EU partners with FDA to address threats to biodiversity

May 13, 2024

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership with the Forestry Development Authority (FDA) will on May 15, 2024, launch the LEH GO GREEN project in Monrovia. 

The European Union and its Member States put forest ecosystems and biodiversity conservation at the top of their agendas, aligned with the priorities of the Liberian Government. 

There is a shared and consolidated consensus that these objectives cannot be achieved without the real and participatory involvement of the communities that rely on forest resources and environmental services for their well-being and survival while promoting innovative livelihood alternatives as a valid approach to fostering sustainable practices. 

"LEH GO GREEN" is a European Union-funded project (4.8 million USD) which is focusing on forest users and forest fringe communities in Liberia's northwest and southeastern landscapes, including Gola Forest National Park and Grebo-Krahn National Park. In a framework of conservation-oriented activities and the fight against poverty, the purpose of the project is to increase forest-based revenue and improve livelihood for the populations. 

Liberia's forest resources face several challenges and threats that cause considerable damage to the integrity and functionality of ecosystems, negatively affecting soils, forests, water quality, valuable flora, and wildlife, but also compromises the future and potential development of the communities themselves, as very often they are directly dependent on the natural resources and services provided by the forest. 

To address these threats and underlying causes leading to biodiversity loss, the LEH GO GREEN project will strengthen the sustainable use of natural resources while contributing to the fight against climate change, creating jobs and growth for forest communities in Gbarpolu, Grand Cape Mount, Grand Gedeh, Lofa and RiverGee Counties.

The three-year project will promote the sustainable utilization of forest resources to achieve economic and conservation growth. Innovative approaches will be piloted, like conservation agreements, and community-based sustainable logging activities, to balance commercial and conservation activities in the two valuable conservation landscapes, to enhance community stewardship and the benefits of sustainable forest management. More importantly, the project will promote carbon sequestration and reduce GHG emissions in the forest sector.

The project’s interventions will also address climate change mitigation by enhancing forest restoration in degraded areas, promoting diversified livelihoods that can respond to environmental shocks and stresses, and increasing economic opportunities for underserved populations, especially women and youth. Support for village savings and loans will strengthen community-based enterprises and pilot activities will offer sources of proteins in cate rats and snail breeding to combat illegal trade in bush meat.

Forest-based MSMEs (Medium and Small-Scale Enterprises) will receive business development skills to allow them to scale up their operations and contribute to job and income creation.

Additionally, the project will address planning, capacity building, livelihood, and knowledge barriers by effectively promoting sustainable livelihood and the use of natural resources that allow communities to drive initiatives. 

The implementation of the LEH GO GREEN project is in line with the 2021-2024 EU Programming Forestry & Conservation Contribution to Team Europe Initiative (“Sustainable Forestry and Biodiversity Conservation in Liberia”)

The Launch in Monrovia will bring together high-level stakeholders from the Government of Liberia, the donor community, and civil society and will subsequently be followed by two other launch events in targeted project communities in Grand Gedeh and Grand Cape Mount Counties.