Boost For Sustainable Forest Management -FDA, Communities Sign MoU

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which aims to further enhance the sustainable management of the forest under the Liberian Forest Sector Project (LFSP) was on Tuesday May 17, 2022 signed between the Forestry Development Authority (FDA) and several communities including Salayea AFc   and Gbeapo-Sarbo-Potupo AFc, respectively.

As implanted in the MoU, the FDA as implementation authority on behalf of the government of Liberia will provide support to the communities involved in furtherance of their community forestry agenda while at the same time promoting the Project Development Objectives (PDO) of the Liberian Forest Sector Project (LFSP).

Under the project, FDA will secure funding to provide support to these communities for sustainable management of their forest including capacity building for governance as well as developing viable sustainable livelihood enterprises.

The MoU also holds these communities liable to work concertedly to monitor and ensure that the objectives of the MoU are achieved successfully. The communities are charged by the MoU to ensure a transparent and inclusive process involving women leaders, youth leaders, town chiefs, community elders, amongst others as well as ensuring the selection of at least 30 community members to serve as community forest guards to monitor and patrol their forest over a period of twelve months.

They are to conduct all activities under the MoU in full compliance with the provisions of the Anti-corruption guidelines. Importantly, the communities agree through the MoU to always participate as required in project coordination meetings organized by the FDA and project supervision mission of the Association. The communities also agree to prepare a work plan and budget for implementation of the agreed activities to be implemented in order to achieve the objectives of the MoU in a timely manner. They also are responsible to manage small grants including paying community forest guards, office rental and office supplies in a transparent manner.

In separate remarks during the signing ceremony, representatives of the communities wholeheartedly committed to implement the term and agreement of MoU to the letter. According to them the best way to go is the implementation of the conservation method which is the lifeblood of the forest. They praised the FDA management for the dream to conserve the forest to benefit today and future generations while describing the forest as the beacon of hope globally.         

In remarks also, the coordinator of the Liberian Forest Sector Project, Saah A. David, Jr. provided a brief background of the project and challenged the communities to exercise the will power and develop the passion for conservation initiatives which he said are the bedrock for the protection and promotion of the forest. Mr. David outlined several benefits that await the communities once the MoU is implemented to the letter. He said the forest remains the heartbeat of the global community which, according to him, is willing to assist all those who follow and implement the principles of conservation. On the importance of the forest he said, “We need the forest to live; the forest does not need us to live,” meaning that all we do as humans have their roots tied to the forest.

For his part, the Deputy Managing Director for Operations at the Forestry Development Authority, Joseph J. Tally used the occasion to recognize the efforts of the government of Norway for its continued assistance to ensure the success of the conservation dream of the Liberian government through the FDA. Mr. Tally said the conservation and preservation of the forest automatically equates to the protection and conservation  of our animals which  live in the forest.

He used the occasion to acknowledge the hard work of the heads of the community forestry department and their foresight which led to the signing of the MoU. He called for vision creation, farsightedness, and passion for the perseverance and conservation of the forest if we, as nation and  people, are to transition from the old and non-operational ways of doing things and instead adopt the modern approach of conservation that guarantees the sustainable management of the forest. He said the attention of the global community is drawn to where the forest is and noted that the world is interested in Liberia simply because of the forest.  He hoped the MoU will serve as an impetus for the growth and development of community forestry programs in Liberia and promised FDA’s relentless involvement in ensuring that the project sees its successful conclusion. 

Comments are closed.