Tetra Tech is implementing the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Forest and Biodiversity Support Activity in Central Africa. To protect the biodiverse rainforests of Central Africa and empower local institutions who manage them, Tetra Tech and its partners are launching new analysis, training, partnerships, and knowledge-sharing actions to strengthen forest management and conserve biodiversity. 

Central Africa’s rainforests are a vital source of food and income for local communities—a supplier of fuelwood, timber, and water regulation for downstream cities and a storehouse of carbon and biodiversity for the planet. However, forest loss is accelerating as agriculture and settlements expand, more timber and fuelwood is extracted, and populations migrate to new areas as refugees from conflict or in search of jobs and land to farm. Conserving forests and biodiversity in the face of these pressures requires effective and accountable local institutions with the skills and resources to design and enforce evidence-driven policies that work for both wildlife and people. 

The five-year Forest and Biodiversity Support Activity (FABS) is funded by USAID through its Central Africa Regional Program for the Environment (CARPE). The Activity will tackle threats to biodiversity and forests in the Congo Basin by focusing on three interconnected objectives: 

Strengthening leadership and stakeholder participation

Working closely with civil society organizations, academia, the private sector, and policy makers in Central Africa, the Activity will strengthen these groups’ institutional capacity to address threats to forests and biodiversity. Strategies will emphasize opportunities to build partnerships to strengthen inclusive market systems that address conservation goals.

Improving policy, regulatory, and enabling environments

To enrich and inform provincial, national, and regional policy discussions, the Activity will address priority constraints in the policy and regulatory framework through analyzing policy, supporting local partners’ policy advocacy efforts, and promoting the participation of the private sector, as well as women and other marginalized groups in policy reforms and their implementation.

Strengthening innovative and evidence-based approaches

To improve regional understanding of effective and evidence-based strategies to improve forest management and reduce threats to biodiversity, the Activity will share analysis and lessons learned on impactful strategies for reducing forest loss, conserving biodiversity, and promoting inclusive market systems.

The FABS Activity will focus on knowledge-sharing, communications, and learning across conservation networks in the Congo Basin. It will integrate gender and vulnerable peoples’ considerations into its work on grants, capacity-building, policy analysis and advocacy, scaling best practices, and knowledge management to ensure that the Activity creates new opportunities to improve rights, participation, and development outcomes for these groups.