6 October 2017

Liberia: FDA Empowers Local Communities

The Forestry Development Authority, FDA, says it has empowered 15 communities to manage over one hundred and fifty thousand (150,000) hectares of forest land as a means of enhancing food security and reducing poverty.This action forms part of the government's forest sector reform policy which emphasizes a three - prong forest management practice that includes commercial, conservation and community forest practices.

FDA Managing Director Darlingston Tuagben says the forestry sector plays important roles in the socio-economic development of Liberia in the form of providing employment, industrial output, national income and revenues. However, the FDA Managing Director pointed out that the high increase in our "population, urbanization and the demand for land use" continue to put pressure on the forests.

Tuagben disclosed that the forests can no longer sustain demand on "timber, food, and other forms of livelihood". The FDA Managing Director spoke Friday September 29, 2017 at the Civic Education Forum on Electoral Environment discussing Agriculture and Food Security organized by the Governance Commission. He spoke on the theme "The role of the Forestry Sector (biodiversity conservation, protected areas management and reforestation/ afforestation) in enhancing food security and poverty reduction in Liberia. The Forum was at Corina Hotel in Sinkor.

Hon. Tuagben encouraged all presidential candidates in the October elections to include the forestry sector reform in their respective political platforms for implementation beginning January 2018. The Ellen Johnson Sirleaf government, since the past decade, put in place forestry reform programs and other initiatives intended to improve the forestry sector. However, Liberia is still involved with exportation of raw materials which undermines development and minimizes job opportunities in this country. Liberia needs infrastructures - factories, manufacturing companies -to enhance and sustain development and greatly address the issue of poverty in Liberia.

The Friday September 29, 2017 Civic Education Forum on Electoral Environment was third in the series of Forums organized by the Governance Commission in September 2017. The first was held on Education and Healthcare Delivery held at the Mamba Point Hotel on September 14, 2017, and the second on Sustainable Economic Development and Growth held at Corina Hotel on September 21, 2017.

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