Joseph D. Higgins was born on 23 June 1969 to Dedeah Higgins and Martha D. Higgins in the Campwood Community, Grand Bassa County, Liberia.
Joseph earned a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree in General Forestry from the University of Liberia; a certificate from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of Liberia and became licensed as an Environmental Impact Assessment Evaluator in 2011.
Joseph was employed by Forest Cry Liberia (FCL) to conduct environmental impact assessments of Liberian forestry and agricultural concessions in Liberia, then from 2012 to the end of 2014, he worked with Fern’s partner Sustainable Development Institute (SDI) as a member of the Civil Society Independent Forest Monitor (CS-IFM) where he was responsible for analysing forestry laws and regulations.
CS-IFM has now been registered as a Liberian NGO and Joseph was a full-time contributor, helping to compile and publish reports, training materials and guides which continue to positively impact the forestry sector in Liberia.
Joseph continued to work with CS-IFM and the Association of Community Rights Defenders (ACORD) until his untimely passing in April 2020.
The late Joseph D. Higgins was not only a Forester, but also an agent of change in his neighbourhood and community. He helped pay school fees for those whose parents or guardians could not afford and was a member of his community social club the United Brothers Association (UBA). He is survived by two sons and a daughter who are all attending primary school.