Environmental and Social Management (Mitigation) Plan
Environment and Social Management Team
Forestry Development Authority
Fauna and Flora International
Finding of No Significant Impact
Geographical Information Systems
Government of Liberia
International Association of Impact Assessment
International Finance Corporation
International Labor Organization
International Standards 4000
Liberia Agriculture Sector Rehabilitation Program
Morris American Rubber Company
Millennium Development Goals
Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy
Monitoring and Evaluation,
Ministry of Agriculture
Ministry of Finance
Ministry of Gender and Development
Ministry of Health and Social Welfare
Ministry of Public Works
Ministry of Youth
Project Coordination Unit
Project Financial Management Unit
Project Implementation Unit
Program Management Unit
Rapid Appraisal Program
Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil
Social Impact Assessment
Small and Medium Enterprises
Salala Rubber Company
Smallholder Tree Crop Revitalization Support Project
Terms of Reference
Training of Trainers
United Nations Children Educational Fund
United Nations Development Program
United States Aid for International Development
United States Environmental Protection Agency
The Government of Liberia is exploring the feasibility of a World Bank supported agricultural development project, in which the principal objective is improving the income opportunities of poor farmers by a combination of rehabilitating unproductive farms, undertaking replanting and new planting programs, facilitating future replanting and development programs, and improved financing mechanisms and institutional arrangements. The proposed Smallholder Tree Crop Revitalization Support Project (STCRSP) has been identified in response to this request.
The main characteristics of the Liberian tree crop sector at present are the old age of plantations and their low productivity. There have been no significant replanting activities for the last twenty five years due to the war, and a large proportion of the country’s tree crop plantations are now at the end of their productive life, necessitating replanting. The main constraint to the implementation of a large scale replanting program, particularly for smallholders, is the lack of long term credit. This situation is consistent with the experience in other tree crop producing countries in Asia or Africa, where commercial banks are generally reluctant to provide long term credits to farmers for tree crops mainly due to the crops’ long gestation period (up to 7 years for rubber, 3-4 years for oil palm and cocoa), the perceived high credit risk and the lack of collateral.
The proposed project will be the first, preparatory stage of a long term pro-poor growth program focused on developing the tree crop sector. Specifically, it will be aimed at preparing future large scale tree crop replanting and development programs by testing different replanting and new planting models and associated financing and implementation mechanisms, and strengthening the capacity of key public and private sector/civil society institutions involved in tree crop development. At the same time, the proposed project will seek to have a short term impact on farmers’ revenues by supporting the rehabilitation of both immature and mature smallholder tree crop farms, which will generate additional revenues that farmers could subsequently use towards financing of replanting, thereby at least partially alleviating financing constraints.
The proposed project objective is “to increase poor tree crop farmers’ income opportunities by rehabilitating unproductive farms and supporting tree crop replanting and new planting and by supporting preparation activities toward the future development of the tree crop sector and effective smallholder participation”. The target group of the proposed project will be poor smallholders (those owning less than the economic threshold of four hectares (10 acres) of tree crop) in the country’s main tree crop producing counties, with particular attention given to the participation of women and youth. The intent is that this group will receive support to rehabilitate at least two hectares (5 acres) of their current holding.
The proposed project will contribute to national and local revenues through increased foreign exchange from tree crop exports and directly benefit smallholder households through increased incomes from the rehabilitation of their tree crop farms. It will directly support Government of Liberia (GoL)’s policy for economic revitalization, based on the promotion of export oriented economic growth, through consolidating the role of the private sector, while also facilitating rural development, increasing rural incomes, and contributing to poverty reduction. Furthermore, the proposed project is aligned with Ministry of Agriculture’s (MoA) priority of achieving a viable and sustainable Tree Crop Sector within the Liberia Agriculture Sector Rehabilitation Program (LASIP) under the framework of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP).
The objective of this report is to present an environmental and social management framework (ESMF) aimed at ensuring that adverse environmental and social impacts of the project will be avoided or, where unavoidable, will be mitigated or offset, in response to the five World Bank safeguards policies triggered by the proposed project as well as the laws, regulations and procedures of the Government of Liberia.
The proposed project (see detail of components in Chapter1.2.3) will follow a two pronged approach:
rehabilitating existing mature and immature small tree crop farms, which will have a short-term impact by generating additional revenues that farmers could subsequently use towards financing of replanting; and
supporting tree crop replanting and new plantings, using different models and associated financing and implementation mechanisms, while strengthening the capacity of key public and private sector/civil society institutions involved in tree crop development, with the aim of laying out the foundations for future smallholder tree crop development programs. It will be implemented over a period of four years in several districts of the country’s main tree crop producing counties.
Thus, this report was prepared on the basis of:
A comprehensive review of documents and reports to the proposed STCRSP
Analysis of relevant studies and reports on the Liberian Tree Crop Sector as relates to the STCRSP.
Engagement of key stakeholders through formal county level and informal village meetings, field visits to small holder farms, concession plantations and one on one interviews with individuals and groups in Liberia who see themselves potentially affected by, or who can impact on the tree crop sector operations at the local, national or international scale.
Due to the delay in mobilization of the Consultancy and the need to have the report available for the World Bank Review team in early August, the stakeholder consultation was not as comprehensive as the Terms of Reference envisaged. Nevertheless a good stakeholder view has been achieved, which with on farm/plantation field visits, allowed the ESMF team to make a realistic assessment of potential beneficial and adverse impacts of the proposed project on the Physical, Biological and Human Environments in and adjacent to the target communities.
The ESMF team worked without the benefit of two studies: a) the identification of the specific target communities and b) the detailed socio-economic assessment of those communities. These two studies were envisaged in the ToR to have been completed by the time of the ESMF team visited, but had yet to commence, thus the field visit and workshop reports are representative of the broad target areas rather than specific to the likely first communities to participate. This will not unduly reduce the value of this report, as adequate information has been gathered to give a realistic assessment of what might be expected. It does mean though that there may be need for further assessment in some of the future subproject selection process.
Potential Environmental and Social Impacts
The proposed project impacts will be largely beneficial, or at least neutral, though will also be potential adverse impacts. . Where the later occur, they can be avoided by careful management which includes full awareness of the potential for the adverse impact and ‘best practice’ implementation of all activities. This will require all stakeholders to be fully trained and supported as envisaged in the proposed program. The ESMF outlines some possible actions to address minor potential negative impacts. The potential environmental and social impacts are summarized below:
The target group will be poor smallholders - those owning less that 5 hectares (10 acres) of rubber, Oil Palm, Cocoa and/or Coffee – in the main country’s tree crop producing counties, with particular attention given to the participation of women.
The current levels of incomes are likely to improve when farmers start gaining from abandoned tree crops (especially older cocoa and coffee farms) and invest in the replanting of new and resilient tree crops. These benefits as clearly articulated in the project objectives, will improve the quality of life of rural farmers and limit their over dependence of subsistence farming. This follows directly from the government’s effort at reducing poverty among the rural poor as articulated in the PRS.
The development of social capital through capacity building of local community groups and associations will positively equip them to dialogue and participate in decision making on their livelihood options and increase their decision-making roles at community and national levels. Increase in capacity building opportunities including training and skills development will enhance not only local communities and farmers in tree crop production for improved rehabilitation and expansion of the sector, but also the Ministry of Agriculture and participating Line and Other Agencies;
Infrastructural developments are likely to take place during and after the implementation of the project components, improving access not only to markets but also to services and facilities.
Smallholders will have developed new husbandry skills and increased farm incomes, and rural labor opportunity will have been enhanced and the country as a whole should be better off;
Improvement in access to land and tenure security as cash crop farmers and communities register their lands and farms;
Creation of opportunities for sustainable income-generation in agriculture through diversification and improvement in tree crop production for rural communities;
Improve local farmers capacities in the production of quality cash crops;
Provision of opportunity in small-scale infrastructure in a planned and organized fashion that would facilitate more efficient uses of economic resources in project counties and communities;
Empowerment of local communities to mobilize and build capacities in sustainable community development through effective delivery of extension services, improved technologies in cash crop farming and agricultural inputs;
Inclusion of women, the youth and migrants to participate in the cash crop sector through the creation of sustainable agricultural sector employment opportunities;
Provision of basic infrastructure including access roads in tree crop production areas which would further improve and facilitate distribution of food crops to market centers; and
Provision of sustainable productivity through input supply and improved access to needed cash crop seeds and technologies.
Potential Negative Social Impacts
Soil Erosion and downstream pollution as a result of land clearing for planting/replanting and improvements to farm access roads;
Increased competition over lands to invest in cash crops within the current dualistic land ownership system in Liberia could create local conflicts over land;
Women’s (and youth’s) access to land and land ownership may limit their direct involvement in the project, though this may differ from one project area to the other, the project could have negative social impacts, in particular on women and youth, if the participatory processes to sensitize communities on the project objectives are not consistently followed.
Food insecurity may occur if project implementation does not fully comply with current food security strategies and link up with ongoing projects to increase food security;
Competitive labor demand for cash crops cultivation may affect the contribution of household labor for food crop farming;
Farmer associations may face elite capture, the vulnerable, powerless and/or marginalized groups especially if women and the youth do not actively participate and benefit from the project;
Social tension and agitation due to lack of adequate flow of accurate project information in a timely manner and dialogue among different segments of society: leaders, youth, women and political associations.
Emissions to air and water as a result of increased processing and value-added initiatives;
Potential health hazards as a result of improper handling, storage and use of agro-chemicals used for pest management;
This Environmental and Social Management Framework (ESMF) has been prepared to address any adverse impacts that may occur as a result of the project. This document covers the most obvious possibilities, but also makes provision for ‘chance finds”. The following table summarizes the potential averse impacts, mitigation measures and indicates the implementing and monitoring agencies.
Table 1:Summary of Environmental and Social Impacts and Mitigation Measures
Adhere to GoL regulations re extraction from streams and rivers
Guard against pollution of water body and downstream impacts
Emissions to air and water
Locate water pump with surrounding bund to prevent petroleum leakage to water source
Adhere to PMP re type of chemicals used, and safeguards for storage, handling and applying
Introduce and maximize use non-chemical alternatives
Minimize use of chemical fertilizer and maximize use of organic mulch
Pollution of streams/rivers
PIU guidelines to be part of contract document. These to include:
Minimize removal of roadside vegetation
Replant quick growing ground cover during or immediately after construction
Install erosion barriers during construction to prevent stream sedimentation
RI – Contractor
MO – MoPW & EPA
Community access hindrance during rehabilitation/construction
Work to be done in collaboration with community leaders and members
Crop Handling and Storage
Dust/noise disruption during construction of Warehouses and ancillary facilities (e.g. Increased traffic and movement of heavy equipment)
Temporary disturbance during construction mitigated by location of facility at perimeter of town/village
Liaise through community leaders to respond promptly to complaints
Maintain all work equipment within the facility at optimal operating condition
Monitor noise levels at sensitive receptors (residential areas, schools, clinics)
Use periodic sprinkling to control dust
RI – MoA
MO - MoA
Health and Safety
Minimized by training and experience – PIU to conduct periodic training and continual safety reminders to all project participants
MoA – CAC & MPH
Lack of comprehensive land registry
Land Commission to focus on finalizing Land Sector Policy and rationalize current constraints relating to customary and state land ownership
RI – Lands Commission
MP – MoA PIU
Focus on Tree Crop at expense of Food Crop production during rehabilitation period
Mitigated by encouraging intercropping food crops with tree crops (at least until tree crop reaches maturity)
RI – MoA
MO - MoA
Community Expectation Level
High, unrealistic expectation of project support
Maintain effective two-way dialogue through transparency and disclosure, full and frequent information to the public and established arrangement for community liaison and for handling complaints and grievances
Sensitize and create awareness for farmers and all community members to understand the goal, objectives, activities and farmers role
RI – MoA PIU
MO – MoA - CAC
Adverse Farmer/Implementing Agency Relationship
Labor and Employment
Labor Issues including possibility of migrant and child Labor issues
Address community norms and customs relating to gender, land and ownership rights to improved ability of women and youth to have secure access to land
Inclusion of advanced husbandry practices and value added initiatives should provide additional employment opportunity
Inclusion of labor and child rights protocols
RI – MoA PIU
MO – MoGD
Gender, Youth and Vulnerability inclusion
Male adult bias at expense of female and youth
Develop and mainstream gender, and youth and vulnerability inclusion strategies
Encourage communities to expand opportunities for females and youth
RI – MoA PIU
MO -MoGD, MoY, MoHSW, NGOs & CBOs
ESMP/ESMF Implementation Structure
In order to ensure successful delivery of the project, including the mitigation and improvement measures, it will be necessary for the PMU to put in place appropriate processes and mechanisms, and strengthen the capacity of the implementing agencies and the participating communities to achieve the project objectives in an efficient and sustainable manner. Involvement of the stakeholders at key stages in the development and operation will be a key factor in avoiding challenges and conflicts. There is a requirement to be accountable which necessitates appropriate dissemination of information and transparent policies.
The PIU will need to appoint an Environmental Manager to take responsibility for the implementation of the ESMP. This could be a shared (with another responsibility) position within the PIU, but for clarity and focus it would be best if responsibility was invested in a single position. This appointee would be the point of contact for all issues related to environmental and social impact management of project initiatives and activities. The Environmental Manager would be responsible for liaising with the EPA and participating Line and Other Agencies. Similarly, an Environmental Officer should be designated in each of the target counties with responsibility for day to day issues arising from project implementation, to assist with farmer training and awareness programs and to monitor compliance and progress. The person designated would most probably be one of the County or District Agricultural Offices but as these offices are currently understaffed, it may be necessary to recruit specialists to fill these posts. In addition, each section within the PIU structure should designate a person to be the point of contact with regard to any environmental issues relating to that sections activities. Collectively these officials will be the project’s Environmental and Social Management Team (ESMT).
Initially, at least, the PIU should appoint a Rural Sociologist to assist with the preparation of the social monitoring program and to build social impact management skills within the County/District level staff who will be responsible for impact monitoring.
Each member of the project management team will be responsible guiding conformity with applicable laws and regulations, and for conducting their work responsibilities in accordance with permit requirements and the ESMP. The environmental management controls that should be used at each of the project development locations to assist in meeting the overall environmental management objectives for the project should include, but not be limited to:
Environmental Awareness Training;
Environmental Compliance Reviews and Co-ordination Meetings; and
Environmental Compliance Inspections and Documentation.
It is important that the ESMT meet regularly and as frequently as necessary to coordinate prompt reaction to arising issues, evaluate data from the monitoring program and assure efficient implementation of the ESMP. A representative of the EPA should be invited to attend these meetings as well as representatives of other supporting agencies when appropriate (e.g. when specific expertise is required).
Capacity within the MoA and the other line agencies is generally weak both in terms of personnel and hands on experience in environmental and social impact management and the laws and regulations in place to control/mitigate adverse impacts. As a result, the PIU will need for focus initially on capacity building.
Members of the PIU Environmental and Social Management Team should be the first to receive training in identifying and managing adverse environmental and social impacts with the intent that they will act as trainers in environmental and social awareness to all management staff, and monitor and support local implementation of project initiatives. This may be provided by:
sending employees to specific training courses in Monrovia or elsewhere,
employing consultants to hold training courses at the PIU premises, or assisting individuals to register for Distance Learning Courses from Credited Institutions
Annual refresher courses should be available for members of the committee and specialist training provided when new issues arise.
The PIU Environmental Manager will be responsible for organizing and assisting in training of personnel in all aspects of the EMP creating a general awareness of environmental management throughout the participating organizations, partner organizations and the beneficiary communities. One of the objectives of the program will be to encourage communities to safeguard their own environment and the value of conserving their natural heritage for their present use and the use of future generations. There may be a requirement to continue some aspects of capacity building, in particular of the communities and smallholders, after project completion,
With the assistance of the ESMT, the PIU Environmental Manager will be responsible for identifying and selecting suitable local training resource persons, preparation of standard and specific relevant training modules, liaising with providing agencies and stakeholders to plan training implementation and preparation of training progress reports.
Annual work plans should be developed in consultation with the relevant participating agencies and stakeholders to indicate institutions and networks that will be required to provide research and development support. The principal actors will include a number of local institutions directly involved in project implementation while other agencies (partners) will include international and national institutions to provide technical and other support for implementation of the plan.
The PIU will need to collaborate with relevant line agencies (e.g. MoA, EPA), NGO’s and International Agencies to:
Provide expertise in planning, training and field implementation of IPM, and contribute field staff to be trained as Trainers;
Utilize members of participating FOs to facilitate extension and farmer training;
Prepare and produce field guides and other relevant information materials;
review current policies and adjust/develop policy guidance/oversight to support the implementation of the project;
Serve as technical reviewers for subprojects submitted by FOs for funding under STCRSP;
Monitoring and Evaluation
The key focal areas for monitoring during implementation will be of necessity larger than will be required later when the revitalization process has been completed. During project implementation monitoring in each of the target communities may need to be focused on all of the following:
Activities that lead to soil erosion and water run-off leading to downstream contamination of land and water (e.g. land clearing, replanting, road/bridge rehabilitation, irrigation dams)
Measuring compliance regarding noise, air and the quality of effluent discharge to water bodies in and around the factories and other processing plants
Measuring noise and water pollution as result of project activity
Compliance with Government/World Bank policies and regulations
Compliance with mitigation measures
Public Consultations and dialogue
Land use and management plans and systems including Land Tenure arrangements
Conflict resolution mechanisms and procedures
Gender, youth and vulnerability involvement and or mainstreaming strategies
Community/FO governance and institutional framework
Other as become necessary as a result of project implementation evaluation.
The level of monitoring should continue after sub-project completion to confirm sustainability of the processes, but with fewer observations. Perhaps crop husbandry and processing, Livelihood Impacts and innovations based on Capacity Building (e.g. farmers continuing to train other farmers
Table 7 in Chapter 6 sets out the project implementation monitoring plan.
All data collected and observations made during the monitoring program should be evaluated at least annually and measured against project policy and objectives to ascertain whether experience over the preceding period suggest that adjustments to policy, guidelines, standards or procedure (even governing legislation) should be incorporated to improve the effectiveness and the environmental and social sustainability of smallholder tree farms. To this effect each monitoring report should contained a section for observations of data collected (i.e. whether it is as expected or unusual, changes in conditions at monitoring site). Points to be addressed in the annual review will include:
Assessment of the progress in the attainment of the project objectives
Assessment of the effectiveness of adverse impact mitigation measures
Verification of compliance with environmental legislation and regulations
Verification of compliance with social mitigation measures
Assessment of gender and youth inclusion
Recommendations for changes in implementation policy and practices as necessary for their continued effectiveness or relevance
Determination of the capital investment and operating budgets necessary to ensure achievement of environmental management objectives