You are here

protected areas


Inside Liberia`s forest sector

68% of Liberia’s land surface is covered by forests, making it the most forested country in West Africa; and the forests have a high biodiversity and commercial value. Liberia’s forest sector contributes 10% to the national economy and serves as an important source of livelihoods and employment for more than a third of Liberia’s population that lives in forested areas. 
Despite these important contributions, Liberia`s forests are under threat and need to be better managed; net forest depletion increased from 0.5% in 2005 to 32% in 2015 and the deforestation rate is estimated at 0.46% per year. Improving governance is key to addressing the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation and ensuring overall sustainable forest management. This is especially true in Liberia, where the strategic plan for the Forestry Development Authority (FDA), which plays a pivotal role in managing Liberia’s forest resources, prioritizes institutional strengthening for achieving its vision of “sustainable forestry for sustainable development.”  
The Program on Forests (PROFOR) conducted an institutional capacity assessment survey of the FDA to generate granular level data on the inner workings of the agency in order to position Liberia`s forest sector as an engine for economic growth. 438 FDA employees, or approximately 82% of the staff were interviewed on their experiences and perceptions on the FDA`s operations including human resource management.
The survey allowed for a systematic look at the work practices, management approaches, staff motivations, leadership, and work environment to highlight specific weaknesses that constrain the FDA’s effective functioning.
The findings were published in a new report, “Liberia Forestry Development Authority: An Institutional Capacity Assessment”. They show serious deficiencies in management practices, access to facilities, compensation, and other human resource management factors that impact attitudes and behaviors on productivity.  The survey found that FDA staff have weaker educational qualifications compared to other government institutions, lack adequate access to in-service training, report high levels of rent-seeking in the organization and express widely varying motivation levels - with 69% of staff reporting lower motivation levels compared with when they joined the FDA. However, the staff also associate better management with safer and more trustworthy work environments and value community engagement that reinforces the importance of the FDA’s customer service charter. 
The report identifies four key reform interventions that, when supported by this strong foundation of better data and more regular monitoring and evaluation, will help strengthen FDA’s institutional capacity. These interventions include: improving skills through merit-based recruitment and competency-based training; stronger management practices - in particular, performance assessments; targeting and monitoring; more equitable pay; and greater community engagement. 
The FDA plays a pivotal role in Liberia`s sustainable forest management but faces serious operational challenges especially in human resource management. Improving governance of the forest sector presents significant challenges and requires continuous efforts and long-term engagement. This survey identifies the most necessary interventions and provides a baseline measure of civil service productivity in FDA against which progress can be measured as these interventions get implemented.” Zahid Hasnain, Senior Public Sector Specialist at the World Bank explained. 
This Liberia case study was a test of a new forest governance assessment diagnostic tool, which forest management institutions in other countries can use to generate data and insights on how to improve management of their forest sectors. Administrative data and regular staff surveys provide a key set of indicators on public employment and management that can be used to assess progress toward institutional strengthening. Improving forest sector governance has the potential to significantly increase the forest sector contribution to national development, employment and livelihoods. 
Prepared by Charlotte Ampaire

For stories and updates on related activities, follow us on twitter and facebook, or to our mailing list for regular updates.

Last Updated : 06-26-2020

Kenya Tourism and Sustainability


Nature-based tourism makes a significant contribution to exports, GDP, jobs, and poverty reduction in Kenya.  But habitat loss, overcrowding at key tourist sites, depleting wildlife numbers, and the ever-present threat of terrorism have generated a perfect storm of problems for the sector.  

Recent population monitoring shows that long-term declines of many of the charismatic species that attract tourists – including lions, elephants, giraffes, and impalas - are occurring at the same rates within the country's national parks as outside of these protected areas.  This is partly because protected areas in Kenya are far too small to be sustainable.  As a result, the wildlife depends as much on land adjacent to a protect area as on the protected area itself. Unfortunately, most of this adjacent land is being converted to other non-compatible uses. The implementation of “ecological easements” offer some promising solutions, but the feasibility of this approach depends upon economic incentives, and the opportunity costs of land.


This activity will focus on a critical and often overlooked threat to the survival of the key wildlife tourist attraction: habitat loss and the need to preserve corridors to assure the long-term sustainability of wildlife and mega-fauna. 
First, the activity will investigate land related trade-offs.  Is there more to be gained from building a tourism product or converting land to agriculture - in terms of GDP, jobs, and poverty impacts? Second, it will conduct a regional analysis in the Mara region to determine the scope for increasing the payoffs from tourism without undermining sustainability.  The Mara has been chosen due to the pressures on this globally significant natural asset and its tremendous potential to generate further conservation-related economic benefits. Finally, the study will also identify the benefits and ecological costs of infrastructure throughout Kenya and thus assist in the planning of corridors and preemptive protection of habitats.


This project has been completed. A report titled When Good Conservation Becomes Good Economics was developed and launched in an event held in Nairobi on December 11, 2019, which was very well attended by a wide cross-section of stakeholders and government officials across numerous departments and ministries. 

The report findings highlighted for the first time how wildlife loss causes economic loss in Kenya. It tackled the issue of whether there are trade-offs between wildlife and economic growth, especially given the intensifying pressures on land and natural resources.  The report also outlined solutions and a way forward for Kenya to find that the balance between economic development without losing a focus on conservation. The evidence presented in this report suggests that there are wide opportunities to stop the dramatic collapse of wildlife populations and that investing in the tourism sector yields significant benefits which are especially pro-poor. The findings identified a set of tools, developed in this report, which can be used by the planners in order to consider the long-term implications of irreversible decisions and harness the full potential that the country’s natural endowment offers. Following the launch of the report, the Government of Kenya submitted a formal request for technical and financial support to advance the dialog on enhancing protection of wildlife habitats and populations within protected areas and outside of the protected areas

The report findings were used to inform the preparation of Kenya SCD and will be used to provide inputs to the CPF (to be prepared this FY as well). The report was immediately recognized by the stakeholders as a useful tool for advancing the dialog on wildlife conservation with the Government and other stakeholders.  As of a result of this analytical activity, the Government of Kenya has invited the Bank to help develop a wildlife strategy. 

For stories and updates on related activities, follow us on twitter and facebook, or to our mailing list for regular updates.

Last Updated : 06-08-2020