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.
In October, PROSPER began its fourth year of program implementation, and most likely the busiest year for the program as improved cooperation and communication with the FDA will help realize the completion of the Community Forest Management Agreement process with the eight PROSPER pilot sites in Nimba and Grand Bassa. Following a year of staff changes within PROSPER as well as USAID, and multiple implementation complications as a result of the Ebola crisis, Year 4 has started with much more hope, optimism and promise for success in achieving the goals of the PROSPER program.
In August 2015, PROSPER held its Annual Work Planning meeting in Monrovia, which included all of the local and international implementing partners. The four day event paved the way for the final two years of project implementation. In early December, the approved Annual Work Plan was officially presented to the FDA.
In October, following a request from USAID, Tetra Tech ARD submitted a proposal to the mission which, if approved, will expand outreach and awareness campaigns related to community forestry in additional high-threat counties within Liberian. The expanded scope of work will also help build capacity of the Forestry Development Authority’s Community Forestry Department through provision of an FDA Advisor and build of a core CF technical team among FDA regional staff. It is anticipated that the expanded Scope of Work will begin in FY16Q2.
There were six deliverables due during FY16Q1. Although none were submitted to USAID for approval, three were completed and are currently being reviewed by PROSPER while three are near completion. All are expected to be submitted in FY16Q2. (See Annex 5)
This Quarterly Report provides a description of the activities undertaken by PROSPER during the first quarter of fiscal year 2016 (FY16Q1), October – December 2015.
FY16 Q1 HIGHLIGHTS
Component 1: Education, Outreach, and Awareness
- Delivered and distributed Primary Environmental Education (EE) Curriculum materials to MOE
- Analyzed the results of the Knowledge, Attitude and Behavior (KAB) end-line surveys
- Facilitated Newspaper Publications and Radio Broadcast on PROSPER activities
- Initiated preparation for Radio-drama outreach through community radio
- Capacity building support to FTI faculty in CF curriculum delivery and assessment
- FTI student participation in Site-based Research Activities
- Updated Database and website for FTI
Component 2: Forest Management and Biodiversity
- Supported Management Plan and Rules Template Development for Authorized Forest Communities and defined next steps to promote Permitting Systems
- Supported the Gba CFMB to re-clean the Gba CF boundary in preparation for zoning the CF
- Supported the Participation of CFMBs at the Northern Nimba Biodiversity Stakeholders’ Forum in Monrovia
- Provided training to CFMBs in financial policy and business management
- Consulted with Conservation International and other partners on the potential for piloting Conservation Agreements in the Barconnie Communities
- Supported the FDA to Ground-Truth the Preliminary Demarcation Conducted at Sehyi CF
- Supported the CF Governance bodies to participate in County-level Forums
- Conducted capacity building coordination and cooperation with stakeholders
- Developed templates for CFMP, CFMA, By-laws and constitutions in collaboration with stakeholders
- Supported FDA to develop boundary demarcation verification process
- Provided support to the FDA to compile Findings of the Demarcation Data
- Provided support to the FDA on the Development of Land Dispute Mechanism
- Supported Capacity Building for Biomonitoring
Component 3: Livelihood and Enterprise Development
- The Business Development Advisor assessed five women groups in crop diversification to determine the groups’ capacity and their specific training needs
- Six high performance Crop diversification groups identified for support for dry season vegetable production
- All six groups received a set of irrigation water pumps and operation packages
- Provision of technical assistance to twenty four crop diversification groups
- Training of CFMBs in financial and business management