Medicinal Plants Project Phase II

The project aimed to conserve medicinal plant resources in high altitude areas of Bhutan; improve the incomes, employment opportunities and livelihoods of rural communities in high altitude areas; strengthen the organisation, management and cost-effectiveness of the medicinal plants industry; and enhance the availability of high quality medicinal plant products and traditional medicines for both the internal and external markets. LTS was responsible for overall project management and administration including the recruitment and administration of staff and provision of all technical support relating to the cultivation of aromatic and medicinal plants, the preparation of business plans and launching of commercial operations, and for providing inputs in horticulture, legal aspects in biodiversity, community forestry, commercial realism, medicinal expertise, botanical expertise, TRIPS, protection of traditional knowledge and NTFPs. LTS drew upon its broad network of Edinburgh Centre for Tropical Forests (ECTF) partners for technical assistance.

Environmental Impact Assessment of the Bumbuna Hydro Electric Dam

The Bumbuna Hydroelectric Project (BHP) was located on the Seli River, about 250 km northeast of Freetown, Sierra Leone. It consists of an asphalt-faced rock-filled dam (88 meters high), two multipurpose tunnels and a powerhouse at the base of the dam with a design capacity of 50 MW. The BHP is the first stage of a five-stage program for 275 MW ultimate capacity. A single-circuit 161 kV transmission line transfers Bumbuna’s power to Freetown and intermediate towns. An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the Bumbuna Hydroelectric Project was prepared in 1995. However, the original EIA was prepared under the constraints of an emerging civil war and was out of date and non-compliant with current World Bank operational guidelines. In 2004, LTS participated in a consortium responsible for updating the EIA. Our specialist team conducted a rapid biodiversity and land management assessment of the reservoir and immediate catchment areas in order to determine whether endemic or rare species and land-based livelihoods will be adversely affected by the project.

Evaluation of the Living Earth Community Forestry Project in Cross River State

Alex Forbes of LTS International led the Final Evaluation of the project in accordance with EU guidelines on monitoring and evaluation. The evaluation engaged Living Earth Foundation Nigeria (LENF) staff and community-based groups in a lesson learning process that assessed achievements and impacts resulting from the project, and analysed what worked well and what didn_t during the course of project implementation and thereafter. Emphasis of the evaluation was on identifying positive and negative impacts, and long-term sustainability of positive impacts. The evaluation methodology applied includes review of project documentation, semi-structured interviews with project staff and institutional partner representatives, work sessions with beneficiaries in three communities, and field-based observations. Overall the LENF implemented and EU funded community-based forest management project was well managed and resulted in significant livelihood and sustainable forest management benefits in Cross River State.

Fact-Finding and Identification Mission for Finnish Regional Forestry Programme

Although broadly devolved from the Millennium Development Goals, Finland’s Aid Resolution identifies a number of areas of particular relevance to forestry. In addition to the delivery of forest products and services, forestry, in which Finland’s own economic development is strongly rooted, can have direct beneficial impact on poverty, livelihoods and food security. The Identification and Fact-Finding mission identified and analyzed the best alternatives for Finnish regional forestry cooperation in the Horn of Africa. LTS fielded two experts to determine whether there was scope for a regional forestry initiative, lasting initially 3 to 4 years and with a budget of some EUR 3 million. It was found that such an initiative would have to be relevant to all the countries in the region (Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, Djibouti and Eritrea) and make a contribution to improved regional cooperation as a step to securing conflict reduction.

Research and Advocacy Programme

LTS provided programme management services under the Ghana Research and Advocacy Programme (GRAP) – a pooled donor funding mechanism for supporting the institutional development of Research and Advocacy Organisations (RAOs) in Ghana. GRAP offered multi-annual grants to a group of the most established RAOs, selected on a competitive basis. The purpose of GRAP was to enhance the capacity of RAOs to carry out evidence-based research on economic, social, political and security issues, and to make an autonomous contribution to the policy process through dissemination of research, advocacy and coalition building. LTS managed the grant application procedure and brokerage of Partnership and Institutional Grant Arrangements, monitoring and assessment of RAO compliance with grant provisions, and audit services.

Support to Forestry Services for Commerical Tea Company

Staff time in the field with analysis work undertaken in Edinburgh. The company has one large estate in Kericho, Kenya and seven estates located across western Uganda. In both countries, advice was linked into current and predicted wider changes to the forestry sector. The recommendations included innovative approaches for managing the existing resource base, some of which was overmature and stagnating, based on felling and regeneration / replacement plans that optimised take up of current opportunities within and outside the company. The overall advice was set in the context of 15 year projections for tea production and ensured that the resource would be available to meet this in the most financially efficient way, including probabilistic modelling of the anticipated variation between and within years. Capacity building of company staff expertise through mentoring and field training was a continuous activity.

Evaluation of the Department for International Development’s Ten Year Renewable Natural Resources Research Programme

LTS, in collaboration with the Oxford Policy Management Institute and the Norwegian Agricultural University, was selected to conduct an evaluation of DFID’s ten year Renewable Natural Resources Research Programme. This evaluation constituted an important opportunity to reassess and redirect DFID’s RNRR programme and strategy within the context of DFID’s agenda and priorities as stated in DFID’s Research Funding Framework for 2005 to 2007 (final draft/May 2004). Our methodology was process based and designed to identify the impact of the Renewable Natural Resources Strategy on all its stakeholders, across the different disciplines and at practice and policy levels. We identified key components of the research programmes that impact on poverty. Participatory methodologies were used to ensure attribution of impacts to different stakeholders and draw together the lessons learnt from all components and relate them to the different stakeholders’ interests. Image credit: ONE DROP

Evaluate the Efforts in Assessing the Environmental Policy of the Beneficiary Countries of the Special Arrangements to Combat Drug Production and Trafficking Under the Generalised Tariff Preferences

In order to help the 12 countries to combat the drug trafficking and production culture, duty free access was granted to imports of certain products originating in these countries. The special arrangements provide the countries with export opportunities for substitution crops to help improve their economic and social development. The aim of the project was to foster industrialisation, diversification and to promote sustainable development. The project was an independent evaluation of the environmental policy, in particular the sustainable management of tropical forests, of the twelve beneficiary countries during the time they have enjoyed the duty free benefits until the end of 2002.