STEWARDSustainable and Thriving Environmentsfor West African Regional Development
Program BackgroundThe Upper Guinean Tropical Forest ecosystem is one of West Africa’s eight ma-jor biomes, and it has an estimated 9,000 species of vascular plants. Of these,2,250 (25%) are believed to be endemic. The ecosystem ranks high globally forboth plant species diversity and endemism. However, this forest is highly degrad-ed, having experienced dramatic encroachment and fragmentation as a result ofexpanding human activities that have reduced the forest to approximately 10%of its original 1,265,000-km² area. What forest remains is severely threatenedby continued use of unsustainable land use practices, mining and other threats.The History of STEWARDThe STEWARD program is a forest conservation and sustainable livelihoodsprogram supported by the United States Agency for International Development(USAID) and the United States Forest Service / International Programs (USFS/IP). STEWARD GoalSTEWARD’s strategic objective is to implement a coherent regional program thataddresses transboundary threats to biodiversity, capitalizes on regional opportu- The overall goal of the STEWARD program is to promote transboundary, landscape-nities to spread best practices, harmonizes policies, and addresses the adverse scale strategies for, and promising approaches to, sustainable natural resourceeffects of global climate change in priority zones of the Upper Guinean Forest management, improved livelihoods, biodiversity conservation, and climate changeecosystem. In its design phase, STEWARD started work on biodiversity conserva- adaptation and mitigation in priority zones in the Upper Guinean Forest ecosystem.tion (October 2007-June 2009). The pilot phase (July 2009-February 2011) STEWARD activities include building capacity for regional collaboration on biodi-expanded on this by addressing regional threats to biodiversity, supporting peace versity conservation, sustainable agriculture, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH),building, knowledge dissemination, and policy harmonization. Currently STEW- and harmonization of national policies for improved ecosystems and natural re-ARD is in its implementation phase, a four-year (March 2011-September 2015), source management in transboundary priority zones in the Mano River Union States18 million dollar program (with 6 implementing partners (CARE-Sierra Leone; (Guinea, Ivory Coast, Liberia and Sierra Leone). The STEWARD priority zones are;Bioclimate Research and Development Ltd; PCI Media Impact Inc.; Thomson 1) Sierra Leone (Outamba-Kilimi National Park) / Guinea (Madina Oula, Soya andReuters; United Actors for Rural Development (AUDER); and Fauna and Flora Ouré Kaba sub prefectures and 2) Guinea and Côte d’Ivoire (Mount Nimba) / Libe-International (FFI) through funding from USAID/West Africa. ria (East Nimba Nature Reserve) and 3) (potentially) Ziama - Wonegisi straddling the border between Guinea and Liberia.Notable successes of the design and pilot phases of STEWARD include:• A successful regional policy harmonization assessment workshop, that forms the basis for the current policy harmonization efforts in the region;• Training and capacity building of government and local community partners in natural resource management best practices;• Development of sustainable forest management plans;• Non-timber forest products analysis and training by the Nature Conservation Research Center;• Communications outreach and environmental education theater production by the Wild Chimpanzee Foundation;• Piloting of a community based carbon monitoring method;• GIS training; and• Establishment of the transboundary Gola Rainforest National Park through a grant to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.
Senegal Mali STEWARD Priority Zones Mano River Union countries showing location of PZ1 and PZ2 and proposed Guinea approximate location of PZ3 10°00"N PZ1 CONAKRY FREETOWN Sierra Leone PZ3 PZ2 Ivory Coast00 miles 50 100 ¯ 200 Liberia MONROVIA kmDate Created/Last Updated 15/11/2012Map Filename: STEWARD3_PMA_STEWARDPriorityZonesCoordinate System: GCS WGS 1984Datum: WGS 1984Units: DegreeData Sources: 5°00"NTopography and Admin: DIVA, STEWARD, SLIS,Conservation International and WINROCK via USGSPZ Definition: STEWARD and FFI/ERABiosphere: FFI/ERAThe depiction and use of boundaries, names andassociated data shown here do not imply endorsementor acceptance by USAID, USFS or STEWARD and itspartnersProduced by Thomson Reuters for the STEWARD Project 10°00"W
STEWARD PartnersSTEWARD implements activities through various stakeholders and partner organizations.Stakeholders include the Mano River Union, conservation authorities in the Mano RiverUnion states, local and traditional authorities, communities and the private sector part-ners. The implementing partners funded by the STEWARD program are: FFI FFI works to establish responsive and replicable management models that promote ecological integrity of the Nimba Mountains and enhance the well-being of local people facing increasing threats from human activities including subsistence pressures, AUDER (United Actors for Rural Development) mining operations and climate change. FFI aims to do so mainly AUDER activities are geared towards promoting sustainable agri- by improving collaboration between all stakeholders associated culture and livelihoods in the rural areas surrounding the Nimba with the Nimba Mountains and establishment of harmonized poli- Mountains in Guinea and Ivory Coast. AUDER has extensive expe- cies and legal frameworks for natural resource management in rience in participatory community development. Activities include; the region. strengthening the capacities of communities and stakeholders for sustainable participatory development; improving land manage- ment to conserve biodiversity and combat climate change; and PCI Media Impact improve productivity of agricultural and fish production systems PCI Media Impact is an international leader in supporting social and diversify incomes to enhance food security. change through communication by designing and implementing media messages both to entertain and educate. This increases Bioclimate audience members’ knowledge about an issue, creates favorable Bioclimate is a non-profit organization based in Edinburgh, Scot- attitudes and changes behavior. Under the STEWARD program, land, with a West Africa office in Sierra Leone. It strives to improve PCI Media Impact will equip and empower stakeholders within the livelihoods of rural communities by helping them manage the Mano River Union to use Entertainment-Education and social natural resources sustainably and access markets for ecosystem marketing communications approaches to enhance the programs services. Within the STEWARD program, Bioclimate is working impact and support base and catalyze change among target with local communities adjacent to Outamba/Kilimi National Park communities. Its communication activities, mainly through a radio in Sierra Leone and Madina Oula/Oure Kaba and Soya sub- drama program and an awareness campaign will enhance local prefectures Guinea, Priority Zone 1 (PZ1) to integrate a system of knowledge and understanding about natural resource manage- Community Payments for Environmental Services (Community PES) ment, biodiversity conservation, climate change and WASH. with community-based forest management. This incentive-based approach aims to bring about lasting change in local land use and livelihoods through improved governance and management Thomson Reuters of natural resources, the promotion of small village enterprise and Thomson Reuters has been tasked with coordinating the Geo- equitable sharing of PES benefits to help meet community health graphic Information System (GIS) for STEWARD and its partners and development needs. Bioclimate is a partnering with CARE through establishing GIS centers and documenting customary Sierra Leone in PZ1. land rights in selected communities of the project Priority Zones (PZs) in the region. Apart from training, field staff, partners and CARE government agencies in GIS and GPS, they will establish a GIS CARE International has been fighting poverty for 50 years and Center in Freetown and replicate the GIS Centre activities within works to enhance economic opportunities and sustainable liveli- the Manu River Union states. Thomson Reuters will also undertake hoods of communities living adjacent to and in the buffer zones Pilot Community and Land Rights Mapping (documenting land of Outamba/Kilimi National Park in Sierra Leone and Madina and resource information) and support for the GIS user commu- Oula/Oure Kaba and Soya sub-prefectures Guinea (PZ1). CARE’s nity in Sierra Leone. activities support the conservation and sustainable management of the biodiversity and natural resources base of the area. In the STEWARD program, CARE is partnering with Bioclimate in PZ1 and works with several other partners (PRIDE, Sierra Leone Conserva- tion Society, and Cornell University) to share knowledge and build local capacity through information gathering, documentation and dissemination of lessons learned and best practices of sustainable livelihoods and natural resource management.
STEWARD ActivitiesThrough its stakeholders and implementing partners STEWARD will:• Improve policy and legal frameworks for natural resources manage- ment, biodiversity conservation and climate change throughout the Mano River Union (MRU);• Assist in the development and implementation of forest management plans on community lands and in protected areas to promote biodi- versity conservation;• Improve the capacity of forest-dependent communities and institutions to mitigate and adapt to the adverse effects of climate change;• Promote sustainable livelihoods in communities adjacent to forests and within buffer zones;• Develop climate-resilient Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sys- tems and services among rural populations;• Monitor program impact on land use and land cover change using remote sensing and satellite image analyses;• Develop viable Payment for Ecosystem Service (PES) models including Carbon Finance; and• Develop viable and sustainable Non-Timber Forest Products value chains.All activities are coordinated by the USFS/IP through their project office inFreetown in collaboration with the USAID/West Africa Mission, implement-ing partners, national governments, and other relevant partners. For moreinformation, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.