Under the REPLACE IDIQ, Integra was awarded a task order to conduct the Tropical Forests and Biodiversity (FAA Sections 118/119) Assessment for USAID Bangladesh as part of the 2016-2020 CDCS development for Bangladesh. The Tropical Forest and Biodiversity analyses are mandatory requirements of the Foreign Assistance Act 118(e) and 119 (d) which required country-level analysis of actions necessary to achieve conservation and sustainable management of tropical forests and biodiversity. It is an important early step in identifying opportunities to use integrated approaches that support both biodiversity conservation and improved development outcomes.
Integra conducted the 118/119 Assessment beginning with a review of the status of tropical forests and biodiversity in Bangladesh and a rapid assessment of the relationship between development needs and challenges and tropical forests and biodiversity in the country. While previous 118/119 Assessments for USAID Bangladesh mostly consisted of updating the status of endangered species and critical forest areas, Integra’s approach to this Assessment included a custom approach designed in consultation with USAID Washington bureaus and USAID Bangladesh to identify new research, literature and key stakeholders. Climate change risks to forests and biodiversity were central to the analysis, with Integra providing a summary of current climate impact projections and a summary of approaches for climate adaptation.
Other elements of this updated 118/119 Assessment included a comprehensive review of the Government of Bangladesh’s ministries, other donor agency activities, civil society organizations, NGOs and other development partners. It also included a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis of the conservation and natural resource management sectors in Bangladesh, as well as a gender sensitive analysis of forests and biodiversity.
Over the course of three weeks in country, Integra conducted 70 key informant interviews and visited field sites, as well as conducted a whole-of-mission review that examined the intersection of non-biodiversity or NRM programming on the status of tropical forests and biodiversity, a key improvement from past 118/119 assessments.