Small and medium scale forest enterprises
Community-based Forest Enterprise Development in Liberia
PROJECT OBJECTIVES AND DESCRIPTION: This project supports the implementation of pilot community forestry activities in Liberia, in collaboration with the World Bank and other Liberia Forestry Initiative (LFI) partners. It represents a component of the project “Development Forestry Sector Management” funded by the World Bank.
Community forestry is a priority area for the new National Forest Management Strategy of the government of Liberia. New opportunities are provided to pilot community concessions where communities manage forest resources for wood and non-wood forest products. In particular, the “3-C” forest policy of Liberia provides a rationale to focus on small-scale Commercial activity within Communities affected by Conservation of protected areas.
Through this project, communities living in Protected Areas are supported with the aim to enhance their capacity to develop community-based enterprises based on natural resource products, including Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFP). The methodology adopted is the Market Analysis and Development Methodology (MA&D) of FAO.
The objectives of livelihood improvement and forest conservation entail the following:
- empower target communities to realize the value of forest resources through sustainable income generation based on sound forest utilization;
- improve marketing of raw and processed forest products;
- reduce rural poverty, food insecurity and general livelihood improvement,
- strengthen the capacity of the Government of Liberia so that it can provide an enabling environment for community-based enterprise development;
- improve collaboration between communities to manage forest resources and to design and implement diverse sustainable forest enterprises and effective marketing strategies; and
- improve the delivery of private and public service providers to support effectively small forest enterprises.
PROJECT PARTNERS AND STAKEHOLDERS:
- the World Bank, the Forest Development Authority of the government of Liberia (FDA), the Liberian Agency for Community Empowerment (LACE), the University of Liberia and two local NGOs: Lofa Youth Educational awareness Program (LYEAP) and Sustainable Livelihood Promoters Program (SLPP)
- Rural communities of the Protected Areas of Lake Piso and Wonegizi, small forest entrepreneurs and their associations in Liberia
ACTIVITIES: Local NGOs, FDA staff and University students, trained on the MA&D approach, work together as field facilitators for the implementation of capacity building activities at local level, with rural communities. The focus is on strengthening the capacity of FDA to work with the communities and for the communities to work together to manage the forest resources and to design and implement different enterprises and effective marketing strategies. It is also envisaged the support to the curriculum development of the Forestry Department of the University of Liberia.
The implementation of trainings started in two Protected Areas: Lake Piso in Grand Cape Mount & Bomi Counties and Wonegizi in Lofa County. At the same time, in the country, the Forest Connect initiative has been implemented in order to increase the visibility of the Small and Medium Forest Enterprise sector, linking small and medium forest enterprises to national forest programmes, decision-making, service providers and markets.
Développement des capacités - Démonstration de transformation des PFNL
ACHIEVEMENTS AND OUTCOMES:
- Over 200 community-members trained in 5 communities through the participatory Market Analysis and Development (MA&D) approach; as a result 20 new SMFEs developed in 10 villages, contributing to poverty reduction, improvement of livelihoods and increased food-security;
- Enhanced level of connectedness of SMFEs: local NGO SAMFU (Save My Future Foundation) oversaw the development of three diagnostic studies, raising the level of knowledge amongst their SMFE network and beyond about the situation, opportunities, barriers and policies related to SMFEs in Liberia; several multi-stakeholder workshops were held with project partners to discuss these issues and to identify capacity gaps; capacity and network building workshops were subsequently held which involved 50 national participants;
- Groundwork set for a broader network of SMFEs and their service providers – contributing not only to better collaboration among each other, but also raising the profile of SMFEs in national policy dialogues;
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