Vice President Joseph Boakai has stressed the need for advocacy and sustainability of the Liberian forest.
Ambassador Boakai spoke Wednesday at the close of the National Forestry Conference held in Monrovia.
He said, the conference which was organized in accordance with the ‘Lift Liberia’ Initiative comes at a time when government has embraced the principles of good governance, accountability and transparency in all of its operations including the Forest Sector.
The Liberian Vice President recalled that over the past six years back, sanctions were lifted on the Forestry sector following Liberia’s implementation of forest reforms under UN compliance.
Ambassador Boakai recounted that over the six years, significant progress has been made in the forestry sector with the creation of the National Forestry Law, the Community Reform Law 2009, and other needed instrument to provide sanctity and reform to the forest sector.
The Liberian Vice President underlined that the lofty concept of sustainable forest and land management, is very cardinal to the growth and sustenance of the Liberian society.
Some of the thematic areas discussed during the conference surrounding the sector include Private Use Permit, Community Forestry, Community Benefitting Sharing Trust, Bid Premium, and Stumpage fees, amongst other key issues.
Vice President Boakai revealed that the conference commences the designing of a roadmap of the forestry sector, and urged all major stakeholders to make the process participatory and consultative, “because dialoguing represents the only way in which reform to the sector would truly be sustainable and equitable to all Liberians.”
For his part,tEuropean Union’s Ambassador to Liberia, Attilio Pacifici said, despite the many challenges facing the Liberian forestry sector, the issues of land tenure; land management and land ownership should be given keen attention.
Ambassador Pacifici stressed the need for accountability, transparency if the forest sector must benefit Liberians and its partners. He stressed further, ‘Lifting Liberia’ needs the demonstration of clearness and answerability.
Meanwhile, the Zor Community Forest which is under a Forest Management Agreement with the Forestry Development Authority has been demarcated. One of the boundaries used for the demarcation was Cestos River which also serves as a boundary with Ivory Coast.
Recently the Ivoirians have been crossing the Cestos River to enter Zor Community Forest for illegal hunting, fishing, harvesting herbs, shifting cultivation and passing through to the east of Nimba Nature Reserve for similar activities.