In this photo, a stream nourishes a diverse array of water lilies and vines in the Barconnie Community Forest, Grand Bassa County, Liberia. Despite wide-spread pressure by private logging companies to harvest timber from Liberia's community forests, the Barconnie Community Forest Management Body recognized the potential of the forest to support scientific research, given its close proximity to Liberia's capital city, Monrovia, and the presence of native forest buffalo and other wildlife and plants of conservation value. The 600 hectare forest, largely made up of carbon-rich mangrove swamp, was conserved in perpetuity by the local CFMB after they conducted a forest and biodiversity inventory supported by the USAID Forest Incomes for Environmental Sustainability Activity in March 2019.
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All over the world women are excelling in roles that were previously reserved for men. Living proof of this paradigm shift can be found in Liberia, where more and more women are training to be Community Ecoguards, a position that has traditionally been male-dominated at Grebo-Krahn National Park. These are two newly recruited female Community Ecoguards, Felecia Kyne (left) and Mathaline Garley (right), improve their GPS skills during their first field mission in Grebo-Krahn National Park in April 2018. The active participation of women in the Ecoguard Program, run by the Wild Chimpanzee Foundation and the Forestry Development Authority with support from the USAID funded West Africa Biodiversity and Climate Change program, is protecting one of the biggest tropical rainforests in the world thus promoting carbon sequestration and storage.
A Liberian man learned about agroforestry techniques to apply within his own community forest through the USAID-funded Forest Incomes for Environmental Sustainability Activity in 2017. The Activity works with farmers and forest-dependent communities in Liberia to develop enterprises that not only provide income but also combat deforestation and biodiversity loss.
Soko Koryon, Forest Inventory Coordinator for the USAID Forest Incomes for Environmental Sustainability (FIFES) Activity, describes the methodology used to implement a transect of the Barconnie Community Forest in Grand Bassa County, Liberia as a student from the Liberia Forestry Training Institute looks on. The 600 hectare forest, largely made up of carbon-rich mangrove swamp, was conserved in perpetuity by the local Community Forest Management Body after they conducted a forest and biodiversity inventory supported by the FIFES activity in March 2019.