Increasing Forest Value -EPA, LFSP Get US$37M Projec

By Mafanta Kromah

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in collaboration with the Liberia Forest Sector Project (LFSP), is working on a US$37million project.

Supported by the Norwegian Government, the project focuses on three areas including the protection of areas under forest covered in targeted forest landscapes, Emission Reductions and carbon sequestration and people in targeted forests adjacent communities and increasing monetary values of the forest.

Beneficiaries are communities mostly dependent on forest resources from the northwestern region of the country, covering Bomi, Gbarpolu, Grand Cape Mount and Lofa Counties; and the southeastern region; Grand Gedeh, Grand Kru, Rivercess and River Gee Counties.

EPA says other collaborators include: Forestry Development Authority (FDA), Ministry of Agriculture (MOA), Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy (LME), the Liberia Land Authority (LLA) and the Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo–information Services (LISGIS)

It also explains that the forest plays an invaluable role to the survival of humans; providing services such as water, carbon storage and biodiversity.

Liberia requires the development of a management plan to provide guidance on use, access and management of forest resources, considering the legal framework to convey legal rights and responsibilities.

Providing certain historical facts relative to community forest in Liberia, the statement recalls that Community forestry first came to importance in the mid-70s and continued to evolve over the last few decades in a growing number, stressing that some milestone achievements of recent are the establishment of the National Forest Reform Law (NFRL) of 2006 which deals with the community, commercial conservation aspects of the forest, known as the three C’s principle.

“Three Cs”s approach to forest management, whereas Community forest management is an evolving branch of forestry where by the local community play a significant role in forest management and land use. Community Forestry involves the participation and collaboration of various stakeholders,” the FDA official averred”

In her presentation, Ruth Varnie, FDA’s Regional Forester of Region One, presenting on the topic, “Community Forest Management: Processes, Practices, Rights and Responsibilities,” pointed out that Liberia is one of the few countries with legal framework that purposely addresses community rights to forest.

This framework, Mrs. Varnie averred, includes legislation and regulations that outline the process to secure community forest rights, while taking into consideration the implementation of pilot projects to demonstrate the feasibility of the Framework.

Accordingly, in Liberia, this requires the development of a management plan to provide guidance on use, access and management of forest resources, considering the legal framework to convey legal rights and responsibilities.

Giving some historical facts relative to community forest in Liberia, she recalled that Community forestry first came to importance in the mid-70s and continued to evolve over the last few decades in a growing number.

The FDA boss noted that some milestone achievements of recent are the establishment of the National Forest Reform Law (NFRL) of 2006 which deals the community, commercial conservation aspects of the forest, known as the three C’s principle.

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