Rural Development Programme II, Identification and Appraisal Missions

Based on the EC Country Strategy Paper and National Indicative Plan 2005-06, this project supported the Government of Timor-Leste in the identification and appraisal of a second integrated Rural Development Programme (RDP II) to be financed by the EU with a budget of £9 million. By focusing on agriculture and rural infrastructures, the project targeted poor rural communities in remote and isolated areas in the western districts of the country. The agriculture component focused on food production and availability to improve food security; forestry, agro-forestry and watershed management; forest policy; as well as institutional and capacity building. The rural infrastructure component focused on ensuring access to markets and primary services, and connecting communities to the district towns as well as to the capital Dili. LTS provided 2 experts for the identification and appraisal missions.

Market Development of Bamboo and Rattan Products with Potential

The overall objective of the project administered by the International Network on Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR) is to improve the quality, durability, market opportunities and resource base of bamboo and rattan commodities and their sustainable development in Bangladesh, Nepal and Myanmar. The project will achieve this by assisting bamboo and rattan producers, craftsman and traders for resources base development, design improvement, value addition and market promotion. The project will contribute to poverty alleviation by generating additional income to rural communities and providing employment in processing facilities. The project has three components to achieve the desired objective:

  1. To develop and introduce rehabilitation and certification systems of bamboo and rattan resources
  2. To provide design improvement of the bamboo and rattan commodities meeting medium and high quality standards of the developed western markets
  3. To ensure dissemination of the new technologies through the training and networking with particular stress on integrating women into the dissemination process

LTS is the Supervisory Body for this project. This involves:

  • Monitoring of project progress
  • Examination of project workplans, budgets and reports, financial statements and auditor’s reports
  • Guidance on best practice re project implementation, management and technical issues to ensure effective project impacts
  • Mid-term review and terminal evaluation

Picture Credits to Christopher Augapfel

Linking National Forest Programme to Poverty Reduction Strategies

The multi-country study attempted to determine the extent to which national forest programmes (NFPs) and other sectoral processes in selected countries (Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, Malawi, Mali, Sudan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia) are linked to the development and implementation of Poverty Reduction Strategies (PRSs) or similar national frameworks. It identified best practices, challenges and opportunities with regard to establishing effective linkages, drawing on lessons learned from current NFPs and from other sectors such as agriculture, energy, health and education. Based on findings, recommendations were proposed to enhance the presence and influence of forestry in wider planning instruments with a view of strengthening financial, institutional and policy support for forest-based poverty alleviation. LTS was contracted to elaborate the design and led on the implementation of the study. A regional event with all 10 countries participating to share experiences and outline priorities took place in Kenya in November 2007.

Guidelines on Stakeholder Participation in National Forest Programmes

Today, nearly all countries have forest sector strategies of some form or another, most of which have elements of an NFP process. Participation is widely accepted as an essential principle for such processes, however there is a wide and diversified understanding about what participation means. Furthermore there is only very little knowledge and information available to provide guidance for those organisations which intend to conduct participatory processes. FAO and other national and international organisations set up a “Community of Practice” on “Enhancing Stakeholder Participation in NFPs” to exchange information, build partnerships and collaboratively work on related topics. In support of the Community of Practice, LTS developed guidance with the Forestry Policy and Information Division at Food and Agriculture Organisation designed for use by NFP coordinators, forest sector planners in respective ministry policy units, government agency leaders involved in reform, policy makers and strategists, monitoring specialists, experts with an interest in participation, and advisors on governance and poverty in related sectors in both developed and developing countries.

Review of Environmental Impact for Short Rotation Forestry

The general objective of this study was to provide an assessment of the potential environmental impact of short rotation forestry using fast growing broadleaved trees in the UK. The recent interest for fast growing non-native species for energy generation/ biomass has raised concern on their potential impact on ecosystems. The review addressed all the environmental aspects of SRF plantations in terms of soil quality, water table balance, pest and diseases risk assessment, along with challenges related to landscape and biodiversity issues. Economics and carbon issues were also reviewed. In partnership with 4 institutions, LTS carried out the study and provided a team of specialists in forest plantation, biomass energy, carbon management, landscape and water management.

Development and Implementation of a Monitoring and Evaluation Plan

LTS was contracted to establish project M&E procedures for the Forest Development Project and to support the development and implementation of a Monitoring and Evaluation Systems within the Project Management Unit and at a sector level. The M&E system established was based on a key set of performance indicators that addresessed related project interventions, including: forest ecosystem degradation, Gross National Income, Annual Allowable Cut, forest management plans, regulatory and governance capacity, and public awareness strategy. LTS provided a forestry and M&E specialist to carry out this assignment.

Design Support for a National Forest Programme

In Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) a National Forest Programme (NFP) process following a multi-stakeholder approach which set out, implemented and monitored national policy and strategy development for forestry, and which recognised the explicit contributions of the sector to national economic growth, environmental sustainability and poverty reduction was initiated in 2005. USAID-BiH has been active in the forest sector since the late 1990’s, as a result of the work with firms in the wood processing sector undertaken within the Business Consulting, Business Finance and Cluster Competitiveness Initiative projects. The Cluster Competitiveness Activity (CCA) project was a 4 year initiative which aimed to speed up economic growth in wood processing and forestry (as well as in tourism and agribusiness), building on the earlier work. LTS provided an Institutional Development Specialist to establish whether there was suitable support amongst stakeholders for an NFP process, and to design institutional arrangements governing the process and provide advice on a possible Partnership Agreement with the NFP Facility at FAO.

Review of Nine Regional Forestry Frameworks

The aim of this study was to review the nine Regional Forestry Frameworks (RFF) developed between 2003 and 2005 and to map their scope and focus against the 1998 England Forestry Strategy (EFS).The rationale for the assignment was the impending revision of the England Forestry Strategy and the need was to determine how the priorities and scope of individual RFFs matched the EFS. In due course the revised EFS will accommodate the nine RFFs and also provide a basis for situations where national as opposed to regional actions are required. LTS provided two people with wide experience of international and UK forest policy development and institutional change.