USAID-Supported Forest Development Fund grant scheme progresses into the final phase

The Strengthening Competitiveness, Agriculture,  Livelihoods, and Environment – Natural Resource Management (SCALE-NRM) project team based in  Malaita Province, Solomon Islands, has successfully completed four Pre-Application Conferences  (PAC) at the four regions of Malaita. 

The PACs were conducted at Auki, Atori, Malu’u, and Afio for almost a hundred organizations that were selected from the preliminary expression of interest call for the Forest and Development Fund  (FDF). 

FDF is an initiative under the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) SCALE-NRM  project which is being implemented in the Solomon Islands by Winrock Solomon Islands. 

The PACs provided detailed instructions to the organizations, on project proposal development that meets both Winrock and USAID requirements. 

Participants expressed gratitude not only for the support provided to help them develop project proposals but more so, for the knowledge imparted on proposal development, which they say will help their organizations in future applications for support from aid donors. 

The grants are categorized into three categories namely, Innovative, Critical, and Capacity  Development Grants. 

On March 24, SCALE-NRM made its first call for Expression of Interest (EOI) for associations,  institutions, and community groups, to submit initial applications for forest and development grants aimed at strengthening and supporting organizations working to enhance natural resource management and livelihoods in the Solomon Islands. 

The first EOI call attracted a high number of applications from interested groups, demonstrating the vitality of the agribusiness sector in the province and widespread interest in supporting natural resource management. 

All organizations that qualified through the initial FDF process have already submitted their detailed application proposals after the PACs. Final successful applicants will be announced after screening is conducted by an independent panel and approved by USAID. 

SCALE-NRM has allocated SBD$3.2m for the first round of FDF. Additional rounds of FDF grants are expected periodically. SCALE-NRM encourages the public to listen out for the next call for expressions of interest which is expected later this year.

The Forests and Development Fund will provide grants to Solomon Islands organizations for activities that support the SCALE-NRM objectives of protecting forests, enhancing livelihoods, and building the capacity of organizations on Malaita. 

SCALE-NRM is designed to address the underlying causes of forest degradation in the Solomon Islands. The program will implement a range of activities to improve forest governance and ensure sustainable forest management. The project is being implemented over a five-year period, from  October 2020 to September 2025. The SCALE project operates in Malaita province due to a specific request from the central government of the Solomon Islands to address unmet development priorities in the largest province. SCALE-NRM is a partnership between USAID and Winrock International. 

Source: Winrock