USAID Environmental Project Ends Workshop
The Forest Incomes for Environmental Sustainability (FIFES) project of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has concluded a three-day work planning session workshop at Shark’s Entertainment Incorporated at Airfield-Sinkor.
According to a press release from FIFES, the work-session workshop, under the theme “Plan, Target, Implement, Impact and Achieve ran from September 19-21, 2018.”FIFES, which is a five-year activity project, is funded by the United (USAID) and implemented by ACDI/VOCA. This year’s annual work planning exercise brought together stakeholders, beneficiaries, implementing partners, and the donor agency to build consensus on new annual targets and design implementation mechanisms while tracking impacts and reporting accordingly.
According to FIFES Chief of Party Glenn A. Lines, “It is a great opportunity to see each of you in person and to thank you personally for leaving your busy schedules, especially those of you who have travelled to Monrovia from remote places such as Tappita, Sanniquellie, and Grand Bassa to join FIFES, your fellow community forest management and governance representatives, and other stakeholders for this workshop,”.
He added that since the beginning of the FIFES project, the Community Forest Management Body members, the Executive Committee representatives, and Community Assembly members, have all been strategic partners in the joint implementation of FIFES’ forest-based enterprise development and community forest management activities.
According to him, “As we go into this year’s work planning sessions, it is important to take note that the FIFES project will not be here indefinitely, so we all should be focusing on your groups acquiring the requisite technical and management skills necessary to take increased responsibility for the sustainable management of your community forests. This, ultimately, will help you ensure biodiversity conservation while livelihoods are improved.”
In response, the stakeholders’ representative, Peterson Meantuo, said they are delighted to be in attendance at the FIFES work planning event.
He pledged their full cooperation and promised on behalf of not only the Gba Community Forest, for which he serves as secretary, but also all the 11 community forests under the FIFES project and community residents and stakeholders present to take ownership of important FIFES supported activities.
The event brought together more than 60 representatives from the Community Forest Management Body, Executive Committee, Community Assembly, enterprise groups, and Women Owning Resources Together groups of the 11 community forests as well as USAID, the Environmental Protection Agency, Forestry Development Authority, Community Forestry Working Group, and FIFES staff.
The FIFES project is aligned with USAID/Liberia’s Country Development Corporation Strategy. Its overall goal is to help rural farmers and forest-dependent communities to develop forest-based enterprises in ways that reduce threats to biodiversity and combat deforestation, forest degradation, and biodiversity loss.
FIFES aims to increase inclusive, sustainable economic opportunities for local community and forest stakeholders, while building the capacity of local institutions to effectively implement national policies, promote better management, and integrate gender equity and youth opportunities within the 11 community forests in Nimba and Grand Bassa counties.
The project supports four community forest governance and management structures in Northern Nimba County (Sanniquellie area) as well as five in Southern Nimba County (Tapitta area), and two in Grand Bassa County (Buchanan area).