The PIU will need to clearly set out the guiding principles under which the project will be implemented. These should include:
Policy and Procedures – to assure that all activities in compliance with the requirements of the Environmental Protection Agency and other government regulations;
Environmental Planning – starting with this ESMP, continue to identify new issues/ requirements or changing situations;
Monitoring and Evaluation – regular checking of impacts and mitigation measures leading to adjustments necessary to achieve ESMP objectives;
Management Review – taking note of monitoring results and changing policy, plans, operation that will lead to continual improvement of environmental performance.
The ESMP should be seen as a management tool to be reviewed at least annually to readjust policy and practice as necessary based on experience over the preceding period. Points to be addressed in the annual review will include:
assessment of the progress in the attainment of the ESMP objectives
verification of compliance with environmental legislation and regulations
recommendations for changes in Company environmental policy and practices as necessary
determination of the capital investment and operating budgets necessary to ensure achievement of environmental management objectives
pollution control procedures
good housekeeping practices.
Project Management 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 and Social Manager (ESM) 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 and Social 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 Sociologist Scientist 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. This person could be on a contract to return as necessary after an initial input.
The ESM should have at least 5 years experience in the management of ESMP’s in a similar environment. The Social Scientist should have similar relevant qualifications.
The PIU Environmental Manager will be responsible for organizing and assisting in training of personnel in all aspects of the ESMP, 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 and Social 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.
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 and Social Awareness Training;
Environmental and Social Compliance Reviews and Co-ordination Meetings; and
Environmental and SocialCompliance 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).
Professional Development and Training
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.
As a guideline, initial awareness training courses could be set up as follows:
A half day briefing of potential project environmental and social impacts and proposed mitigation plans including the pertinent policy, laws and regulations for all PIU staff and senior MOA, CDA, FDA and other participating agencies
A two day introductory workshop on the ESMF and the environmental and social issues outlined and reasoning of the approach for all members of the ESMT.
One day introductory workshops in each of the participating communities to raise awareness of environmental issues and introduce the projects approach to managing potential environmental and social impacts.
On the basis of the above, further training course could be organized with more specific focus to strengthen awareness and ability within individuals or groups.
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;
Social Impact Management
A social management system which incorporates key social strategies identified for each of the project components and critical to community well-being shall be established. These may include the following:
Establish linkages with ongoing land administration review under the Lands Commission of Liberia and ensure that lands invested in the project are free of conflicts;
Support access to land for women, youth and migrants 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 if the participatory processes to sensitize communities on the project objectives are not consistently followed.
Establish close linkages with ongoing food security programs in the participating counties and districts for instance the ASRP. Ensure effective land management by beneficiaries including land banks for food cropping
Establish and ensure project compliance with current and ongoing national, regional and district food security strategies and projects;
Strengthen existing “kuus” and labor access strategies at community levels to support household labor;
Establish clear constitutions and mode of operation for Farmer associations to prevent elite capture and ensure active participation among the vulnerable, powerless and/or marginalized groups especially if women and the youth;
Design and establish gender and youth strategy under the project;
Establish local involvement and participation mechanisms and strategies to prevent any likely social tension and agitation due to lack or inadequate flow of accurate project information
Establish participatory and timely stakeholder dialogue mechanisms: country, district, clan level project committees with acceptable ToR for operations including all the different segments of society: leaders, youth, women and political associations. Define the tasks, roles and responsibilities of various agencies governmental and non-governmental;
Ensure the availability and use of consistent extension services;
Provision of timely market information for farmers especially on quality and pricing of tree crops;
Ensure multi-sector collaboration especially with regards to communities access to basic infrastructure and the general living environment, satisfaction of basic social needs (e.g. housing, sanitation, water supply) including existing and ongoing public services (e.g. health, education, training and recreation)
Address current and required labor availability and constraints including, household, child and migrant labor
Clearly establish avenues for formal and informal sustainable finance and credit options,