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

By Ednal Palmer

The first of the four Pre-Application Conferences (PAC) for the Forests and Development Fund (FDF) under the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Strengthening Competitiveness, Agriculture, Livelihoods, and Environment – Natural Resource Management (SCALE-NRM) project will be held May 23-25 in Auki.  PAC’s will also be held in three additional locations during the month of May.

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 grants aimed at strengthening and supporting organizations working to enhance natural resource management and livelihoods in the Solomon Islands.

The first call for EOIs attracted a high number of applications from interested groups, demonstrating the vitality of the agribusiness sector in the province and widespread interest in supporting sustainability. SCALE-NRM worked closely with the Provincial Infrastructure Advisory Group to review applications against the published criteria, and applicants that met the initial requirements were invited to participate in a PAC held in their geographic area.

SCALE-NRM will provide step-by-step guidance on how to develop a full application to empower participants to submit final proposals for the first round of FDF support.  Winrock will work with the Provincial NRM Advisory Committee to assess proposals for approval of the first round of FDF grants by USAID by September.

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.

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.

Joint Press Release by USAID, SIG, Winrock International

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