21 April 2006

Liberia: FDA Reveals Forest Policy

In an initiative to effectively manage the forest, authority of the Forestry Development Authority (FDA) has launched its policy that would provide control over forest products and create the need for government to share benefits with its people in the country.

At the official launching ceremony in Monrovia Wednesday, the FDA Managing Director, John T. Woods said following a series of consultations with local and international partners, the FDA authority decided to launch the national forest policy document which bears the three pillars of forest sector development in Liberia.

In a statement delivered at the occasion, the FDA boss emphasized that the forest sector development is about integrating commercial and conservation forest.

This is in line with Article of the constitution of Liberia, he said. Under this Article, government is to ensure that the benefits from the nation's resources be equitably shared with it people.

The National Forestry Policy document took into consideration the role of the local communities in community forestry and the factors that hamper development and how to tackle development to benefit local communities.

Under the policy document, the issue of social benefits, cultural benefits, women empowerment, economic benefits, job creation, health and education, have been highlighted.

The FDA is to work closely with community based organizations, international NGOs, private farmers, and local communities for equitable distribution of community forest resources.

This should be the primary concern as it within the context of the national forest law of Liberia, according to the document.

Under the challenges facing local communities, the forest policy further focuses on key opportunities for communities' enhancement, improvement, livelihood, empowerment, and capacity building. It also considers training as well as developing a framework that would attract aid to Liberia.

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