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FDA issues moratorium on chewing sticks

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By Lincoln G. Peters

Liberia’s Forestry Development Authority (FDA) has placed a moratorium on the harvesting of chewing sticks here, mandating that all chewing sticks that are being harvested are required to be removed for export on or before Friday, 24 September 2021.

Announcing the decision this week, FDA Managing Director C. Mike Doryen frowned on the “unscrupulous harvesting of Chewing Sticks” or Clear felling across the country.

He said this is seriously undermining and threatening the sustainability of the species in the natural standing and is contributing to the loss of biodiversity and its ecosystem.

“FDA mandates that the removal of the already harvested chewing sticks is to be monitored by the FDA Regional Foresters and their staff members,” Mr. Doryen said.

He explained that this means that all export permit requests for products harvested before this moratorium but still in the forests must originate from the Regional Forester/ Contract Administrators confirming compliance to this mandate.

Mr. Doryen said management’s decision of the moratorium will remain in force until a mechanism that will ensure sustainable harvesting is put in place to ensure compliance to the Guideline/Manual for the Commercial Harvesting of Specialty Non – Timber Forests Products (NTFPs) Species and Certain Medicinal Plant Species.

Mr. Doryen requested all those concerned to adhere to this moratorium as anyone violating it will be penalized.

At the same time, the FDA has embarked on the Registration and Documentation of all individuals and entities involved in the production, processing, and trade of Forest Products. 

Mr. Doryen said the exercise focuses more on producers, processors, and traders of chainsaw milling timber traders (wood fields), all furniture, carpentry, woodwork shops, charcoal producers, traders (charcoal depots), round poles/posts rafters producers, and traders.

It also focuses on bamboo and rafter producers, traders and other non-timber forest products (NTFPs) producers and processors, among others.

“The producers and traders of the above-mentioned forest products are requested to register their businesses per Regulation 112-08 (Regulation on the Forest Products Processing and Marketing); Regulation 111-08 (Commercialization of NTFPs) to avoid further embarrassment,” Mr. Doryen cautioned.

The FDA said an enforcement mechanism and certification of registration from the authority will be used as a prerequisite for the issuance of all waybills to the would-be conveyors of forest products.

Director Doryen added that any product coming to checkpoints without a valid registration permit and waybill will be ceased and auctioned immediately.https://thenewdawnliberia.com/humane-society-intl-fda-combat-crime-against-wildlife/–Edited by Winston W. Parley

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