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The Forestry Development Authority (FDA) in collaboration with the Community Forestry Working Group (CFWG) with support from USAID Liberia has launched the 4th annual outreach campaign on community forestry in Monrovia.

Liberia’s Labour Minister NetoZaraZarLighe, performed the official launch with a call to all stakeholders in the enforcement of the Community Rights Law to re-invigorate their resolve in making sure that the Law is implemented and the benefits, that are anticipated to be far-reaching, are accrued by the community and by extension the country.

The campaign is the 4th in a series of outreach activities organized annually by the FDA and the CFWG with support from USAID-Liberia/PROSPER to raise awareness on Community Rights Law (CRL) and its Regulations, and build the capacities of local and national institutions to design and conduct outreach intended to improve sustainable forest management as well as environmental awareness and compliance. 

Giving an overview of the 4th annual campaign during the formal launch Thursday, 30 March in the hall of the Monrovia Christian Fellowship in Sinkor, the technical manager of the community forestry department at the FDA Madam Gertrude KorvayanNyaley said, this year’s launch is under the theme: “Make Community Forestry Rights Real” aimed reemphasizing previous outreach efforts to make the CRL and its regulations accessible to forest dependent communities, while ensuring sustainable management practices.

She said the plan of the annual outreach campaign has always been to design outreach activities every year, targeting a range of different audiences at the national, county, and community levels.  According to the technical manager, the first launch of the annual campaign was done in Sanniquellie, Tappita, and Buchanan, respectively in 2013 under the theme, “Make Community Forestry Rights Real.”

She narrated that being the first in a series of four campaigns, it was a landmark occasion which brought together forestry sector and stakeholders at the national and county levels.
Madam Nyaley indicated that while the national level launch was hosted in Monrovia, massive rollout activities of the outreach campaign will happen at county and community levels in eight (8) pilot zones in Nimba and Grand Bassa Counties, respectively where USAID-Liberia/PROSPER is supporting the FDA to pilot community forestry.

She said while the 2013 and 2014 campaigns have focus on critical needs to strengthen public understanding of the Community Rights Law, and its regulation, the FDA collaborated with the community forestry working group with support from USAID Liberia, and Prosper did not lose sight of the fact that forest resource governance also goes hand-in hand with sustainable management practices and environmental compliances.

Meanwhile, Madam Nyaley disclosed that from October 2015 to March 2016 throughout the length and breadth of Liberia, FDA through its Community Forestry department received and filed a total of 120 applications, and has also begun implementation of checklist which provides the step for verifying the process of establishing authorized forestry community in line with legal requirements through the community rights law and the community rights regulation.

By Lewis S. TehEdited by Jonathan Browne

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