USAID Gives over 3M To Liberia’s Forest Sector

The United States Agency for International development (USAID) through the West Africa Biodiversity and Climate change program (WA BiCC) has awarded two separate conservation grants to enhance conservation activities in the Country.

The grants which worth 1.8 and 2.7 million United States dollars each will facilitate the implementation of a three year project in the Gola transboundary forest landscape between Liberia and Sierra Leone and the Tai-Grebo-Krahn-Sapo Transboundary Forest Landscape between Liberia and Cote d’Ivoire.

The two projects will be carried out by the Society for the Conservation of Nature (SCNL) Royal Society to protect Bird, Wild Chimpanzee Foundation, Fauna and Flora International respectively.

SCNL and Royal Society to Protect Bird will work in the Gola Transboundary forest landscape between Liberia Sierra Leone while Wild Chimpanzee Foundation and FFI will both operate in the Tai-Grebo-Krahn-Sapo Transboundary connecting Liberia and Cote d’ Ivoire

Launching the project in Liberia, Forestry Development Authority Managing Director, Darlington Tuagben, said SCNL along with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds will support the Livelihood of communities and the inclusive and sustainable management of the Gola transboundary forest landscape.

Mr. Tuagben noted that the project will not only focus on livelihood activities but on the socio-economic and biodiversity surveys including community ecoguard program and capacity building of local communities and FDA field staff.

“The project will support conservation working groups and also provide training to local judiciary staff in Counties were the project will be executed to tackle illegal wild trafficking and strengthen regional collaboration”

“Cross-border traffic is currently uncontrolled and many illegally leaving Liberia, not bring and benefit to us as a Country. I am confident that the two projects will help us to deal better with these problems for a more sustainable way forward, keeping our treasures alive for future generation” the FDA boss emphasized.

“The Forestry Development Authority wishes to thank USIAD and the WA BiCC program for this opportunity given to her conservation partners. We looking forward to the implementation of the projects and are committed to continue working in close collaboration with our partners, for a more sustainable management of our forests and increase conservation successes for Liberia, its neighboring countries and the world as a whole”.

“The two forest Landscapes host a unique treasure of endemic and threatened species such as the critically endangered western chimpanzee, the endangered pygmy hippo, vulnerable forest elephant and many more species.at same time both landscapes are facing significant threats, such as illegal mining hunting chewing stick extraction and encroachment for farming”. Mr. Tuagben

“The aim of these grants is to conserve biodiversity, create livelihood and find way to use the forest. More the three thousand people will be impacted around the Gola transboundary forest, as a result of agriculture interventions and support rising of awareness and cost benefit sharing”. USAID Nature Resources Management Team Leader Lisa Korte said.

“USAID is providing 1.8 million United States dollars to Royal Society to protect Bird and Society for the Conservation of Nature of Liberia and 2.7 million to support the Wild Chimpanzee Foundation to carry on conservation activities” Madam Korte said.

“The Gola and the Tai-Grebo-Krahn-Sapo landscapes are historical owing to their unique biodiversity. In both Sierra Leone and Liberia at two thousand two hundred people will benefit from the farmer field school, the organizations members as well as government agencies will also benefit from the grant”.

The grant for the Tai-Grebo-Krahn-Sapo forest will support the livelihood of surrounding communities and contribute to improve management of the landscape”. Madam Korte added

The Head of the West Africa Biodiversity and Climate Change (WA BiCC) Program Dr.Nouhou Ndam urged the beneficiary organizations to make use of the dry season by speedily going back to the various landscapes.

“The Mano River basin has been identified as the area that has the largest forest landscape and for that reason the WA BiCC project was directed to the basin after vetting of proposals” he said

The launching program was attended by local chiefs and local government officials from Gbarpolu, River-Gee, Grand Gedeh and Sinoe Counties where the two landscapes are located. Their presence is part of efforts to make them feel part of the project and take ownership.