Steward Program


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2013 Brochure

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Steward Program

  1. 1. Background: The Sustainable and Thriving Environments for West African Regional Development (STEWARD) program is dedicated to empowering communities to adopt and maintain sustainable livelihoods and natural resource management to ensure improved health and well-being. Initiated in 2007, the program is implemented by six collaborating partners and supported by The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the United States Forest Service / International Programs (USFS/IP).
  2. 2. Biodiversity Climate Change Adaptation Biodiverse ecosystems conserved in target areas Resilience to projected adverse effects of climate change improved in target areas Working within four specific targets areas, the STEWARD program aims to...  Harmonize forest, wildlife & conservation policies  Promote management of natural resources  Develop and promote alternative & sustainable livelihoods  Build capacity & transfer knowledge at all levels Climate Change Mitigation Water, Sanitation & Hygiene Greenhouse gas emissions reduced in target areas (WASH) Access to adequate supplies of clean water improved in target areas
  3. 3. Addressing Issues of Regional & Global Significance: The Upper Guinean Tropical Forest ecosystem is one of West Africa’s eight major biomes and ranks high globally for both plant species diversity and endemism. It is believed that one quarter of the estimated 9,000 species of vascular plants is endemic. This forest is now highly degraded, due to the dramatic encroachment by expanding human activities and fragmentation that has reduced the forest to approximately 10 percent of its original 1,265,000 sq. km area. What forest remains is severely threatened by continued use of unsustainable land use practices, mining and other pressures.
  4. 4. Priority Zone 1: Sierra Leone & Guinea (Outamba-Kilimi National Park, Madina Oula, Soya & Oure Kaba sub prefectures) Priority Zone 2: Guinea, Ivory Coast & Liberia (Mount Nimba & East Nimba Nature Preserve) Transboundary Teamwork: The Upper Guinean Tropical Forest spans across four countries: Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Ivory Coast. In order to ensure the resilience of both the ecosystem and the residents, transboundary collaboration is crucial.
  5. 5. Priority Zone 1: Sierra Leone & Guinea The Outamba-Kilimi Park is located at the northern border of Sierra Leone. With a diverse landscape, this park is home to large numbers of fauna and flora, supporting at least nine species of primates, 220 species of birds, and a sampling of large mammals such as the leopard and forest elephant. To provide for their livelihoods and income needs, many people in the region have resorted to unsustainable, and sometimes illegal, practices such as poaching, bushmeat trade and logging. Unsustainable agricultural practices threaten the natural environment as well as the longer term livelihoods of the people.
  6. 6. The STEWARD program, through its implementing partners, CARE, Bioclimate & Thomson Reuters:  Promotes conservation agriculture & best practices  Strengthens forest management of existing forests & establishes new ones  Develops sustainable value chains for selected non-timber forest products  Establishes and supports Village Savings & Loan Associations to promote the development of alternative livelihoods  Trains communities in monitoring of biodiversity & carbon stocks  Quantifies current carbon stocks in the project area  Trains local institutions on water catchment management & forest restoration around water points  Builds capacity for alternative livelihoods, for example beekeeping  Trains community members in property rights mapping & documentation
  7. 7. Priority Zone 2: Guinea, Ivory Coast & Liberia Rising above the savannahs and covered in dense forests, Mount Nimba (and its surrounding mountains) contains some of the greatest biodiversity in the West African region due to its unique geographical and climatic location. This area is also rich in iron ore and has several large mining operations as a result. Poaching, unsustainable agricultural practices, bush fires, as well as overhunting of certain species for both commercial and subsistence use, threaten the very existence of this important ecosystem and carbon sink.
  8. 8. The STEWARD program, through its implementing partners, AUDER, FFI & Thomson Reuters:  Promotes combined rice/fish production through the development & improvement of fish ponds  Promotes agro-forestry through training & provision of planting material from villages nurseries  Strengthens forest management through support for forest management committees  Trains communities in property rights mapping and documentation  Helps the governments of Liberia, Guinea & Cote d’Ivoire in the joint management & development of the Nimba mountains through a Tripartite Platform for its transboundary governance Region-Wide Initiatives Regional Policies Harmonizing and improving policy and legal frameworks for natural resources management, biodiversity conservation and climate change within the Mano River Union (MRU) Member States. Communications for Development Increasing knowledge and changing attitudes and behaviors regarding natural resource management through a comprehensive Communications for Behavior Change program, implemented by STEWARD program partner, PCI Media Impact.
  9. 9. Planned Activities:  Conduct a comprehensive review of regional policies and legislation with respect to natural resources management, biodiversity conservation & climate change & develop a clear road map for their harmonization & improvement  Assist in the development & implementation of forest management plans on community lands to promote biodiversity conservation  Improve the capacity of forest-dependent communities & institutions to mitigate & adapt to the adverse effects of climate change  Promote sustainable livelihoods in communities adjacent to forests & within buffer zones around protected areas
  10. 10.  Develop climate-resilient Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH) systems & services for rural populations  Monitor program impact on land use & land cover change using remote sensing and satellite image analyses  Develop viable Payment for Ecosystem Service (PES) models including carbon financing  Develop viable & sustainable Non-Timber Forest Products value chains  Launch a strategic communications program incorporating a 52-episode Entertainment-Education radio drama (in French, Krio, Susu & Liberian English), call-in shows and community mobilization campaigns
  11. 11. All activities under the STEWARD program are coordinated by the USFS/IP through their program office in Freetown and are supported by USAID/West Africa, implementing partners, national governments, and other relevant stakeholders. For more information: