Welcome to the Forest Flyer, an occasional news update from the United States Forest Service International Programs Africa and Middle East Team. To view previous issues of this newsletter, please  click here . For more information about our programs, contact Kathleen Sheridan, Assistant Director, at kathleen.sheridan@usda.gov
FALL 2019
U.S. Forest Service consultant Amina Sena demonstrates rangeland potential in Lebanon. Protected perennial grasses grew above her head!

Want to learn more about the Lebanon Reforestation Initiative? Click below to read about how they got started and their accomplishments from 2010 - 2018.
"The U.S. Forest Service is beyond proud of the lasting impact of the Lebanon Reforestation Initiative -- forests expanded, institutions transformed, and communities actively engaged in managing their lands. The legacy of this project will benefit the people in Lebanon for generations," said Kathleen Sheridan, Assistant Director for Africa and the Middle East.
Want to Restore Rangelands? Teach Communities to Understand and Love the Watersheds They Rely On. Lebanon Reforestation Initiative Leads the Way.
The Lebanon Reforestation Initiative (LRI) has transformed the way native trees are grown and planted in Lebanon. Now the community-based NGO is tackling riparian corridors and rangeland restoration with the help of the U.S. Forest Service.

In August, a U.S. Forest Service experts led rangeland management and monitoring workshops; demonstrated field practices; and helped LRI evaluate potential sites for restoration.

U.S. Forest Service consultant Amina Sena was inspired by the passion and energy of the LRI group and participating community members. Amina believes that it is absolutely vital for communities to better understand the watersheds and rangelands they rely on. “Only then, will these same communities, be able to understand their role in natural resource management and take better ownership of solutions towards restoration, including ongoing reforestation practices ,” said Amina.

Because of Amina’s visit, LRI now has simple techniques for engaging its communities in solution-oriented management dialogue, monitoring and action. 

LRI's next move? Monitor its rangeland restoration pilot areas. If successful, which is expected, it will use the healthy sites to inspire its neighboring livestock producers to change their management approach for improved grazing lands.

Visit the LRI website for more info on its restoration initiatives.
U.S. Forest Service consultant Amina Sena leads Lebanon Reforestation Initiative staff and stakeholders in a rangeland management workshop.
U.S. Forest Service consultant Rebecca Lieberg (right) was in Mozambique this month to provide technical expertise on simple, science-based nursery practices for community development organization ESPANOR.

Natural resource management investments are beginning to flow to the region; currently, the World Bank is initiating a Forest Investment Project targeting Zambezia and Cabo Delgado provinces with the aim of stemming deforestation, improving forest management, and creating new rural livelihood opportunities. National Geographic is conducting field work on one of the province’s inselbergs -- Mount Chiperone -- to further explore the biodiversity of these cloud forests and the benefits they provide to the surrounding communities; namely, the moisture-providing weather systems and the mountain as a potential, reliable wood source.

The U.S. Forest Service is complementing these efforts by helping ESPANOR implement nursery best practices that will help them scale up and expand their restoration impact.
Communities to Gain from New Model Nursery along Mozambique/Malawi Border
This month, the U.S. Forest Service was in the Milange District of Mozambique’s Zambézia Province, where it supports a demonstration nursery project with community development organization Esperanca Para Novo Rebento (ESPANOR).

Communities in the Milange District are suffering the results of deforestation – destabilized river banks, a lack of shade for crops and living spaces, and a lack of firewood and building material. Over 80 percent of the Milange District population is active in the agrarian sector and relies on the mountain's forests and ecosystems for their livelihoods.

To help communities take action against these problems, ESPANOR started a native tree nursery with U.S. Forest Service support. The seedlings it is producing will go directly to local farmers and eventually to larger reforestation projects. ESPANOR wants to restore three mountains in the local area once it grows its seedling production.

"Our production goal is 5,000 seedlings this year. Five hundred will go to each of the 10 communities we support," said ESPANOR nursery manager Chalosse Bernardo Guidione.

"We would like local farmers to each receive seedlings to plant across their own property, providing shade for the living spaces and organic matter for the fields with the dropping of leaves throughout the growing season," said ESPANOR conservationist Antonio Armando Coher.

ESPANOR wants its nursery to be a model for restoration across the transboundary landscape -- the Milange District is on the border with Malawi-- and is already collaborating with a like-minded organization on the Malawi side.

The organization knows that supporting forest and watershed health in Mozambique (and eventually Malawi) will improve livelihoods and provide local communities with sustainable natural resources. It's already happening in the Milange District.
Jihad Zawidah shows off a seedlings he is cultivating in Amman, Jordan for the Watershed and Development Initiative (WADI). Jihad was a participant in the Global Seedlings Production Community of Practice Study Tour last month in South Africa. WADI has achieved an 80% seedling survival rate by following global nursery best practices, many of which they learned through the U.S. Forest Service. The average seedling survival rate in Jordan is just 20%.
Nursery Practitioners Share Best Practices on South African Study Tour
Ten nursery practitioners gathered in South Africa at the end of September to critically examine restoration practices, exchange experiences, and enrich forest nursery practices through field visits and interactive discussions. The study tour was a collaboration between Oregon State University and the U.S. Forest Service. Practitioners and trainers came from Lebanon, Jordan, Zimbabwe, Togo, Morocco, and the U.S.

"I met with many experts in the field of restoration and got to understand their best methods, the results of which were exciting. I want to develop a small insect monitoring plan at a WADI site. The techniques are easy to do," said study tour participant Jihad Zawidah.

There's a lot to consider when planning for a restoration project. Determining seed needs -- species and quantity -- and th en sourcing those seeds is just the start. Study tour trainers led sessions on assessing and maintaining seed quality and introduced new seed technology for native species. Trainers also led sessions on the target plant concept, i.e. how to choose the best species for specific sites to improve biodiversity and ecosystems.

U.S. Forest Service-supported reforestation projects are known for their high seedling survival rates and positive ecological outcomes. Study tours like the above and global seminars are a major contributor to their success.
International Seminar on Forest Landscape Restoration
Upcoming Events

Oman Disaster Management Trainings
Oman / October 13-24
Training of National Committee for Civil Defense staff on Incident Command System functions for decision makers as well as a 5-day workshop to develop an Oman Operating Manual and team Standard of Practices. Contact: Alison Holt,  alison.holt@usda.gov

South-South Exchange on MRV Development
Republic of the Congo / October 15-19
Practitioners from the region and beyond will gather for a networking event to share their experiences implementing national MRV systems to promote stronger collaborations in this sector. Contact: Rene Siwe rene.siwe@fs-ip.us

Ethiopia Global Green Growth Week Study Tour
South Korea / October 21-27
Study tour and conference participation for a senior delegation from Ethiopia’s Ministry of Trade and Industry and Industrial Parks Development Corporation to support the country’s sustainable manufacturing goals as part of a USAID-funded clean energy program.
Contact: Natasha Marwah,  natasha.marwah@usda.gov

Human Rights and Natural Resources Economic Value Academic Module Design
Cameroon / October-December
USFS-IP is partnering with the Network of Forestry and Environmental Training Institutions of Central Africa (RIFFEAC) to design an academic module on human rights which will touch on protected area management systems, conservation practitioners, and eco-guards.Contact: Olivier Sene,   olivier.sene@fs-ip.us
Environmental Education Center dedication at Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve
Malawi / November 2 - 7
Formal opening and dedication of the environmental education center, including interpretive materials and exhibits co-developed by US Forest Service, African Parks, Government of Malawi, and Malawian artists. Contact: John Kerkering,  john.kerkering@usda.gov

Fire Management and Incident Command System (ICS) Study Tour
Morocco / November 3 - 9
Officials from the Tunisian Forest Directorate to travel to Morocco to collaborate on areas of fire management and ICS with USFS partner, the Moroccan High Commission on Water, Forests, and Combating Desertification.
Contact: Jonathan Palmrose,  jonathan.palmrose@usda.gov

Resource Mapping and Socio-Economic Data Development with Water Tower Communities
Kenya / November 3 – 20
Working with communities in Kenya’s Water Tower ecosystems to develop Participatory Forest Management Plans. Contact: Grace Swanson:  grace.swanson@usda.gov

Disaster Management Facilitator Training
Ethiopia / November 6-8
U.S. Forest Service will expose host-country disaster management trainers in formal facilitation, presentation, teaching and speaking skills to build the capacity of locally trained partners in disaster management. Contact: Kristina Bell,  Kristina.bell@usda.gov

Mozambique Timber Crime Assessment
Mozambique / November 10 - 16
In collaboration with UNODC and USAID supported programs, DOJ and USFS will conduct a technical assessment of Mozambique timber crime legislation and law enforcement capacity. Contact: Jonathan Palmrose,  jonathan.palmrose@usda.gov

Morocco Watershed Condition Framework (WCF) Workshop and Assessment
Morocco / November 11 - 15
Training on watershed condition framework and best practice to assess, classify, and track changes to watershed conditions in Morocco. Contact: Angela Trujillo,  angela.trujillo@usda.gov

Environmental Assessment and Landscape Planning in western Tanzania
Tanzania / November 14 – 25
Continued cooperation with the Jane Goodall Institute and USAID/Tanzania on environmental assessment and landscape planning in western Tanzania. Contact: John Kerkering,   john.kerkering@usda.gov

Ethiopia Clean Energy Strategic Planning
Ethiopia / November 18-21
Implementation planning for strategies on green manufacturing and energy efficiency in support of the Ministry of Trade and Industry as part of a USAID-funded clean energy program. Contact: Natasha Marwah,  natasha.marwah@usda.gov

Morocco Native Seedling Production Pilot Study
Morocco / November 18 - 22
Technical support to prepare the groundwork for implementing a successful genetic seedling trial in 2020 for Morocco native species. Contact: Angela Trujillo,  angela.trujillo@usda.gov

City Government of Addis Ababa Emergency Operations Center Assessment
Ethiopia / November/December
U.S. Forest Service will conduct an assessment of the City Government of Addis Ababa’s emergency coordination structure Emergency Operations Center to determine current and future capacity for the city’s first Emergency Operations Center (EOC). coordination structure. Contact: Kristina Bell,  Kristina.bell@usda.gov
Disaster Risk Management Leadership Training 
Ethiopia / December 2-6
U.S. Forest Service will offer an advanced emergency management leadership training to Government of Ethiopia humanitarian and emergency response leaders in Ethiopia to build their skills in crisis decision-making and critical incident leadership. Contact: Kristina Bell,  Kristina.bell@usda.gov
Wildlife & Habitat Monitoring, Tourism & Interpretation Program Development, and Land Management Planning at the Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve
Malawi / December 2 – 13
Contact: John Kerkering,  john.kerkering@usda.gov