Forest Incomes for Environmental Sustainability Activity

Speeches Shim

USAID’s Forest Incomes for Environmental Sustainability (FIFES) Activity works to combats deforestation and biodiversity loss while developing rural, forest-based enterprises that provide sustainable economic opportunities for farmers and forest-dependent communities. The Activity contributes to USAID/Liberia’s overall sustainable economic growth program to promote equitable and sustainable market-led economic opportunities while improving natural resources management.

FIFES implements biodiversity conservation in 11 community forests (CF) in Grand Bassa and Nimba counties. FIFES also supports local, regional, and national stakeholders to achieve two main objectives:

  1. Create well-developed rural, forest-based enterprises, which provide sustainable economic opportunities for farmers and forest-dependent communities, while combatting deforestation and biodiversity loss, and
  2. Enhance the capacity of the Government of Liberia (GoL) institutions and rural communities to sustainably manage and benefit from CF and buffer zone natural resources.

These objectives are reflected in the following three FIFES activity components:

  • Sustainable, forest-based enterprises developed and strengthened,
  • CF management improved, and
  • Cross-cutting themes of gender, youth, and public outreach.

Current Activities

  • Institutional Support: With Pact experts taking the lead, FIFES began integrated technical and organizational capacity assessments (ITOCAs) for 11 FIFES-supported CFs. This second round of assessments showed overall improvements in enforcement strategy, biodiversity inventory and enterprise development, technical knowledge, and community engagement.
  • Public Awareness: The CFMB support teams utilized Community Forest Guards to raise awareness about forest management and biodiversity conservation themes.
  • Livelihoods: Increasing smallholder incremental sales by identifying new buyers for cocoa in regional markets, and establishing market linkages to help EGs secure fair prices for commodities.
  • Resource Inventory: Eight of the eleven CFs have completed boundary line clearing and marking, with the remaining three nearing completion.  Inside these boundaries, each CF is taking inventory or has completed forest inventory and finalizing their Community Forest Management Plan.