Mid-term Performance Evaluation of the Sustainable and Thriving Environments for West Africa Regional Development (STEWARD III) Project
The Sustainable and Thriving Environments for West Africa Regional Development (STEWARD III) Project aims to conserve biodiversity, improve climate resiliency and natural resource management and boost livelihoods and health outcomes in the Upper Guinean Forest ecosystem. This evaluates how well it is carrying out that goal.
The US Forest Service International Program implements this landscape-scale project through a contractor.
STEWARD has successfully demonstrated approaches that show promise of improving livelihoods and linked to improved management of community forests. However, it is not on track to meet all project objectives. It has struggled with scaling up lessons from the field for national and regional implementation.
STEWARD’s approach to biodiversity is loosely structured, lacking a framework for understanding the relationship between forest fragmentation, habitat and species of concern.
Progress is being made towards climate adaptation through community forest management that contributes to resilience. However, overall, climate adaptation efforts are weak, because they lack the tools to assess risks and vulnerabilities at the community and national levels, and because the vulnerability and adaptation desktop study prepared by the Forest Service hasn’t been put to use.
The evaluation further notes program successes to date and remaining hurdles.
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