BATS | STEWARD | Okavango River Basin | Burundi | Congo Basin | Ethiopia | Ghana | Guinea |
Gulf of Guinea | Kenya | Liberia | Madagascar | Mali | Mozambique | Namibia | Nigeria | Senegal |
Sierra Leone | South Africa | Tanzania | Virunga Mountains | Zambezi | African Leadership Seminar
The US Forest Service is a member of the Biodiversity Analysis and Technical Support (BATS) team, an initiative funded by the USAID Africa Bureau to provide analytics and short-term technical assistance to USAID Missions in Africa, with the objective of supporting the design and implementation of USAID’s development and humanitarian assistance activities in Africa in a manner that conserves biodiversity and protects tropical forests and other critical habitats. This program will provide technical assistance in biodiversity conservation experience, lessons learned and policy considerations, coordination of extractive industry activities with conservation initiatives, biodiversity conservation programs for conflict and crisis states, and biodiversity and tropical forestry country-level assessments .
The BATS project will serve as a support facility which provides services to meet mission and partner needs in:
- Country-level Foreign Assistance Act (FAA) 118/119 assessments including status of threats and needs for biodiversity conservation under operational plans
- Biodiversity conservation in states vulnerable to crisis, in crisis, or emerging from crisis
- Managing extractive industry alliances for environmental gain
- Biodiversity conservation and USAID/Africa: history, lessons learned, and steps forward
Biological diversity is vital to Africa ’s growth, yet it is continually threatened by poor planning, greed, and inappropriate policies. Causes of species extinction and population shrinkage include fragmentation and conversion of natural habitats; climatic change; spread of invasive species; overexploitation of natural resources; inadequate management capacity; and unsound and improper industry waste management. The consequences of biodiversity loss are varied and severe: adaptive capacity to changing climates is compromised, ecosystem services and carbon fixation is decreased, erosion is increased, livelihoods are displaced or destroyed, and social and cultural values are lost.
In the face of these challenges, efforts have been taken to protect and promote sustainable use of the continent’s biological resources. Although USAID’s environmental community has been a major presence in global biodiversity conservation, these activities have not always been folded into broader USAID programming. This project can serve as the platform for greater awareness of the biodiversity conservation agenda by incorporating best practices into mission strategies, operational plans, and conflict management and mitigation guides. The goal of this project is to build the Africa region’s capacity to develop and implement biodiversity conservation programs at the mission and bureau levels.
The critical expectation is that lessons learned from USAID’s long involvement in natural resources management (NRM) in Africa are translated into practical, implementation-level solutions. We will reach this goal by emphasizing the importance of coordination, capacity building, and outreach throughout our interactions with USAID missions and partners.
The US Forest Service, a member of the Biodiversity Analysis and Technical Support consortium, supports USAID’s leadership in producing and updating countries’ tropical forestry and biodiversity assessments (under FAA 118 and 119) and support environmental and natural resources activities (under FAA 117) as needed. We have engaged USFS exmployees with African expertise to ensure the greatest possible knowledge applied to assessments conducted for the region. To enable systematic assessments, the USFS has developed criteria to determine the highest priorities as well as a set of standards against which existing reviews can be compared and updated. This step is critical to ensuring that quality issues are addressed and that assessments are incorporated into country operational plans. To date, the USFS has led or contributed to the completion of the following FAA 118/119 assessments:
- Sierra Leone
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