Forest Incomes for Environmental Sustainability (FIFES)

Combating Deforestation and Biodiversity Loss by Creating Economic Opportunities for Farmers and Communities

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ACDI/VOCA implements the USAID-funded Forest Incomes for Environmental Sustainability (FIFES) project in Liberia. FIFES develops forest-based enterprises to provide sustainable …

Summary

FIFES’s overall goal is to develop key rural forest-based enterprises that provide inclusive, sustainable economic opportunities for rural farmers and forest-dependent communities in a way that also combats deforestation and biodiversity loss.

  • Strengthen selected forest and agricultural value chains
  • Establish legal and management frameworks for forest enterprises
  • Enhance knowledge and skills for forest enterprises and landscape management
  • Assess key forest value chains and strengthen them through organizational capacity assessments and barrier analyses of community forest groups as well as providing technical support to improve the selection, harvesting, storage, and processing of forest-based products
  • Work with local partners to increase their capacity for biodiversity monitoring and awareness
  • Bring together key stakeholders in forest management and biodiversity monitoring in Liberia to share lessons learned and best practices
  • Work with existing community forest groups to develop and finalize their community forest management plans with the government of Liberia in order to facilitate better local governance of those community forests
  • FIFES identified, mobilized, and begun supporting sixty-five enterprise groups in which each member gains access to micro loans for farming with a focus on developing a culture of savings.
  • In its first year, FIFES identified and organized 509 farmers interested in cocoa rehabilitation, supported development of management structures and bylaws for groups, and started strategizing on collective marketing and training.
  • The FIFES sub-office team in Sanniquellie completed four awareness trainings on forest ownership in the Zor and Blei Community Forests (CFs). FIFES staff used the Community Forestry Guide Book, developed by USAID/Liberia, to explain rights and responsibilities, risks and opportunities afforded by CFs, to 123 participants (58 women and 65 men).
  • FIFES developed outreach messages to encourage Women Owning Resources Together (WORTH) savings, specifically for women and their enterprise groups. These messages were used during WORTH trainings in all of the project’s eight community forests in Nimba County. Written messages were also developed to target livelihood and enterprise promotion for community income generation among CF members in general. The various written messages developed by FIFES thus far will be incorporated into future radio outreach.
  • FIFES will monitor beneficiaries to assess their awareness and understanding of forest biodiversity as well as monitor the capacity of local partners and organizations to provide support for forest-dependent communities.
  • FIFES will work with community forests to improve the surrounding local communities’ ability to manage the forests in a sustainable and economically beneficial manner through increasing the productivity of existing value chains and promoting good governance of the management bodies for each forest.

Funder: USAID
Budget: $22,000,000
Contact: Caroline Bailey, CBailey@acdivoca.org

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