We are very pleased to announce two opportunities that were secured in the last two quarters. Our recent award of $4.5M from USAID is to support the Biodiversity and Community Resilience (BIOM) project in the Omo Valley, Ethiopia, and a $99,000 funding from FAO to provide Technical Assistance to the Dryland Sustainable Landscapes Impact Program (DSL-IP).
The Biodiversity and Community Resilience in the Omo Valley (BIOM) is an Alliance project by IIRR Ethiopia, the Michigan State University (MSU), Cool Ground, and Peace and Development Center (PDC) which will run from May 16, 2022, to May 15, 2027. It aims to improve the biodiversity, livelihood security, and human rights in Ethiopia’s Lower Omo through community-based conservation, ecotourism, and regenerative agriculture, as well as build capacity for political advocacy. This region has experienced a series of major shocks over the past decade as a result of the construction of the Gibe III dam, expanding export agriculture, and escalating conflicts between the state and local groups. The strategy of the project is to support biodiversity, prosperity, and resilience through the newly-formed Tama Community Conservation Area (CCA) with additional privately-funded, community-run ecotourism, to build community capacity for peacebuilding and conflict resolution, and livestock production – with the end goal of strengthening the resilience of communities and the ecosystem of the Lower Omo regions.
IIRR Kenya also procured an opportunity to provide Technical Assistance in relation to the Dryland Sustainable Landscapes Impact Program (DSL-IP) being implemented by FAO in six countries of southern Africa. The technical assistance will be on Participatory Rural Advisory Services/Farmer Field Schools (FFS) to address the inherent challenges faced by the countries in their extension systems to embrace SLM/SFM at the landscape level towards Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN). The main barriers among the countries include low coverage of extension systems for agriculture, forest, and rangeland, preventing more integrated approaches that can address the complexity of land degradation more effectively. The Farmer Field School approach will overcome these barriers by building on local knowledge and empowering farmers and herders to integrate farm and forest-related practices for sustainable land and forest management. It is anticipated that services are to be delivered in two phases: an inception phase (June – December 2022); and an implementation phase (January 2023 for the subsequent years remaining).
These new opportunities will help us further strengthen our commitment to the people of Africa, helping to improve their environment and provide economic empowerment.