Higher Education for Conservation (HECA), funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), is a $5Million, 5-year grant whose project title is the Center of Excellence for Forestry, Biodiversity, and Conservation Leadership, and Green Enterprise Development in Liberia. The Theme of HECA is “Working Together to Conserve Liberia's Forests for a Secure Green Future.”

The Higher Education for Conservation (HECA) was launched on October 21, 2022, to build the skills of Liberia's forestry and natural resource workforce to support the conservation and sustainable use of natural forest resources while advancing economic development, gender equality, youth empowerment, and social inclusion.

At its core is the establishment of a Center of Excellence for Forestry, Biodiversity, and Conservation (the FBC Center) co-located at the University of Liberia. The center, with the assistance of HECA subject matter experts, will facilitate green enterprise development and strengthen Liberian higher education institutions to offer improved forestry, biodiversity, and conservation (FBC) curricula and defined co-curricular activities that develop workforce soft skills.

HECA on the Move:

By Cynthia L. Blandford, UCL Team Lead

The April 2024 HECA International Partner Conference, “Mobilizing Liberia for Conservation and A Call to Action, convened 100 diverse stakeholders in the forestry, biodiversity, and conservation (FBC) space to amplify the efforts of the Higher Education for Conservation (HECA) in Liberia, including government officials, local and international NGO representatives, industry leaders, academics, higher education administrators, and students, community leaders, green entrepreneurs and innovators, journalists/media, and youth representatives, and others.

Panelists and speakers from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, EPA, FDA, FTI, the University of Liberia, Greenpeace Africa, National Union of Community Forest Management Bodies, EcoHealth Alliance & Conservation Works, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and Tuskegee University participated.


Liberia’s Green Enterprises Share Challenges and Opportunities in Liberia’s Emerging Green Economy

By Cynthia L. Blandford, UCL Team Lead

Green Gold, Liberia, Inc., Greentech Agro, Inc., AgroLinks Enterprise, Inc., Tete's African Interiors, Liberia Coconut Farmers & Buyers Union (LICOFBU), Tete's African Interior and the Ministry  of Commerce and Industry SBA unit participated in a  high-level discussion on conserving forests and protecting biodiversity approaches, the importance of conservation inclusivity, and mobilizing communities on behalf of conservation & sustainability in Liberia's emerging green economy.

Liberia’s Commitment to the Environment: Policy & Strategy:

By Cynthia L. Blandford, UCL Team Lead

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Forestry Development Agency (FDA), Conservation Works and the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) discussed the importance of Liberia's forests and the need for better coordination and collaboration on policy and strategies in order to protect and preserve this important natural resource.

Showcasing HECA Initiatives – Meet the Implementers:

By Cynthia L. Blandford, UCL Team Lead

University of Liberia (UL), Forestry Training Institute (FTI), HECA Fellows, Wellesley Centers for Women,  (WCW), LISI, GYCCN/LIBA, and FBC Center implementers display posters showcasing FBC Model Curriculum, Soft-Skills Co-Curriculum, FBC Research Studies, Female Foresters, FBC Youth, Conservation Education Corps and Green Enterprise Development Initiative (GEDI).

Cynthia L. Blandford
President, University Consortium for Liberia (UCL)
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