Climate & Environmental Sustainability

We are working to safeguard West Africa’s remaining tropical forests and the environment, while enhancing the quality of life for people living in Liberia and the broader West African region

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Why and how does VOSIEDA empower communities to protect, manage, and value their natural assets?

VOSIEDA has been working for the past 20 years to empower communities in protecting the environment, which is vital to sustaining life on Earth. We have achieved this by protecting the forest, safeguarding water resources, and preserving nature to protect the climate, all essential for human life.

Why work for climate and environmental sustainability?

Despite the important ecosystem services that nature provides, Liberia and the Mano River Basin region of West Africa suffer from some of Africa’s most serious environmental problems. These include deforestation, soil erosion, water pollution, desertification, wetland degradation, and unsustainable exploitation of natural resources. Moreover, wealth from the subregion’s abundant natural resources is often diverted away from those in need and into the hands of too few powerful and corrupt individuals. This fuels human rights abuses, environmental damage, inequality, bitterness, mistrust, alienation, corruption, conflicts, and instability.

Ensuring the resilience of our planet through conservation, restoration, and sustainable use of nature in Liberia and the Mano River Basin.

VOSIEDA works with partners and local communities to research and carry out field projects and multi-stakeholder dialogues aimed at protecting vulnerable natural resources such as our forests, biodiversity, and critical ecosystems. Second, we are undertaking a series of education and advocacy programs aimed at inspiring, informing, and enabling local stakeholders to protect nature for future generations. Third, we are increasing the effectiveness of law enforcement and citizens’ demands for accountability in natural resource management.

Our climate, environment and conservation priorities

Forest and Sustainable Land Governance

Forests play a crucial role in regulating the global climate and are also significant in supporting local communities and biodiversity. However, in Liberia and the Mano River Basin region, deforestation and forest degradation are causing harm to the biodiversity and contributing to poverty and climate change. Nevertheless, VOSIEDA is taking necessary measures to address this issue by working towards the construction of sustainable landscapes, protecting primary forests, conserving biodiversity, and promoting the rights of forest communities in Liberia and the Mano River Basin region.

Climate Change

Climate change is one of the most crucial and threatening issues of our time, with far-reaching impacts on local communities in Liberia and the Mano River Basin region. VOSIEDA addresses climate impact by strengthening resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in local communities. We aim to improve education, raise awareness, and enhance institutional abilities to deal with the impacts of climate change, including adaptation, impact reduction, and early warning systems in local communities.

Nature-based Solutions

Nearly 90% of Liberia’s five million people depend on open wood fires and charcoal for cooking and other necessary commercial and institutional uses. Additionally, 85% of the population is engaged in traditional agriculture, using slash-and-burn farming methods. As a result, the level of deforestation for the expansion of cropland, firewood, charcoal, and unsustainable extraction of timber and other forest products is causing extensive deforestation and soil erosion. At the current rate, biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation continue, or even accelerate, in Liberia.

In response to this, VOSIEDA is using Nature-based Solutions to address significant social and environmental challenges, including climate change, deforestation, poverty, food insecurity, local economic development, restoration, and biodiversity loss. We work to protect, sustainably manage, and restore natural and modified ecosystems that effectively and adaptively address societal challenges. We strive to support human well-being and provide biodiversity benefits simultaneously.

For example, we are using a nature-based solution to restore degraded forest corridors in Liberia. We are also promoting agroforestry practices on community land and strengthening forest monitoring and law enforcement. We empower communities to build three nurseries, including fruit and timber trees. We believe in the power of integrated ecosystem management, which aims to sustain ecosystems to meet both ecological and human needs.

Deforestation - Free Smallholder Supply Chains

Liberia’s efforts to tackle deforestation have faced significant challenges, with small-scale agriculture identified as the primary driver. Unfortunately, despite various national partnerships and projects established to address the issue, extensive deforestation continues to occur. This has resulted in adverse impacts, such as biodiversity loss, the depletion of carbon storage sinks, soil degradation, and weather variability.

Working with key partners, such as the Swedish Embassy in Monrovia, VOSIEDA is undertaking the following programs: (1) protecting and restoring forest ecosystems and helping communities adapt to climate change; (2) improving the livelihoods of local communities through climate-smart practices; (3) developing economic opportunities for zero-deforestation agricultural production in Liberia and the region, and (4) strengthening the governance of land use.

Climate & Environmental Sustainability Projects

Building Community Resilience to Climate Impacts and Livelihood Support through Climate Smart Small-Scale Farming

Sustainable Charcoal and Efficient Cookstoves Technologies for Liberia

Climate Resilient Agriculture and Ecosystem – Based Adaptation, Liberia

Green Livelihoods Alliance – Forested Landscapes for Equity in Liberia

Light Up Our Futures

Enhancing Resilience of Vulnerable Communities to Climate Change in Liberia