing
- Facilitated the participation of CF governance bodies at County-level policy and development forums
- FDA/PROSPER coordination meetings
- Capacity building of FDA cadre
- Capacity building, coordination and cooperation with stakeholders
- Supported the Zor Community Forest to address violations of the community’s constitution and bylaws
- Supported Capacity Building for Biomonitoring
Component 3: Livelihood and Enterprise Development
- Nine new crop diversification groups identified
- Training of six crop diversification groups in basic financial and business management. Four of the groups’ constitutions were drafted, validated and signed to formalize groups as enterprises, and constitutions drafted for the remaining two groups
- Provision of technical assistance to twenty four crop diversification groups
- Identification of a long-term platform for dissemination of agriculture produce prices to ensure farmers have improved market information
- Six additional hives colonized in four communities; two in Tappita and two in Buchanan
- Two hives harvested in one community in Tappita
- Universal Outreach Foundation (UOF) subcontract modified